Thursday, November 09, 2006

Is Obesity Caused by Your Neighborhood?

Those crazy economists are at it again, stirring up the medical community with a challenging new study. Last time, it was a link between TV and autism. This time, it's a link between the neighborhood you live in and your waistline.

Previous medical studies had shown, "overwhelmingly," that neighborhood and weight are linked, one expert told the LA Times in a
report on the new issue. It's suspected that sprawling neighborhoods, where businesses are beyond walking distance from residences, contribute to obesity. However, the news study by University of Toronto economist Matthew Turner found otherwise.

In Truner's study, reported by the LA Times, it was found that fat people who moved from sprawling neighborhoods to dense neighborhoods, stayed fat.

From the report, it was unclear whether or not people moving from dense environments to sprawling ones gained weight. But there were other criticisms. Doctors cited that the study was small, brief and poorly calculated sprawl.


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