Public Transportation, Automobiles and Walking: Using State Level Data to Examine Obesity in the U.S.
Can Chen, Charles E. Menifield

Recent data indicates that people are gaining weight around the world at a record pace and Americans are not immune to this chronic issue. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the average adult obesity rate in the United States was 12% in 1990 and grew to 35% in 2014. Given the severity of this problem, governments are obviously concerned with the growing obesity rate and have many reasons to encourage better nutrition and exercise. In this paper, we examine the effects of transportation mode choices on the incidence of obesity. This analysis extends the previous literature by including a series of transportation variables in a regression model examining state obesity rates using pooled data for the periods 2000, and 2004 to 2009. The results show that levels of obesity increases as automobile usage increases. Thus, public transportation has a positive influence on reducing obesity rates.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ppar.v5n1a1