Winter is always associated with rising oil price which lead to rising gasoline prices. In addition to winter, the rising tension in Middle East and hurricane can also trigger higher gasoline prices. While the rising gasoline prices have always been greeted with gloom since it means people should tighten their budget, dieters have the chance to tighten their waist line too.
A study by Courtemanche Charles concluded that each $1/gallon increase in gasoline prices can reduce the obesity rate by 15% over five years. Take note that obesity is deemed as having more than 30 Body Mass Index. Charles based his study over historical data of average state gas prices and health behavioral trends as documented in government surveys from 1984 to 2004. Charles also said that during 1979 and 2004, falling gasoline prices were the cause of 13% obesity rate increase.
Quoted from Washington University: it means that $1 increase in gasoline prices can save 16,000 lives and $17 billion a year.
If we view this logically, rising gasoline prices can indeed force people to use public transportation which needs to be reached by walking. People may also opt to use more traditional form of personal transportation such as bicycle or walking. As a result, people will burn more calories and may end up healthier also.
The rising gasoline prices can ‘force’ people to do more walking and can really help fight the rising obesity rate across the nation.
In addition to that, people will also prefer to prepare their food at home instead of dining out since they want to save their fuel. The food which we prepare ourselves tend to be healthier than the food that we get outside (provided they have the basic ingredients for healthy food), therefore people can make wiser choice regarding what they put inside their bodies.
The study can be viewed here.
Labels: diet issues