Study questions obesity conclusions

Nov 06, 2006

A controversial study from the University of Toronto questions earlier research concluding that obesity in the United States can be predicted by zip code.

Economist Matthew Turner said rather than blaming urban sprawl for obesity perhaps overweight people are drawn to sprawling neighborhoods, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Turner and his colleagues examined data collected on nearly 6,000 men and women living in the United States, many of whom had moved at least once.

The team found that the subjects' weight did not increase significantly when they went from neighborhoods that had low sprawl to areas of high sprawl.

"It's widely observed that people are heavier in sprawling neighborhoods than in nonsprawling neighborhoods," Turner told the Times.

"There are two possible explanations," he said. "One is that sprawling neighborhoods cause people to be heavy. The other is that people who are predisposed to be heavy are attracted to sprawling neighborhoods."

Turner's study, released online, has been criticized by public health researchers and urban planners.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Cancer patients should not hesitate to speak with their doctors about dietary supplements

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Water police on patrol in drought-scarred Los Angeles

Aug 31, 2014

Los Angeles isn't the world's wettest city at the best of times. But a record drought has triggered extra measures—now including "water police" checking on over-zealous sprinkler users and the like.

Chicago as urban microcosm

Feb 15, 2012

Quaint Boston can’t match Chicago’s bustle and sprawl, but the two cities are more alike than not in fundamental respects.  In fact, they’re surprisingly similar to Los Angeles, New ...

Recommended for you

Hospital logs staggering 2.5 million alarms in just a month

7 hours ago

Following the study of a hospital that logged more than 2.5 million patient monitoring alarms in just one month, researchers at UC San Francisco have, for the first time, comprehensively defined the detailed causes as well ...

User comments : 0