Is Modern Technology Making Us Fat?
It's no secret that a sedentary lifestyle promotes obesity, but a new study by the Milken Institute in California confirms the negative impact of TVs and computers while adding a frightening statistic -- for every 10 percent increase a country spends on technology, that country's obesity rate climbs.
Researchers studied the economies and obesity rates of more than two dozen countries from 1988-2009, and they found that investments in communications and information technology were directly linked to an increase in obesity.
In fact, the Institute found that obesity rates climbed by 1.4 percent on the average for every 10 percent increase in technology spending. That's roughly 2.4 million people in a country the size of America.
But sitting still isn't the only culprit, the study says. Technology has also changed the way people eat, thereby adding even more pounds to bulging waistlines.
As a way to combat this problem, the study argues that employers and state and local governments need to put programs in place to encourage healthy lifestyles.
“Employers must realize that they have a vested interest in providing behavioral modification counseling and offering financial and other incentives to workers,” reads the report. “Governments must invest in infrastructure to induce biking. Policymakers must create policies and programs that encourage walking and physical activity overall.”