Monday, 12 May 2008

Petroleum Dependance Is Unhealthy Department: Quebec Study Shows Higher Obesity Rates outside City Centres

It’s official: living in the suburbs can make you fat.

Last week Francophone academics from Canada and elsewhere met in Montreal to present their latest research in Quebec City. It’s the 76th edition of the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) and the results have been well reported and are very interesting.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing is a study of obesity rates in various areas of Quebec by Robert Pampalon and Alexandre Lebel of the Institut national de santé publique. They find that certain rural areas and suburbs have much higher rates of obesity than center cities. In fact, in a jazzed-up story on their findings in the tabloid Journal de Montréal, they say that residents of the center of Montreal are far less likely to have unacceptable weights than people living in other areas of the province. They attribute the difference to the need to drive outside of center cities, the available (and temptation) of fast food outlets in suburbs, and lack of physical activity among men employed in some industries.

I haven’t read their entire paper yet, but it sounds like another piece in the growing mountain of evidence indicating how unhealthy our petroleum way of life is.

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