Prediction that Cars will cause Obesity 1923
DO MOTOR CARS MAKE US LAZY?
THERE CAN BE NO QUESTION about the usefulness of automobiles, says a writer in The Medical Review of Reviews (New York), nor about the desire for leisure
which makes up the large number of people who drive, not because they are in a hurry or have to cover long distances, but because they are lazy and so drive everywhere instead of walking. He asks, “Are we going to become a physically lazy nation, and, through lack of exercise, a people of pendulous abdomens and small legs?” To quote from his article:
“Walking is one of the best forms of exercise, and one of the best means of keeping healthy. It will often prevent obesity, and will cure many cases of indigestion.
“Oftentimes walking will reduce flesh five or ten pounds in a short time. A walk a day, from three to ten miles, should be a health rule for every one. During the war when doctors were sent to training-camps, it was easy to tell a new man by his appearance; his skin was yellow, his abdomen pendulous and he was fatigued on slight exertion. He probably had not walked in several years, driving from one house to another. After a month in camp, with setting-up exercises, drills twice daily, equitation, long hikes, a change was noticeable; the skin lost its yellow appearance, the superfluous flesh disappeared, and in every way the man looked more healthy.
“Women often consult a physician because they are fat and want to reduce; they diet (by eliminating food they do not care for), follow every fad, from rolling to the Bergonie treatment, yet they are leading exponents of a sedentary life. They hate to walk. When they are advised to walk to reduce their weight they invariably say that they can not because their feet are sore. The very woman who tells her children about the old custom of the Chinese women pinching their feet, unconsciously follows the same custom by wearing pointed-toe shoes which are so uncomfortable that she is crippled as far as walking is concerned.”
Source: The Literary Digest for August 11, 1923
EDITOR’S NOTE: How true is this! But can you imagine the average person today choosing to walk 10 miles a day to stay healthy?