Researcher Says $1 Gas Hike Could Cut Obesity

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ViperDragon, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. ViperDragon

    ViperDragon Well-Known Member

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    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/health/14096244/detail.html

    High Gas Prices Could Mean A Slimmer You

    As rising gasoline prices are forcing many Americans to tighten their financial belts, it may lead to them tightening the belts around their waist.

    "An additional $1 in real gasoline prices would reduce obesity in the U.S. by 15 percent after three years," said Charles Courtemanche, an economics researcher at Washington University in St. Louis. "In fact, about 13 percent of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to falling real gas prices during the period."

    Courtemanche's conclusions are based on a comparison of average state fuel prices with health behavior trends documented in government surveys covering two decades, 1984-2004. He provideed evidence for two direct and causal links between gasoline prices and obesity.

    "If the price of gas rises, the cost of driving also rises, which may affect body weight in two ways," Courtemanche said.

    The first, he said, may lead people to drive less, leading to more exercise like walking or bicycling.

    "If a person uses public transportation, such as subways, buses, trolleys, or rail services, the need to move to and from the public transit stops is likely to result in additional walking, again decreasing weight," he said.

    The connection, he said, may lead people to eat out less, since the cost to drive to the restaurant is increased.

    "People may substitute from eating out to preparing their own meals at home, which tend to be healthier," he said. "People may also eat out less in an effort to save money to pay for the increased cost of gas."

    Courtemanche's study, "A Silver Lining: The Connection between Gas Prices and Obesity," touched off a lively debate in online economics groups this summer when findings from his working paper were cited in article published in The New York Times.

    Some suggested that Courtemanche was politically incorrect to suggest a gasoline tax as a means of addressing a larger societal problem, such as an individual's obesity. He said he didn't mean to imply that additional gasoline taxes would be good for society, "just that additional gasoline taxes would reduce obesity."

    Courtemanche said that his current study makes no attempt to determine if increased fuel costs would have a positive or negative net impact on social welfare.

    "Research shows that reducing people's incomes would worsen obesity, so any increase in the gasoline tax should be accompanied by mass transit subsidies, payroll tax reductions, or some other policy that replaces the lost income," he said.

    According to Courtemanche's analysis, the reduction in obesity caused by a $1 increase in gasoline prices would save 16,000 lives and $17 billion a year.

    Despite the fact that eating and exercise are personal choices, intervention may be justified because an individual's obesity may have a negative impact on society, he argues.

    "With obesity, the most obvious negative externality is medical expenses," he said. "Because of public insurance (Medicare and Medicaid), the medical expenses of obese people are often paid for by taxpayers. For people with private insurance, their medical expenses increase everyone's premiums."

    "Again, that doesn't necessarily mean the gas taxes are the best policy," he said, "just that some obesity-reducing policy may be appropriate."
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    Some research is just a waste. It actually took a team of researchers to make this connection? Rising gas prices have an affect on everything!
     
  2. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't buy it.
     
  3. Transbot90210

    Transbot90210 Banned

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    wow thats a load of crock, but enough crock to allow the world to raise gas prices.

    Why not raise food prices? would that increase not do the same thing???

    Oh wait Bush is an oil tycoon not a food tycoon.

    Thanx
    Transbot90210
     
  4. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I'm already not obese. If they raised gas prices though, I suppose I'd be at even less risk, since I would have to stop buying food.
     
  5. Loscos

    Loscos Well-Known Member

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    Ridiculous, it might even increase it, less money to spend on food, cheap foods are junk foods in supermarkets.

    That all sounds crazy and very very grasping to me.
     
  6. KnightSaberAmi

    KnightSaberAmi Nyan Nyan

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    Sure I buy it: Lets see I work 10 miles away from home so with the gashog thats gonna be a gallon and a half of gas a day times 5 days...so i'll be spending not the 53 dollars a week on gas but instead I get to pay 70 times 4 weeks. Oh the joy!

    I won't be losing weight cause of a bikeride to work thats for damn sure. Assholes blow.
     
  7. NotFastEnuff

    NotFastEnuff I'm a smartass...

