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June 19, 2003

obesity research

Here's my latest scheme for local civic work, connected to the Prince George's Information Commons. We would train young people to rate local food sources (both shops and restaurants) for healthiness. We would then generate an online map of the healthiest places in the community to buy food. This map would be our direct public service. Meanwhile, we would use the data in combination with local health statistics to test these hypotheses:

No doubt, healthy food outlets tend to locate near healthy populations, so we'd have to be careful before drawing the conclusion that the presence of a health-food store explains the good health of its neighborhood. But with the appropriate statistical controls, we might discover that the availability of various kinds of food does matter for health—and that would be useful for planners to know.

June 19, 2003 3:17 PM | category: a high school civics class | Comments


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