As of 2010, more than 1 of every 3 U.S. adults (about 36%) were obese, which is roughly 30 pounds over a healthy weight, and 6% were severely obese, which is 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight. Those percentages qualify as an epidemic.
At the rate we’re going, in 18 years, by the year 2030, more than 4 of every 10 (42%) Americans may become obese and 11% could be severely obese.
In addition to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, many types of cancer, sleep apnea, senile dementia, other debilitating and chronic illnesses, and reduced life expectancy, here’s another reason to maintain a healthy weight. (See my post of May 20, 2012 for sources for the above.)
A new Canadian study finds that obesity (defined as a body mass index or BMI of 30.0–34.9) increases a driver’s risk of being in a car accident and also result in more severe injuries.
CBS Seattle reports, August 7, 2012, that a study by Canadian scientists at the University of Laval and published in the Journal of Transportation Safety & Security, claims that morbidly obese (BMI of 40 or over) drivers may be at increased risk of a crash due to weight-related health complications. Additionally, car designs that are less than sympathetic to larger frames could leave obese drivers in more critical condition following an accident.
“Poor car-to-person fit is thought to be the leading cause of the increased risk of injury and fatality in [car accidents] for [people] who are obese or overweight versus [people] who are normal weight,” a portion of the study published by the Ottawa Citizen read.
Since many cars are reportedly designed with a 163-pound person in mind, the Canadian study explains that for people with a body structure different than the standard used in designing cars, “their interactions with the safety features, such as the seat belts and airbags, may not occur as intended.”
Several previous studies were also examined in the process, including one that found men with body mass indexes greater than 30 were more likely to suffer facial, spinal, head and upper chest injuries in a collision than those with BMIs below 30.
The researchers recommend that carmakers should try to design vehicles whose safety features are more adjustable, in order to provide protection for a broader range of drivers.
I can just see the potential lawsuits against auto-makers, can’t you? LOL
To calculate your BMI, click here!