Are Cars and Urbanization the Cause of Obesity in Our World


In the days of old, or to be specific in the stone age your main mode of transport where your two legs. If anything had to happen to your legs that was it. You were basically bed bound or maybe we should say ground bound due to the lack of beds. This means of life didn’t continue for much longer until one smart individual decided that they can be carried around and that they wealthy enough to avail of such a service. The person would be carried around on a contraption called a litter.

Oriental style litter carriage

A litter is often associated with an Egyptian or Arabic lifestyle. A litter in basic terms is a bed with a handle on each corner that extends about half a meter out. The bed will be adorned with beaded pillows and colorful sheets and if you were prestige enough the litter will have gold handles with spheres on the ends ornamented with jewels. This is where we begin to witness the birth of a lazy culture as humans crave comfort in every element of life.

Not many people could use litters as only the rich could afford such a privileged service. If you weren’t part of the countries royal monarchy, chances were that you would die having only seen others on a litter. As litters were replaced by horse drawn carriages, and horse drawn carriages replaced by cars, many people still used human powered modes of transport such as bicycles or simply walking. Buses where used by many until the car manufacturing industry began offering cars for the middle and lower-class individuals of society. It was not until the 1940’s when cars became a widespread commodity among the nation’s households. That boom did not calm down with the average home now having 2 cars. This motor explosion has come with its vices which are becoming an expense to healthcare systems.

Many people who own a car dismiss walking to locations that are close by. They would rather save time and drive down. This dramatically reduces their activity levels which in turn has some long term adverse health effects. Countries that have higher activity levels have lower cases of obesity.

America currently has an obesity endemic with 1 in 3 people being obese. For a nation that, large that means that over a quarter of the population is obese. Studies conducted at the Illinois University highlighted that the increase of car usage correlated almost exactly to the levels of obesity within that area.

Cars encourage laziness. They make you feel like those who sat on the litter in the days of old. You feel as if walking is a thing for the poor or the impoverished. Combine that notion with fast food restaurants such as McDonalds that offer drive throughs. A recipe for obesity is what the world has at hand and destroying all the cars is not solution but enforcing laws that penalize on excess mileage may ease the situation.

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