Does This Car Make Me Look Fat? Alternative modes of transportation and body mass index

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Obesity is an increasing problem; according to the CDC, in 2007; 70% of US adults are considered overweight . Traffic congestion/pollution is on the rise. According to WSDOT, the average travel distance for work is 5 miles, however, 65% still commuted by car, truck or van. New urban planning initiatives (Seattle.gov + Obama) seem to offer the perfect solution: decreasing traffic and encourage healthy behaviors by promoting alternative modes of transportation.

Do these alternative modes of transportation – walking, biking, and taking the bus – actually correlate to “healthy living”?

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  • (source: CDC)
  • Segue is “other slide blah blah blah”… (change slide) Specifically, “read hypothesis”. Talking point about how BMI isn’t the perfect metric for health but the CDC reports on it as a measure of “healthy” weight and it is simple to calculate.
  • Choices included automobile, bike, bus, and walking. How did you find people to respond to your survey? Email? Twitter? Facebook? How long did the survey take? Average time. Total number of questions?j
  • 1. Difference in mean BMI skewed by three respondents in the “other” group with BMI > 35; as an exercise, we removed these three respondents and again compared means and calculated a p-value; the mean BMI for “other” dropped to 24.53 and p-value dropped to 0.1366
  • Normal | Overweight | Obese – potential outliers? >35 = morbidly obeseFurthermore, the difference in median BMI and the % of healthy vs. overweight respondents (shown below, graph of % data on previous page) does seem to indicate that there is a slight but negative relationship between BMI and alternative modes of transportation; that is, the median BMI of the “other” group is 3.55 lower than the “auto” group and the % of people in the “other” group with a healthy BMI range is 15.8% higher than in the auto group. However, the sample size of our experiment is not sufficient to determine if this moderate negative association is significant.
  • Based on these results we cannot reject the null hypothesis but the data does trend toward supporting the previously published data
  • Does This Car Make Me Look Fat? Alternative modes of transportation and body mass index

    1. 1. Does this car make me look fat?<br />Does this car make me look fat?<br />Alternative modes of transportation and body mass index<br />Alternative modes of transportation and body mass index<br />Puja Parakh<br />Human Centered Design & Engineering<br />University of Washington<br />photocredit: Thinklab<br />
    2. 2. Introduction<br />Obesity is an increasing problem; according to the CDC, in 2007; 70% of US adults are considered overweight<br />Traffic congestion/pollution is on the rise. According to WSDOT, the average travel distance for work is 5 miles, however, 65% still commuted by car, truck or van <br />New urban planning initiatives (Seattle.gov + Obama) seem to offer the perfect solution: decreasing traffic andencourage healthy behaviors by promoting alternative modes of transportation. <br />Do these alternative modes of transportation – walking, biking, and taking the bus – actually correlate to “healthy living”? <br />
    3. 3. Hypothesis<br />Do commuters who primarily travel using ‘alternative modes of transportation’ have a lower body mass index (BMI)?<br />Body Mass Index<br />BMI isn’t the perfect metric for health but the CDC reports on it as a measure of “healthy” weight and it is simple to calculate. <br />
    4. 4. Method<br />Online survey of Seattle residents conducted in 2010<br />Respondents were asked a series of questions regarding their primary method of transportation to work/school. <br />One-way and distance traveled<br />Frequency of each particular mode <br />Finally, respondents were required to enter their heightand weight to determine BMI<br />
    5. 5. Results<br />83 respondents 1 did not enter weight so BMI could not be calculated<br />Two groups: primarily auto (n=46)primarily alternative modes (n=36). <br />The difference in mean BMI is not statistically significant (p=0.8177). Therefore, based simply on the ind. samples t-test, we cannot reject the null hypothesis<br />However, the difference in median BMI is interesting; it indicates that there may be a correlation between BMI and alternative modes of transportation. <br />
    6. 6. Results<br />A higher percentage of the alternative modes group has a BMI in the "healthy" range<br />Overweight<br />Healthy<br />Obese<br />The sample size of our experiment is not sufficient to determine if this moderate negative association is significant. <br />
    7. 7. Discussion<br /> We are not showing results that drastically contradict the existing body of work<br /><ul><li> BMI and athletes? Confounding factor?
    8. 8. Seattle as an overall “fitter” city? (% overweight is only 63% compared to national average of 70%)
    9. 9. Correlation is NOT causation; it could be that these fitter people are more able to commute using these alternative modes of transportation. </li></li></ul><li>Discussion<br />Urban planning initiatives <br />Though the moderate negative association is not statistically significant, the trend is encouraging. <br />Urban planning initiatives that continue to emphasize alternative modes of transportation with the goals of improving both health and traffic issues will generate more data in the future.<br />
    10. 10. Questions?<br />pujaparakh@gmail.com<br />or <br />puja@uw.edu<br />

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