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Old 05-26-2014, 06:07 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,267,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
correlation does not equal causation.
True, but if the correlation is very consistent then how would you explain it? It may as well equate to causation, with some exceptions. People in very walkable communities may also have a high rate of car ownership, but if you studied this group of physically active people who own cars and live in walkable places you would likely find the rates of obesity to be less, so car ownership doesn't always correlate to poor health or obesity. So it would make more sense to study the prevelence of obesity and other health risks in sprawl communities vs places where people walk a lot. It would also be better know how much the person drives their car, not just that they own one. And how much daily physical exercise they get. In my experience, suburbanites tend to do a great deal of the former and not so much the latter. Hence tend to have poorer health.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:25 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
True, but if the correlation is very consistent then how would you explain it? It may as well equate to causation, with some exceptions. People in very walkable communities may also have a high rate of car ownership, but if you studied this group of physically active people who own cars and live in walkable places you would likely find the rates of obesity to be less, so car ownership doesn't always correlate to poor health or obesity. So it would make more sense to study the prevelence of obesity and other health risks in sprawl communities vs places where people walk a lot. It would also be better know how much the person drives their car, not just that they own one. And how much daily physical exercise they get. In my experience, suburbanites tend to do a great deal of the former and not so much the latter. Hence tend to have poorer health.
Anything can be correlated to anything else. That's not the same as causation. Listening to classical music could be correlated with an increase in obesity. That doesn't mean it's the cause of it. There are higher rates of obesity in low-income areas of cities than in suburbs.

Obesity, physical activity, and the urban environment: public health research needs
**US surveys including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reveal that inner-city residents are more overweight, less physically active, and less healthy overall than the general population. Moreover, they suffer higher rates of diseases associated with obesity, namely diabetes and cardiovascular disease [1]. Data from the National Health Interview Survey (19971998) found that men living in center cities were more likely to be obese (39.4%) than suburban men (35.5%). Similarly, 20.6% of center city dwelling women were obese vs. 19.1% of suburban dwelling women [2]. Urban-suburban differences in physical activity were found among all adults with the urban propensity for inactivity greatest among low income people [3].**

Oregon's obesity crisis: Seeking solutions in the design of cities and suburbs | OregonLive.com
**The wealthy Dunthorpe enclave in Southwest Portland, for example, scored among the worst for a health-promoting environment, having fewer bike paths, walking trails, public transit hubs, recreation facilities, and grocery and other stores within walking distance. But its residents are among the longest lived and least likely to be overweight. Troutdale has more bike paths, recreation facilities, and grocery stores than Dunthorpe but has one of the highest rates of obesity. Wood Village has a high density of grocery stores and above average access to walking trails and bike paths, but ranks among the worst for longevity and obesity. **

Local News | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com
(Nothing will copy for some reason, you'll have to read it.)
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:52 PM
 
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meh, I think obesity is caused by diet and lifestyle. spending a lot of time in a car is just a part of it.

I see lots of people in Philly who don't own cars and can barely fit in their rowhome doors.

Sitting all day eating junk food is probably the culprit.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
It notes a correlation between obesity and vehicle miles travelled, with a lag of 6 years. It thus predicted that since VMT dropped in 2007-2008, obesity would drop in 2014. That prediction has not been borne out; obesity has continued to increase. So the hypothesis of causality is refuted, not supported.
Thanks for pointing that out. The researchers aren't just correlating obesity with mere car ownership, but the amount of miles driven, which makes the correlation a lot stronger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Anything can be correlated to anything else. That's not the same as causation. Listening to classical music could be correlated with an increase in obesity. That doesn't mean it's the cause of it. There are higher rates of obesity in low-income areas of cities than in suburbs.

I don't know how classical music could ever be correlated with obesity, unless lots of people are listening to classical music for lengthy periods of time then yeah maybe. But that's not the case because listening to classical music isn't that popular, compared to an activity like driving which almost everyone does. How much they listened, at the exclusion of other activities, would be important to know. Just as it is important to know how much driving people are doing not just that they own a car. It can make the correlation very strong. It may not equate to causation, but is strong enough to make reasonable predictions between rate of driving and rate of obesity, other factors being equal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Obesity, physical activity, and the urban environment: public health research needs
**US surveys including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reveal that inner-city residents are more overweight, less physically active, and less healthy overall than the general population. Moreover, they suffer higher rates of diseases associated with obesity, namely diabetes and cardiovascular disease [1]. Data from the National Health Interview Survey (1997–1998) found that men living in center cities were more likely to be obese (39.4%) than suburban men (35.5%). Similarly, 20.6% of center city dwelling women were obese vs. 19.1% of suburban dwelling women [2]. Urban-suburban differences in physical activity were found among all adults with the urban propensity for inactivity greatest among low income people [3].**
Yes there are exceptions to every rule.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:20 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post



I don't know how classical music could ever be correlated with obesity, unless lots of people are listening to classical music for lengthy periods of time then yeah maybe. But that's not the case because listening to classical music isn't that popular, compared to an activity like driving which almost everyone does. How much they listened, at the exclusion of other activities, would be important to know. Just as it is important to know how much driving people are doing not just that they own a car. It can make the correlation very strong. It may not equate to causation, but is strong enough to make reasonable predictions between rate of driving and rate of obesity, other factors being equal.



