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.
This season is just cruising right along. Nine episodes and seven to go- can you believe it? Last night’s installment of Biggest Loser was bittersweet, because something I’ve wanted to happen since probably episode two finally happened. Mark went home. Big brother/ranch bully was sent packing following his most disappointing weigh-in of only one pound. Let’s get something straight, it’s bittersweet because while the guy worked crazy hard there were several things pointing to his exit:
– A promise he made the night they let Trent go home
– He has nearly broken his leg
– He’s pretty much maxed on weight loss, not much room left to go
– He’s not particularly nice
– I don’t see him pulling through as THE Biggest Loser
Mark’s farewell and the decision to cut him were probably the most tear-soaked ten minutes of reality television in the decade-long history of reality television. Some of the largest, manly-men on TV blubbering away like school girls being separated at summer camp.
This came after “Vegas Baby, Vegas!,” a one day trip to Sin City that Jay won for being Biggest Loser of the Week. Not quite the debacle Trainer Bob imagined and the Black team hoped for. Shinanigans certainly ensued, as they will when surrounded by casinos, a free suite, hot new suits and wives thousands of miles away. Danny boy recently turned 21 and fully intended on living up his first trip to the strip. I was shocked that Roger and Dan rolled into bed at six a.m.- and Mark and Jay were in the gym an hour later.
For the most part, they got in their exercise and minded their new-found healthy eating knowledge at the buffet. I thought it was hysterical when the black team tried to sabotage them my ordering room service of every deep fried, drizzled, carby variety.
Back at the ranch team, black team was working out like this was the weigh in that could make or break their future on the show. And it sort of was. Jillian pushed the entire team to lose no less than 8 pounds each- which made for the most brutal, painful workouts yet. It seemed to work for the most part. It worked enough that with the guys’ trip to Vegas and following their impressive weight loss from last week, Black squeaked out a win. Bernie won Biggest Loser of the Week- so I’m anxious to see what his prize will be.
The Blue team had one heck of a difficult hour working through the emotions of letting one of the brotherhood go- a bond so strong that they all got “Pride” tattoos in Vegas. In the end, Mark made his most respectable move yet by stepping up and letting them vote him out. That’s where the bittersweet closes, because he’d finally done something that made him appear like a nice guy. Plus, he was my Biggest Loser eye-candy. Don’t ask me why- I thought he was the hottest one on there. His at-home pictures make him look even better! 😉
Cry of the Week: Jay voting off Mark. He’s such a sweetheart.
Quote of the Week: “Strip Clubs!”- Roger’s first comment after learning of the trip.
Next week: Another switcheroo I think. Looks like the teams might be put back together all as one.