Cul de Sacs and 11 Other Unexpected Things That Are Making You Fat
7. Cheap Gas Makes You Fat
A recent study by Charles Courtemanche of Washington University in St. Louis looks at the relationship of gas prices and obesity. He found that in the years where gas prices were stable or declining in real dollars (graph right) the obesity rate climbed constantly. More at Cheap Gas Makes You Fat
8. Being Surrounded by Fast Food Restaurants Makes You Fat.
A new Canadian study has determined that there is a direct relationship between a city's obesity rate and the number of fast food restaurants per capita.
"We found there was actually a fairly strong relationship, a strong correlation between the two, that those cities that had higher obesity and overweight rates tended to have a higher density of at least the larger fast-food restaurant chains, so there were more restaurants per person in those cities."
More in You Are Where You Eat
9. The Government Makes You Fat.
Michael Pollan notes that Government policy determines what we eat and why "the most reliable predictor of obesity in America today is a person's wealth." He quotes a study by Drewnowski of the University of Washington, who determined that a dollar will buy 1200 calories of cookies or chips but only 250 calories of carrots. If you don't have a lot of money, the most rational thing to do is buy junk food to get the most calories for your buck.
10. Gender Bender Chemicals Make You Fat.
Experiments at the University of California at Irvine by Bruce Blumberg indicate that endocrine disruptors make you fat. He looked at the fungicide Tributyltin.
"What we discovered," Blumberg said, is that tributyltin disrupted genetic interactions that regulate fat-cell activity in animals. "Exposure to tributyltin is increasing the number of fat cells, so the individual will get fatter faster as these cells produce more of the hormones that say 'feed me,'" Blumberg said. The exposed animals, he added, remain predisposed to obesity for life.
11. McMansions Make You Fat.
We do go on about living with less and complain about monster houses, but perhaps it is because bike riding vegetarian treehuggers simply take up less space. Dean Johnson, who may have is tongue planted in his cheek, plotted increases in house square footage against increases in obesity in the US and found this surprising correlation. Did Americans grow to fit the environment or did the houses grow to fit the Americans? Supersized Houses and People