Thursday, August 15, 2013

Study: A foreclosed house next door may make you fat

Bankers are making you fat. You see, bankers are foreclosing on houses, and that raises the stress levels on surrounding neighbors who then indulge in overeating.

So conclude educated elites at Harvard who've written a study:
“Millions of homes went into foreclosure during the Great Recession, and housing markets in many areas of the country are still struggling to recover. People living next door to foreclosed properties have been hit hard by the housing crisis; their homes may have lost value, and blighted houses on the block make many people feel less safe,” said lead author Mariana Arcaya, SD ’13, research scientist in the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. “While our study wasn’t designed to pinpoint the mechanisms by which foreclosures put neighbors at risk of weight gain, previous research tells us that eating and drinking more are common reactions to stress, and that dangerous blocks may discourage physical activity. 
Arcaya and her colleagues analyzed housing and medical data from 2,078 study participants in Massachusetts from 1987-2008. They looked at foreclosure records as well as participants’ proximity to foreclosed homes and their body mass index (BMI) levels. They found that living within 100 meters of a foreclosed home significantly increased the likelihood of having a higher BMI. Living near foreclosed homes was also associated with higher odds of being overweight.
The study goes on to say:
 “Policymakers at the state and federal levels, community development corporations, lenders, housing planners and municipal officials should likewise take such effects into account when making housing-related decisions.”
Seriously? Are we supposed to accept that people are victims to the point that every event near or far puts us at risk of lives tumbling beyond our control unless government moves in to soften the impact?

America had many of foreclosures in the 1930s. There were also all kinds of other economic stress factors back then. And the government documented the economic depression and its results by shooting tens of thousands of photographs. How many of those photos show obese people? 

A foreclosure auction in Iowa in the early 1930s when "the bottom fell out of everything."
U.S. Government Photo/Farm Security Administration. Library of Congress

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