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InsiderOnline Blog: December 2004

Honey, Do I Look Fat in this Blog?

Don't answer that. We've been experiencing technical difficulties here at InsiderOnline.org all day, but no problems now. Moving on... a few of think tank thoughts on what really does make us fat:

A couple new theories and a couple new folks to sue if you're so inclined: The Adam Smith Institute blog points out new evidence that it's computers making us fat, not food.

(A new study) finds that the frequency with which 11-15 year-olds eat fast food has been falling, along with their consumption of crisps and confectionary. But they spend an average 7.3 hours a week on the internet (up from 5.2 hours in 2003), plus 7.7 hours playing computer games (up from 7.3 hours in 2003).

Meanwhile, Matthew Hisrich of the Buckeye Institute in Ohio, is commenting on two recent publications that suggest it's actually the suburbs that make us fat, giving new meaning to the term "sprawl."

The premise of these publications is that people who live in suburban communities are more likely to live sedentary lives than their urban counterparts. They drive from door to door, rather than walk or bike, for groceries, school and work... With the facts established, the studies’ recommendation — more densely planned communities — appears to be a practical response.

But Hisrich suggests the studies are missing some context:

The authors estimate, for example, that an average person in the most dense and compact county would be six pounds lighter than someone in the least dense county. Changing one’s diet even slightly can achieve similar results... Seeking to dictate neighborhood form to prevent a small weight increase is, however, a tall order for even the most committed social engineer and probably the least cost-effective method to address America’s growing waistlines.  

But the most disturbing part of all this: as a blogger, I'm already pajama-clad and bathroom-dwelling. Now, I find blogging (especially in a suburb of D.C.) will make me fat, too. Perhaps this is all just a clever plot by the plus-sized jammies industry. Very clever indeed.

Posted on 12/06/04 02:51 PM by Mary Katherine Ham

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