While rising gas prices is generally seen as a negative thing, there are a few good side effects associated with it is as well. Firstly, it helps ween people off of gas guzzling vehicles. But another one is much more surprising: thinner waistlines.
The expense of filling up at the pump has gotten to the point where people are opting to walk or ride a bike, and hence, losing weight. Bike shops across the United States are reporting record sales, and Britain is even promoting a national “Bike Week” to encourage commuters to pedal to the office.
According to research by Charles Courtemanche of Washington University in St. Louis, for every dollar increase in the average real price of gas, overweight and obesity levels in the United States will decline by 16 percent after seven years.
Looking in the rear-view, Courtemanche’s study also attributes the expansion of American waistlines between 1979 and 2004 in part to falling gas 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.
The economic impact also has us eating out less, which is bound to positively affect people’s waistlines.
If there are any initiatives in your community like the Bike Week in the U.K. – let Diets In Review know in the comments! Tell us how you’re staying active and saving money at the pump.
July 2nd, 2008