Slim and Green

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Professor Charles Courtemanchey of Washington University in Saint Louis not only has a cool name, he's also got a fascinating research result (PDF):

A causal relationship between gasoline prices and obesity is possible through mechanisms of increased exercise and decreased eating in restaurants. I use a fixed effects model to explore whether this theory has empirical support, Önding that an additional $1 in real gasoline prices would reduce obesity in the U.S. by 15% after five years, and that 13% of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to falling real gas prices during this period. I also provide evidence that the effect occurs both by increasing exercise and by lowering the frequency with which people eat at restaurants.

This comes to me via Ryan Avent. Maybe presidential candidate and weight-loss guru Mike Huckabee would like to take this insight up as part of a comprehensive anti-obesity, anti-global warming, double-whammy.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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