power to the pedestrians

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?

One Health Benefit of Obesity: Built-in Padding