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Published on January 19th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Americans Obese Where Driving Rules (Maps & Graph)

January 19th, 2012 by


us obesity rates map

U.S. obesity rates map. Red equals highest obesity rates.

us commuting map

U.S. car commuting map. High car-commuting rates in red.

obesity driving correlation strong

Researchers found "strong" correlation between obesity and commuting by car.

The link between highly sedentary lifestyles and obesity is obvious. When we sit at a desk, on a couch, and in a car all day, it’s pretty darn hard not to get obese! In these maps and a graph above from researchers Anne Price and Ariel Godwin, you can pretty clearly see the correlation. However, as the researchers who created the maps and graph are apt to point out:

“Considering that the percentage of active commuters in the U.S. is quite small, it is unlikely that walking and biking make any significant contribution to reducing the obesity rate in particular counties. More likely, counties with the highest percentage of walkers and cyclists also share other common characteristics that are driving this trend. Perhaps lower rates are driven by a cumulative effect of a more affluent and educated population. It may also be that counties with higher rates of active commuting have policies and cultures that have led to higher rates of physical activity overall.”

Yep, there are some limitations. But the theory is certainly there, and the correlation is certainly there.

Source: Planetizen (via Streetblog Capitol Hill)

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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