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Obesity, the new American epidemic, is associated with devastating consequences. But you might not realize some more subtle health consequences of obesity. One recent news story highlights the fact that the obese face many challenges–ones that could risk their lives in other ways.

When Janette Colantonio of South Carolina was pulled over by a state trooper, she knew the exact reason why. She wasn't wearing a seatbelt, but not because she was blatantly trying to break the law. Instead, because Janette weighed 408 pounds, she couldn't get the belt around her body. The state trooper who pulled her over said that it's a more common problem than most people would think, particularly in South Carolina where the obesity rate is high.

In fact, obese individuals are 60% less likely to buckle up and are 56% more likely to die in a car crash, according to a University of Buffalo study. Because decreased seatbelt use is associated with a higher risk of death, obese people have a higher chance of dying in a car accident. The study authors emphasized that new considerations should be made for the obese who struggle to comply with seatbelt safety laws, especially since 1/3 of Americans fall into this category. Luckily, in Janette's case, her ticket inspired her to lose 200 pounds. She is still working toward her goal weight of 145 pounds.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Vern Dennis

    there are manufacturers who can supply seat belt extenders for plus sized people (I don't need one, at least not yet) but I obtained one for a good friend of mine.It's money well spent

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