Suburbs not only suck, but kill you!

I’m sure I’m particularly susceptible to believing this type of information, since I don’t like commuting and suburbs, but an Oct. 3 article in Newsweek starts like this:

Forecasting heart disease is becoming an ever-finer art, as researchers learn more about the risk factors. But here’s a predictor you may not have heard about: street address. In a study published last year, scientists at the RAND Corp. scored 38 metropolitan areas on the “sprawl index”–basically a measure of their dependence on cars. When the researchers tallied disease rates for the same areas, an interesting pattern emerged.

Yes, the folks in the suburbs are more likely to have heart disease, they report. The article seems to blame it mostly on the relative difficulty of getting exercise (no sidewalks and paths, every task requires driving, etc.). But I think that the lack of soul in newish suburban developments can’t help! And funny enough, it seems like the wealthier the neighborhood the less likely you are to find any street life whatsoever.
On a related note, it seems that people are increasingly ‘angry’ about the rising price of gasoline. It’s a dangerous sign, since that anger will presumably be directed outward in some direction. Cheap oil is most likely over, so it’s time to face reality instead of getting angry.

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