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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gas Poor

So yesterday, I blogged about the fact that nothing short of a catastrophic crisis is likely to reverse the obesity epidemic any time soon. I used the example of $4/litre gas prices.

Today, I heard a term for the first time that kind of addresses this issue: "gas poor".

I've previously heard of "house poor" and "divorce poor" but "gas poor" - to me that was a new one.

So how is being gas poor going to affect obesity?

Here are some scenarios:

1) You decide to continue driving your truck or SUV no matter what - and save on foods - i.e. no more expensive fruits and veggies - more cheap junk food.

2) You decide to switch to the rather ineffective public transportation - your commute to work is now twice as long - you have even less time to exercise or prepare a healthy meal.

3) You decide to work from home - your risk for boredom, loneliness, snacking and even less physcial activity goes up.

4) You decide to walk or ride a bike to work (if you're lucky enough to live close enough) and you get fitter and healthier (even if you don't lose weight).

But seriously, how many of us actually have option 4?

There may be other options like car pooling, moving closer to work, getting a smaller car or Vespa, no idea how those will impact your health.

Interestingly, this week truck drivers in Spain went on strike against the high gas prices resulting in a nation-wide shortage of fresh fish, meat, fruits and vegetables - my guess is people are turning to conserves, chips and (salt-laden) frozen meals.

Perhaps even hope in a "catastrophic" event like astronomic gas prices to prevent and reduce obesity may be futile after all.

Edmonton, Alberta

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