If You’re Rich, You’re Probably Thin: Low Property Values Predict Obesity

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Your zip code can predict whether your zippers zip, according to a Seattle study that analyzed neighborhood property values by zip code. After examining data from over 8,000 people, researchers from the University of Washington found that for every $100,000 drop in average home prices, obesity rates rose by two percent.

In the areas of lowest home prices, about thirty percent of residents were obese, but in the richest zip codes that dropped to a very skinny five percent.

The zip code analysis predicted obesity better than schooling or wage rates, apparently because the value of your home reflects your wealth more precisely than either your income or your education.

The researchers concluded that social class and economic standing are more critical than previously thought in determining who becomes obese.

Source: EurekAlert, August 2007

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