New research shows that proximity to a Walmart store and access to low prices does not contribute to obesity. Apparently the issue was the subject of debate within the scientific community, so Art Carden, a professor of economics and business at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. and Charles Courtemanche at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, undertook a statistical analysis and discovered that greater consumer access to a Walmart store was associated with lower body-mass indexes and a lower probability of being obese. That's good news for Walmart, which can use all the help it can get when it comes to refuting some of the more absurd claims about its impact on society.
In this case, Carden noted in an article on Forbes.com that, the findings carry weighty implications. "Evidence we have accumulated suggests that Walmart does not have the sort of harmful effect on American society that its more heated detractors assert is the case."
Carden doesn't go into detail about the methodology used to arrive at that determination, but it is irrelevant anyway, since personal responsibility is the most important factor when it comes to determining weight. Let's hope funding for the study didn't come from the economic stimulus package.