The New York Times:
OBESITY is a problem everywhere, with significant consequences for personal health and public spending. People weigh more than ever — but why? If we can find the causes of obesity, we can try to eliminate or counter them.
Unfortunately, finding causes is easier said than done, and causes we think we see can turn out to be illusions. Consider a recent study in the journal BMC Public Health under the anodyne title “Outdoor advertising, obesity, and soda consumption: a cross-sectional study.”
A team of researchers walked every street in 228 census tracts around Los Angeles and New Orleans and recorded every outdoor ad they saw. Another group surveyed 2,881 residents of the same census tracts by telephone, paying them to report their height, weight and other information.
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