Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Fat City

My colleague Harry Richardson is working on a piece on the sprawl-makes-you-fat silliness which he will call Fat City. People whom Tom Sowell likes to call "The Anointed" have never been happy with the choices that real people make, especially their lifestyle choices. So, these scholars throw caution (and all sensibility) to the wind and conjure attention-getting connections. Lawrence Frank of the University of British Columbia goes so far as to conclude that every extra minute spent commuting by auto makes us so much fatter. Wendell Cox (www.publicpurpose.com/pp77-fatubc.pdf) offers us a preview of this work.

I do my own research in this field on an almost daily basis. In Los Angeles, I notice that transit use also makes people (how can I say this?) un-svelte and, in growing proportions, it also makes them short!

I had once written off the field of commuting mode choice but am only now realizing that it is much deeper than I had ever thought.