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Cars Are Today's Featured "Thing Making You Fat"

Illustration for article titled Cars Are Todays Featured Thing Making You Fat

After studying national date from 1985 and 2007, University of Illinois researchers have found that car use correlates "in the 99-percent range" with national annual obesity rates. Lead researcher Sheldon H. Jacobson says, "If you look over the last 60-plus years, the automobile has become our primary mode of transportation — so much so, in fact, we have literally designed our way of life around it. It is that energy imbalance that ultimately may lead to obesity." The only solution: Bring back those Flintstones cars! (But not woolly mammoth showers. That's just gross.)

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DISCUSSION

When are we going to talk about ag subsidies and the correlation in weight gain in the US? It's not like people were walking twenty miles to work before 1985 (despite the grands insistence that they did this through snowstorms that never abated during their childhoods). Urban sprawl is a result of the auto industry, but before then we had walkable communities in order to compensate for the fact that people generally don't like to exert much effort for basic needs — e.g. the corner stores which used to pepper suburbia.

We pay Big Agriculture to make the staples of nutritionally deficient foods extremely cheap (corn, wheat, soy) to the detriment of other crops and pollinators (corn, wheat, and soy are pollinated by wind, not by bees or bats — but the pesticides used on these crops are causing wholesale decimation of these same pollinators). Food security is a matter of national security, and there is no way to combat obesity without facing up to how the system rewards such insanity.