His number-crunching suggests a permanent $1 increase in gasoline prices could cut the obesity rate by 10 percent within seven years. The number of Americans who are overweight, but not obese, could fall by 7 percent in that time, he says, as people shun cars in favor of walking, biking or taking mass transit.The Christian Science Monitor covers the way Europeans are dealing with gas at $8.50 a gallon. It's certainly much better than we would.
Granted, you don't burn many calories sitting on the bus, but you burn quite a few walking to and from the bus stop, he says. People also tend to eat out less frequently, opting instead to cook their own meals. "These results suggest that the recent spike in gas prices may have the 'silver lining' of reducing obesity in the coming years," he writes in the paper.
Gasoline prices in Europe are even higher, roughly 1.5 euros per liter for regular in the French countryside last month or about $8.50 a gallon. But petrol, as it's called, has always cost a lot more in Europe, in large part because of much higher taxes at the pump.
And even as protest strikes rippled across Spain and edged into France, Europeans had taken conservation measures that in the long haul leave them better-prepared than Americans to deal with the energy crunch ahead.