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Old 05-26-2014, 10:38 AM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,830,658 times
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Since this was brought up and deleted in another thread:

This article
Obesity and driving: Road hogs | The Economist

suggests that there's a causal relationship between driving and obesity; if true this would have implications for planning, suggesting that features which discourage driving would have positive health benefits.

However, the article is about as convincing as the old shoe size versus reading ability correlation in children.

I don't have to merely sneer at the obvious statistical fallacy. The article makes a prediction: that because VMT fell in 2007/2008, obesity rates in 2014 would be down. Guess what: they're not: Obesity is at an all-time high of 27.7%. So, some very bad statistics shot down by the facts.

In general it's not a good idea to draw conclusions based on correlations between featureless datasets. All series with nearly-constant first derivatives will be well-correlated with each other, but it's unlikely to mean anything.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,062 posts, read 16,081,530 times
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Actually, the article explicitly says there is no causal relationship and correlation does not imply causation.

It's tongue in cheek mostly. Obesity rate is actually 34% in 2014, for the adult population.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:15 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
There is this article:

Can Cars and TV Ownership Cause Obesity and Diabetes?

**When looking at the full sample of volunteers, there was no statistical link between owning a car or TV and the risk of obesity or diabetes for people that have always had those devices available to them. But when that technology was introduced for the first time to residents in low-income countries, it was found to be a risk factor for both diabetes and obesity. So the acquisition of the device made the biggest difference to the poorest people.**
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
1,473 posts, read 1,695,028 times
Reputation: 3211
My $0.02... When I spend more than 5 minutes behind the wheel I become lethargic. My lethargy leads to mild depression, leading to food cravings, leading to wanting to lay in bed and eat and do nothing. If any significant portion of the population also experiences similar effects from driving, I can certainly understand how driving can contribute to obesity.

Since the weather has been favorable, I've opted to ride my bike or walk around town instead of driving. I've barely used my car at all the past couple weeks. Knowing how lethargic driving makes me vs how energized I feel when biking & walking.

I weigh 113lbs and feel good.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:50 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,266,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelpha View Post
My $0.02... When I spend more than 5 minutes behind the wheel I become lethargic. My lethargy leads to mild depression, leading to food cravings, leading to wanting to lay in bed and eat and do nothing. If any significant portion of the population also experiences similar effects from driving, I can certainly understand how driving can contribute to obesity.

Since the weather has been favorable, I've opted to ride my bike or walk around town instead of driving. I've barely used my car at all the past couple weeks. Knowing how lethargic driving makes me vs how energized I feel when biking & walking.

I weigh 113lbs and feel good.
Exactly. Activities that increase your cardio are good for your health and well-being, reduces your stress and weight. OTOH sitting around the house all day playing video games, sitting in your car all day long, is not good for you health and will tend to make you gain weight, increase stress and health problems. Any doctor will tell you that. You don't need a study to tell you that, just common sense. You could have a million studies from the most credible sources, the pro-sprawl advocates will continue to believe what they want to believe and automatically dismiss anything that is critical of their worldview.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:27 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Exactly. Activities that increase your cardio are good for your health and well-being, reduces your stress and weight. OTOH sitting around the house all day playing video games, sitting in your car all day long, is not good for you health and will tend to make you gain weight, increase stress and health problems. Any doctor will tell you that. You don't need a study to tell you that, just common sense. You could have a million studies from the most credible sources, the pro-sprawl advocates will continue to believe what they want to believe and automatically dismiss anything that is critical of their worldview.
Don't let the research get in the way of your opinions! Mind you, the study was about car and TV ownership, not "sitting around the house all day playing video games".

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 05-26-2014 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:31 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,266,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Don't let the research get in the way of your opinions!
Huh? The research in the link posted by the OP supports what I'm saying.
Maybe you should try reading it.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:41 PM
 
28,441 posts, read 71,052,440 times
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5 minute, huh?

What kind of commute do you have? I know when I took the train into the city I generally felt less stressed than when driving but I gotta tell you that when the train would be delayed that would raise my "corticoid" level and all the candy bars and fast foods from the vendors at the station would look a whole lot more tempting...


Cortisol Levels And Weight Gain
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:41 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
Reputation: 33059
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Huh? The research in the link posted by the OP supports what I'm saying.
Maybe you should try reading it.
No, it does not. Here's a quote:

**These predictions come with a strong caveat: correlation does not equal causation. And it should be noted that the authors did not control for factors such as diet, income and lifestyle. Additionally, they did not explore the possibility that the larger, and thus more immobile, people become, the more they drive.**

Computer usage has increased tremendously since 1988 also (near zero then for most people). Is that the cause of obesity?
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:45 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,830,658 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Huh? The research in the link posted by the OP supports what I'm saying.
Maybe you should try reading it.
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.
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