Skip to Content

Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.

Map of the world

Travel By Car Driving Obesity Epidemic, Say Researchers

travel by carHoliday travel by car might be less expensive than flying, a train trip or a Christmas cruise to festive destinations, but new research urges caution while driving – not for safety's sake, but because of a direct relationship suggested between body mass index (BMI), calories consumed and automobile travel.

A new study by University of Illinois researchers suggests that both daily automobile travel and calories consumed are related to body weight. Reducing either one, even a little bit, correlates with a reduction in body mass index (BMI), the study found.

"We're saying that making small changes in travel or diet choices may lead to comparable obesity reduction, which implies that travel-based interventions may be as effective as dietary interventions," says graduate student Banafsheh Behzad in a Business Standard report.

Using publicly available data on national average BMI, caloric intake and driving habits, the study found that driving just one mile a day less can make a difference.

"One mile is really not much," Behzad says. "If they would just consider even taking the bus, walking the distance to the bus stop could have an impact like eating 100 calories less per day. The main thing is paying attention to caloric intake and moving more, together, can help reduce BMI."

Great idea. But if I walked to the bus stop I would have to swing by the gas station on the way to buy donuts, "for the trip," throwing the national BMI way off track.

On the other hand, childhood obesity is declining, probably because little kids don't drive. This video tells the story:

Child Obesity Drops
[Photo Credit- Flickr user mor10am]

Filed under: North America, United States, Transportation

Find Your Hotel

City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport
City name or airport code
If different

Search Travel Deals

Gadling Features

Most Popular


Become our Fan on Facebook!

Featured Galleries (view all)

Berlin's Abandoned Tempelhof Airport
The Junk Cars of Cleveland, New Mexico
United Airlines 787 Inaugural Flight
Ghosts of War: France
New Mexico's International Symposium Of Electronic Arts
Valley of Roses, Morocco
The Southern Road
United Dreamliner Interior
United Dreamliner Exterior

Our Writers

Don George

Features Editor

RSS Feed

View more Writers

Weird News


FOXNews Travel


Sherman's Travel

Lonely Planet

New York Times Travel