Sunnyside up (or Glass half full)

June 20, 2008


While Jamie (in his new digs) continues to prepare for the end of the world, there are some upsides to $4/gallon gas, something I’ve noted before. Two things I wouldn’t have thought of: fewer fat people and fewer people dying on the road .

Obesity:

…for every dollar increase in the average real price of gas, overweight and obesity levels in the United States would decline by 16 percent after seven years. [The] study also attributes the outward expansion of American waistlines between 1979 and 2004 in part to falling prices. Similar research published in the European Journal of Public Health found that European countries with higher gasoline prices tend to have lower rates of obesity.

Safer roads:

This past Memorial Day, normally a time when American drivers swarm the country’s interstates and police expect large numbers of accidents, many states reported that traffic deaths were the lowest in years. For instance, North Carolina saw just five traffic fatalities over Memorial Day weekend, down from 19 in 2007. Ohio experienced its lowest number of accidents in 38 years, and other states reported similar declines.

Price changes behaviour. Who knew?

(h/t Greg Mankiw’s Blog)

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6 Responses to “Sunnyside up (or Glass half full)”

  1. superdave524 Says:

    I started walking to work when my weight and gas both went over 230. My weight’s stayed about the same. Gas, you already know.

  2. John in IL Says:

    You’re doing it wrong.

  3. Jamie Says:

    But wait: if more people are walking, doesn’t that mean more fat people are walking . . .and therefore more fat people will be dying on the roads? ~snark~

    Oh, and I like the link. Cute. Thanks.


  4. Maybe that’s how the Japanese figure that whole population control thing works. 🙂

    And btw, Dave, 230 is not fat. I weigh 224.

  5. superdave524 Says:

    Thanks, NDT. (and John, I don’t know any other way to walk!).


  6. […] 17, 2008 As I’ve noted before (here and here and here), high gas prices do have an upside. And I read some more good news in the paper […]


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