Yes there are exceptions to every rule.
You don't get the point. A lot of things can be correlated to obesity. Maybe attending public school is correlated with obesity. Maybe liking the color blue is correlated to obesity. The point is: CORRELATION DOES NOT MEAN CAUSATION!

The studies I posted are not "exceptions"; they are research reports, in some cases peer-reviewed.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:22 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,676,130 times
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Honestly, I don't see why we have to do research and studies on this at all. Let's break this down logically.

Premise 1: You sit when driving a car.

Premise 2: Walking is healthy and gives you a workout.


So, according to premise 1, you are sitting, meaning that you are not walking. Therefore, you are depriving yourself of a workout. So driving is less healthy than walking.

Why is this so difficult to figure out?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Obesity, physical activity, and the urban environment: public health research needs
**US surveys including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reveal that inner-city residents are more overweight, less physically active, and less healthy overall than the general population. Moreover, they suffer higher rates of diseases associated with obesity, namely diabetes and cardiovascular disease [1]. Data from the National Health Interview Survey (1997–1998) found that men living in center cities were more likely to be obese (39.4%) than suburban men (35.5%). Similarly, 20.6% of center city dwelling women were obese vs. 19.1% of suburban dwelling women [2]. Urban-suburban differences in physical activity were found among all adults with the urban propensity for inactivity greatest among low income people [3].**
I feel like this has more to do with the inner-city poverty issue and the high obesity rates among the impoverished rather than walkability.

Also, I want to ask something-why are walkability and suburban growth so diametrically opposed in this forum? You guys realize you can have shiny new suburbs that are walkable, right?
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:25 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Honestly, I don't see why we have to do research and studies on this at all. Let's break this down logically.

Premise 1: You sit when driving a car.

Premise 2: Walking is healthy and gives you a workout.


So, according to premise 1, you are sitting, meaning that you are not walking. Therefore, you are depriving yourself of a workout. So driving is less healthy than walking.

Why is this so difficult to figure out?
"Logic" does not always give you the right answer.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:25 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,676,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
"Logic" does not always give you the right answer.
Then what does?
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:58 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,267,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post



I feel like this has more to do with the inner-city poverty issue and the high obesity rates among the impoverished rather than walkability.

Also, I want to ask something-why are walkability and suburban growth so diametrically opposed in this forum? You guys realize you can have shiny new suburbs that are walkable, right?


Note that the study attributes high inner-city rates of obesity to economic impoverishment, poor economic surroundings, lack of access to grocery stores and healthy food choices, not necessarily to the built environment. A fact katiana conveniently ignores. And the inner city is just one part of the urban environment, not the totality of it.

Though the study is very fundamentally flawed if it is trying to compare poor city centers to rich suburbs, and failing to control for economic factors between the two -- apples and oranges. A more reasonable and accurate study/comparison would be between urban and suburban areas that have similar income levels
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,747,361 times
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Taking the broadest possible common-sense view of obesity, we can say that reduced physical activity and poor eating habits are the "cause". Most facets of modern life (and by "modern" life I mean life since about the end of World War II in 1945) tend to result in reduced physical activity for a fairly broad segment of the population. Just off the top of my head here is what has to be a VERY incomplete list:
1. Running water (no more schlepping it in from the well, pump, or stream)
2. Gas and electric stoves (no more splitting firewood)
3. Automatic washers and dryers (going outside and hanging up clothes burns calories)
4. Greater prevalence of indoor, as opposed to outdoor, games for children with the advent of the computer
5. The near universal presence of TV's in homes by about 1960, if not before
6. The near universal family car ownership by about 1950 (?)

Now those who like to rant about sprawl will of course zero in on car ownership, perhaps ignoring the fact that car ownership is part of a much broader transformation of daily life via industrial and technological progress. And yes, other things being equal (which they are not always), it stands to reason that people who do NOT own cars are going to do more walking.

However, it would be highly doubtful if one could extrapolate the amount of walking a lot of non-car owners do to an adequate amount of physical activity. We have to make a lot of assumptions. Here's one: Let's assume the non-car owner walks a half mile twice a day to and from the bus stop, and that the bus drops him or her almost at the door of the work place. That is REALLY minimal daily exercise! The suburban dad or mom who spends a half hour a day kicking a soccer ball around with the kids gets as much or more.

Of course we can assume a greater walking distance for the transit user, just as we can assume greater exercise for the suburbanite.

My point is mostly to show all the different games that can be played in such discussions as these. The anti-car people have their minds made up, so their posts are pretty predictable. One example of that predictability is when they say that the "advocates" of sprawl have their minds made up, as we have seen at least once already in this thread.
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