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    *whistle blows* (thud)
    That was the sound of the bullshit flag being thrown. Uh, gas prices have already gone up well over $1 for 3 years, and I still see lotsa fat people. Here are some problems in his little plan.

    1. Not everyone lives close enough to their job to walk or ride a bike. During the Katrina gas rape, I drove 35 miles to work each way. No way in Hell I'm gonna ride a bike that far to work, and then have to smell myself all day. Don't think so.

    2. Not all areas have public transportation. Hell, not even most areas, for that matter. That kills that one.

    Morons shouldn't be allowed to think, much less, express themselves.
     
  8. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    Green money says he already bikes to work.
     
  9. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    wtf?
     
  10. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I don't understand why everyone else has to pay for people's laziness to hit the damned gym.
     
  11. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    But we all have to look at them.
     
  12. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Damn the gym...
    [​IMG]
     
  13. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    They have two premises:

    1. Costs will discourage driving and promote public transportation.

    I don't agree. Public transportation is expensive. And if gas goes up, public transportation costs will also go up. currently it costs me the following to take public transportation:

    *Metro:
    $1.35 bus to metro
    $2.85 to work
    $2.85 to home
    $1.35 bus to home
    Total: 8.40
    (I just happen to live on a bus route that is useful, if I didn't)

    $2.85 to work
    $2.85 to home
    $4.00 to Metro Parking
    total: $9.70

    *Car
    .75 gallon of gas to work
    .75 gallon of gas to home
    $4.75@$3.00 a gallon
    $6.00@$4.00 a gallon

    Now, of course I have a car and insurance, so I would have to rid myself of a vehicle and drop driving insurance for public transportation to be 'economical' which is of course absurd for me and probably a severe majority of people. So if I *HAVE* to have a car for other factors in my life, as long as I have it it is cheaper to drive than public transportation. It is cold hard reality for me and MOST americans.

    The other aspect is, I would drive less overall. This 'MAY' have merit as I think sitting in a car is the most unathletic thing ever. But less driving I think will translate into 'more TeeVee time'.

    Honestly, Increased gas prices do not change the driving habits of anyone except for the poor. Which sucks and is a sad reality. Which is why I am against arbitrary hikes. I have had friends who were afraid of losing their jobs because they couldn't afford the cost to get to work.

    Don't increase prices of gas, figure out why public transportation is such a horrible failure in many cities and fix it.
     
  14. ViperDragon

    ViperDragon Well-Known Member

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    I don't like public transportation in my city because of the time it takes to get 'near' my job. I can drive to work in 10-15 min but PT would take me 2-3x as long because of all the stops it would have to make. I think why no one likes to take PT is cost but also people like the 'privacy' of their vehicles even if it clogs the highways.
     
  15. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Also, Public Transportation does not exist in rural areas and small towns. Car pooling doesn't work for these areas because everyone works in different directions. Its not like the 50s and 60s when everyone on the block worked at the local mill.
     
  16. Random Autobot

    Random Autobot Soviet Kanukistani

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    Somewhere, if one digs back far enough, I'm sure we'll discover that this "study" was funded by Halliburton.
     
  17. ShortCircuit

    ShortCircuit Decepticon

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    in 3 years gas is sure to go up again lol.
     
  18. e3nine

    e3nine Poop.

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    The true way to cut obesity is to remove elevators privileges for anyone who isn't handicapped or elderly. I see fat people ride those things even for 1 floor trips.
     
  19. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    Regarding raising prices FOR ANYTHING AT ALL:
    I'm fine with it, just give the markup to a worth cause.
    I pay $.60 for a bag of chips at lunch ($.10 markup) and guess where it goes? The lunch ladies pockets. If it went to something useful, say the school or a charity, I'd be fine with it. But not since it's being pocketed.

    We even got a letter saying "The school lunch program has been opperating in the black, so we will not be raising prices this year"
     
  20. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    The title of this thread should be: "Researchers say: Thank you Bush and Cheney for my big payoff and sharing some stock in the oil companys you have."

    My question is: what huge news story is going to go down around next year in March when gas prices raise? Look at the last few years, almost each spring something big happens that seems to be made to distract people. But, that could just be my conspirital side. What is NOT my conspirital side is that Cheney owns lots of stock in oil companys.
     

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