Raising gas prices by $1 is more than just a an energy consumption strategy. It could also trim American's waistlines. That's according to a report written by Charles Courtemanche at Washington University in St. Louis.
Entitled "A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gas Prices and Obesity," the study found that an additional $1 per gallon in real gasoline prices would reduce U.S. obesity by 15 percent after five years.
A Reuters story on the report notes that the report, a doctoral dissertation in health economics, concluded that the 13 percent rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to... falling pump prices!
Gas dipped to less than $1.50 per gallon in 2000 before climbing to a record high of $3.22 in May of 2007.
The dissertation concluded that higher gas prices reduce obesity by leading people to walk or cycle instead of drive, and eat leaner at home instead of rich food at restaurants.