Sign Of the Times? Obese Crash Test Dummies Are On Their Way

The obesity epidemic has been particularly unkind to Americans. Thanks to an endless parade of cheap, processed food and a drought of time available for exercise, more than one-third of Americans can be classified as obese. While it’s likely we don’t consider the long-term consequences of our food choices, there’s certainly no avoiding them when they appear. Larger cup holders, wider grocery store aisles and beefed-up hospital beds are the harvest for all the poor health decisions we’ve sown, and now there’s one more not-so-subtle shift to remind us that, yes, we are getting larger. A maker of crash test dummies now makes an obese option for car manufacturers and safety officials to buckle up and get slammed into solid and stationary objects.

To be fair, crash test dummy maker Humanetics isn’t building a portly analog as a commentary on our expanding waistlines. President and CEO Christopher O’Connor cites a study which found obese crash victims are 78% more likely to die than their thinner peers. Add this risk to your life to the existing health risks brought on by high body mass index and driving while obese becomes a dangerous affair. Humanetics’ new dummy simulates a 271 pound person who has a BMI of about 35. (Typical dummies, by the way, tip the scales at an average of 167 pounds.) The dummy also measures how much force an airbag has on a larger person and the amount of pressure applied to the gut by a seat belt.

Though intended to save lives, these larger crash test dummies also prove a point. Americans are getting larger, and big companies understand it. It’s the reason auto makers began installing larger cup holders and grocery stores stretched wide their aisles and lowered their shelves. Sugary soda tastes good and we want more, especially if that "more" can be bought for mere pennies. And who likes to feel claustrophobic when they shop or go out of their way to reach for items on the top shelf? Companies understand we’re more willing to part with our cash if we can feel good while doing it. The result of doing what feels good, however, has been wider waist lines and larger portions at the dinner table. Obese crash test dummies aren’t just an indicator of who we’ve become, they’re the first step in understanding how we can build cars to better protect our bellies.

The obesity epidemic is one that’s easy to beat, of course. It just takes a bit of work, sweat, and determination. Thanks to countless papers and studies, we are all well aware of what food is good for us and what food isn't. Losing weight really can be as simple as eating more of the good, less of the bad, and moving around from time to time. Those who choose to exercise at home will find that the equipment doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of room. Losing the weight is easy, the hard part is deciding to do it. Make the right decision today. 

The expert professionals at Rally Fitness make it easy to craft a gym for your organization that will help people to achieve an optimum level of health. When you are ready to fight the battle of the bulge, give Rally Fitness a call for a consultation on creating a gym facility for your company. (855) 725-5934


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