Two Oregon State University researchers have concluded there is little connection between urban sprawl and the expanding waistlines of Americans. Story here. “We found very little evidence that it was the physical environment causing obesity,” Plantinga said. “Rather, it seemed to be more about how people choose the types of neighborhoods to live in.” The study by Plantinga, a professor of agriculture and resource economics, and Bernell, who works in the OSU department of public health, looked at the relationship between urban sprawl and neighborhood choice based on weight, measured as body mass index or BMI. It was published in the Journal of Regional Science.