Thursday, 24 January 2013

Drive A Car, Get Fat

 4.11.11 car only Fat Car com A recent study by University of Illinois researchers has shown that both daily car travel and calories consumed are related to body weight, and reducing either one, even by a small amount, correlates with a reduction in body mass index (BMI). According to the researchers, “making small changes in travel or diet choices may lead to comparable obesity reduction, which implies that travel-based interventions may be as effective as dietary interventions.”
The researchers of the study on “Quantifying the association between obesity, automobile travel, and caloric intake,” used publicly available data on national average BMI, caloric intake and driving habits. To capture the complexity in the relationship among the three variables, they developed a multivariable model showing how calories consumed and miles driven correlate with BMI.
santander walk photo They found that if all adults in the United States drove 1 mile less per day, the model predicted an associated decrease in the national average BMI by 0.21 kg/m2 after six years. (The national average BMI in 2010, the most recent data available, was 27.55.) In comparison, reducing diet by 100 calories per day would be associated with reducing national average BMI by 0.16 kg/m2 after three years.
So here, at last, is the statistical data to back up the observation that sitting in a car leads to putting on the pounds. As the leader of the study Professor Sheldon Jacobson from the University of Illinois said, “The most important thing for people to learn from this study is that they have a choice.” Like choosing not to own a car.
The paper, “Quantifying the association between obesity, automobile travel, and caloric intake,” is available (for a fee) here. (top image from Bricycles)

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