More on Sprawl and Obesity

Reporting from Science News, passed on by a reader.

Living on a cul-de-sac = 10 lb weight gain?

16 Comments

16 Responses to More on Sprawl and Obesity

  1. nathan
    January 31, 2007 at 12:31 am Link

    Word

  2. Anthony
    January 31, 2007 at 12:41 am Link

    you would think the person living in the normal suburban neighborhood would be more fit because they are the people who typically have jobs, gym memberships, and the need for yard work.

    Regardless, if someone wants to get fat its their choice!

  3. Chad
    January 31, 2007 at 8:45 am Link

    Yes, but Suburbanite drives to that job (after walking 10 feet to the attached garage), never manages to actually get to the gym, and there is no shortage of cheap labor to take care of the yard work.

  4. Adron B Hall
    January 31, 2007 at 10:55 am Link

    Regardless, if someone wants to get fat its their choice!

    Yeah, but others shouldn’t have to pay for their health care costs via insurance, nor should the Government provide hand outs, etc. It happens every day! It’s also EXTREMELY disgusting AND insulting and disrespectful to get “large” and then fly and endangering to drive. On a transit mode it is also discourteous to allow one self to become so huge as to need handicap access or consume two seats.

    Sure some people are “big” or “big boned” by nature. But there are a lot of OBESE people out there that are just plain pathetic, rude, discourteous, offensive, and entirely uncalled for.

    But yeah, if they want to be fat, get fat, and just stay inside or something. Which I suppose, is the problem most suburbanites have.

    But I digress. This really is not surprise. One here in Portland can observe downtown residents vs. suburban residents by their driving habits, size, and ostensible attitude toward dealing with other peoples.

    It’s a measurable phenomenon in many many ways.

  5. Bob R.
    January 31, 2007 at 11:58 am Link

    Adron wrote: Yeah, but others shouldn’t have to pay for their health care costs via insurance

    Adron – I don’t believe I’ve ever addressed you directly about Libertarian politics, because we seem to come from very different places politically. I’m willing to bet that you are not a proponent of “single payer” or other government-subsidized health care programs, while I am not a proponent of health care being managed primarily by for-profit insurance companies.

    Settings those differences aside, however, I think one of the most dangerous intrusions on the ideal of liberty is the concept of “we shouldn’t have to pay more $$$ for insurance based on your personal choices”.

    In my mind, that sets up a slippery slope to a powerful institutionalized “nanny”, watching over you in the interest of cost-savings. You may personally believe that the greatest risk of this “nanny” comes from the government, while I worry more about the private insurance sector, but in either case can we agree that the danger is real?

    Whatever direction health care heads in this country, I hope that we can set some clear boundaries about just how involved whatever body manages health care funding can get into your private life.

    There are a lot of gray areas here, to be sure, such as the well-correlated instance that a lifetime of smoking greatly increases risks of expensive health problems. But if we’re going to get down to the level of what kind of housing someone chooses to adopt (or is force to by economic circumstance), what is then to stop entities from prying into your sex life (use of condoms, # of different partners, etc.), how often you ski as a hobby, if you sit too close to the track at NASCAR events, etc?

    I would much prefer to live in a society where health care costs are evenly distributed and perhaps cost a bit more, but in which health-affecting “lifestyle choices” are not imposed on the individual. By all means inform people of the risks, and apply punitive measures if people risk the lives of others, but control over our own bodies is an important fundamental right, no?

    (Sorry for taking this topic down a non-transportation tangent.)

    – Bob R.

  6. Adron B Hall
    January 31, 2007 at 12:42 pm Link

    You may personally believe that the greatest risk of this “nanny” comes from the government, while I worry more about the private insurance sector, but in either case can we agree that the danger is real?

    I do agree with the Government side AND the Corporation side of this danger. I could go on for days. :) But yeah, the danger IS real, and that isn’t an opinion but a mere fact that could be measured.

    But I digress. This is “slightly” off topic. I was just retorting about how I am bothered by obesity and the apparant “problems” that America has with this lack of discipline.

  7. Erik Halstead
    January 31, 2007 at 8:32 pm Link

    I know a lot of cul-de-sacs that have pedestrian pathways that continue past the cul-de-sac to the next street, so are we saying that the development of pedestrian-friendly design is attributing to obesity?

    I see plenty of obese people on the bus who have to walk to/from the bus stop and their destinations, so is the solution to force people out of the bus?

    Give me a break… Pretty soon they’ll link obesity to mindless blogging on the Internet – what will that make of all of us??? That discussion of transportation should be frowned upon because we’re all sitting here getting fat? Sheesh… Next topic, please.

  8. jim karlock
    February 1, 2007 at 12:51 pm Link

    You want the ultimate obesity link:

    Transit driver.

    Thanks
    JK

  9. Bob R.
    February 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm Link

    JK wrote: You want the ultimate obesity link: Transit driver.

    Your contempt for the working people who drive buses and trains has been duly noted. Is there anyone you won’t insult?

    – Bob R.

  10. Jason McHuff
    February 2, 2007 at 12:57 am Link

    Transit operators probably aren’t any fatter than other professions that result in sitting for long periods of time. Oh, and TriMet provides its employees on-site exercise facilities.

  11. nuovorecord
    February 2, 2007 at 8:15 am Link

    Karlock’s post in this thread should be removed, please. It adds nothing to the discussion and is entirely inappropriate.

  12. Chris Smith
    February 2, 2007 at 9:12 am Link

    I agree that Jim’s comment is offensive. Our rules however draw the line at remarks “directed at individuals”. I’m not sure that stretches to cover a class of employees.

    It’s a close call, but I’m going to leave it on the theory that free speech includes things that offend me. If other readers feel strongly, I’m open to suggestions on how to revise the rules.

  13. Anthony
    February 2, 2007 at 11:53 am Link

    I think Jim has a point.

    If you guys believe that driving around to run errands or driving to work makes someone fat, then it would make since that a person who drives for a living would face the same problems.

    Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if Trimet provides exercise facilities because the drivers probably don’t use them (just like people who live in suburban neighborhoods have gym memberships but don’t use them, according to Chad).

  14. peter
    February 2, 2007 at 12:26 pm Link

    there is actually ample data to support the notion that people who live automobile dependent lifestyles tend to be more prone to obesity, though i’m not sure what the correlation is. i am not aware of any such studies on transit drivers, but they may exist.

  15. nuovorecord
    February 2, 2007 at 3:41 pm Link

    I guess I failed to pick up on Karlock’s quest for scientific knowledge and his concern for the health of transit operators. My bad…

  16. Hawthorne
    February 2, 2007 at 8:00 pm Link

    The comment is inappropriate and unhelpful. Substituting attacks on individuals (not allowed) for attacks on classes of individuals- be they planners, suburbanites, transit drivers or members of the American Dream Coalition- is unproductive and detracts from the quality of the conversation and site.

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