One Health Benefit of Obesity in New York: Built-in Padding

Via Willie Lunchmeat / Flickr

Maybe Mayor Bloomberg is going about this public health campaign all wrong. He’s so intent on preventing people from becoming overweight, he’s overlooked the benefits of being fat: namely, the padding that extra layer offers when you inevitably get bumped by a car while crossing the street. This is a real thing, according to a three-year study of pedestrian and cyclist injuries coming into Bellevue Hospital Center. Pedestrians were most likely to get hit by a cab while crossing in a crosswalk with the light, because that’s where pedestrians usually are. But the obese ones suffered less severe injuries.

Per the New York Times:

Victims with an above-normal body mass index were found to have less severe injuries than their counterparts. “It is not implausible that a greater proportion of torso and extremity fat may protect against injury,” the report said.

Dr. Frangos noted that generally, overweight and obese patients fared worse once admitted to a hospital, but that perhaps “that extra layer offers some protection at the time of the injury.”

Who’s going to write the subway ad campaign for that one?