Are Cars Making Us Fat?

Woman in a car
(Guernsey Moore, © SEPS)

Well it sure seemed like it in 1905. On the other hand, was it possible that fat people were more likely to buy cars?

If you will note the occupants of every automobile on any day, and will keep a record of the total number of persons and the total number of overweights, you will be astonished by the result. Are people of big bulk also above the average of prosperity and so able to enjoy the newest and most fascinating of luxuries? Or does the habit of coursing about in the automobile superinduce the fat-assimilation, which ends in ponderous preponderance of adipose?

Does getting fat improve one’s chances of owning an auto and having the leisure to use it? Does owning an auto improve one’s chances of getting fat?

Editorial clipping
The original editorial, “Fat Men and Automobiles,” published on September 30, 1905.

—“Fat Men and Automobiles,” Editorial, September 30, 1905