The national average for gasoline has risen to well over $4.00 a gallon, but there is always a silver lining, right. I know what your thinking, and you can stop cursing under your breath. What, you may ask, is the silver lining in regards to $4.00 a gallon gas?
A paper by Charles Courtemanche that was featured in Wired’s blog may hold the key. The paper presents the idea that cheap gas may have been the cause of the sharp spike in obesity rates in the U.S. that began in the eighties.

From the article:
“My estimates imply that an additional $1 in real gasoline prices
Would reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the U.S. by 7% and 9%
after seven years, and that 8% of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be
attributed to falling real gasoline prices during this period. I also provide evidence
that rising gas prices are associated with both an increase in walking or bicycling
and a reduction in the frequency with which people eat at restaurants.”

If this theory holds true it would not only mean that you will be looking sexier than ever, it might also mean a you could be paying a little less money for medical insurance. The proposed 8% drop in obesity rates would mean Americans would save tens of billions of dollars in medical expenses. Of course dollars can’t really express the emotional cost that would be spared those that suffer from obesity and peripheral diseases that are related to this condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, not to mention depression and self esteem issues.
I am gravely doubting that taxpayers would even think of approving the $1 dollar a gallon tax that Mr.Courtemanche proposes in his paper, but as long as we have to pay absorbent costs for gas and energy we might as well look on the bright side. When you are watching the dollar amount gas meter hit triple digits just remind you’re how good you are going to look because of it.
 

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