Oh crap, don’t drive near me!

According to The Economic Times, not only can obesity “increase the risk of perilous diseases like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer. And it can be fatal in one more way — it enhances the risk of dying in a car crash.”

Let’s start off with that first and then go into the rest of the article. Obesity is not fatal, people die from heart attacks, they die from cancer; they do not die from fat. They die from poor diets and lifestyle choices that are commonly and stupidly associated with obesity but they do not die from being fat.

More than 42,000 deaths and three million injuries result annually from motor vehicle crashes in the United States. An estimated 26 per cent of the population or about 60 million people are obese, according to data compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The study was conducted by the Meharry-State Farm Alliance which is a joint venture of Meharry Medical College, an historically black academic health center in Nashville, Tennessee State and State Farm, which insures cars and is the leading US home insurer.

For its study, the Alliance analysed 2002 data from the CDC’s Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Researchers divided over 230,000 people into groups based on their body mass index (BMI), a measure of how overweight an individual is. The rate of always wearing seat belts was 82.6 per cent for non-obese motorists (BMI less than 25), 80.1 per cent for overweight motorists (BMI 25-29), 76.6 per cent for obese motorists (BMI 30-39) and 69.8 per cent for extremely obese motorists (BMI 40 and above). The gap climbed from 2.5 per cent for overweight, to 6.0 per cent among the obese, to 12.8 per cent among the extremely obese.

The Meharry analysis revealed that millions of Americans are increasing their risk for injury or death in motor vehicle crashes by failing to use seat belts.

So what they are trying to say is that obese individuals are more likely to die in a car crash because they more typically do not wear seat belts? Did they ask if they possibly did not wear seat belts because most cars do not come with seat belts long enough to reach around an overweight individual?

I was really hoping that they would touch on how medical professionals are not equip to deal with larger individuals because they do not have updated equipment to do so. I guess it’s easier to sensationalize a study than do some research, or just throw something on the cutting room floor when they realize how stupid they will look.

Don’t worry I wear my seat belt and use spell check…they don’t.