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The automatic transmission/obesity connection

The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Old Oct 24th 2005, 9:32 pm
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Default The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Consider:

...the source of America's obesity epidemic wasn't portion size, or lack of exercise, or the decline in smoking. It was the invention of the automatic transmission. Here I was, the typical, atrophied American, barely able to press the clutch without my slack muscles begging for relief. Automatic transmissions became widely available in the 1940s. Over the decades, as Americans have increasingly embraced them, they've increasingly increased. Since you need both hands to drive a stick shift, there's no way you can also be sucking down Slurpees and shoving in Big Macs. It's because of automatic transmissions that we're becoming blob people who will soon have to be hoisted into our behemoth vehicles. Compare us with Europeans, who still generally have firm left legs and discernable waists. About 85 percent of cars sold in Europe have manual transmission. It doesn't seem like a coincidence that European weights are creeping up in tandem with upward sales of automatics.

http://www.slate.com/id/2128407/

Personally I don't like automatics very much and I drive a manual here (more control, more fun, can get better gas mileage if you're careful, also I simply didn't want to get out of practice while living here) but the car the Mrs drives is an automatic. She can drive a manual perfectly well but her attitude is simply why bother? Her sister (age 25) has never driven one and admits she wouldn't have the first idea how to.

Anybody else have strong opinions one way or the other with regard to the manual/automatic debate, or the (tongue in cheek) points raised in the above article?
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 9:49 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by elfman
Consider:

...the source of America's obesity epidemic wasn't portion size, or lack of exercise, or the decline in smoking. It was the invention of the automatic transmission. Here I was, the typical, atrophied American, barely able to press the clutch without my slack muscles begging for relief. Automatic transmissions became widely available in the 1940s. Over the decades, as Americans have increasingly embraced them, they've increasingly increased. Since you need both hands to drive a stick shift, there's no way you can also be sucking down Slurpees and shoving in Big Macs. It's because of automatic transmissions that we're becoming blob people who will soon have to be hoisted into our behemoth vehicles. Compare us with Europeans, who still generally have firm left legs and discernable waists. About 85 percent of cars sold in Europe have manual transmission. It doesn't seem like a coincidence that European weights are creeping up in tandem with upward sales of automatics.

http://www.slate.com/id/2128407/

Personally I don't like automatics very much and I drive a manual here (more control, more fun, can get better gas mileage if you're careful, also I simply didn't want to get out of practice while living here) but the car the Mrs drives is an automatic. She can drive a manual perfectly well but her attitude is simply why bother? Her sister (age 25) has never driven one and admits she wouldn't have the first idea how to.

Anybody else have strong opinions one way or the other with regard to the manual/automatic debate, or the (tongue in cheek) points raised in the above article?

I got an auto when I moved here, basically because I didnt drive a whole lot in the UK (we had that "public transport" thing), and having to drive on the other side of the road seemed like enough stress without having to change gear with the other hand. I really like my vehicle so I'm not going to say anything bad about autos, but manuals are obviuosly better for some applications. Automatic transmissions are not a cause but probably an effect.
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

I always drove manuals until I moved here, now when I go back to visit I always ask for an automatic, lazy git?...probably.
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by gruffbrown
I always drove manuals until I moved here, now when I go back to visit I always ask for an automatic, lazy git?...probably.
Definately!!
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by elfman
Consider:

...the source of America's obesity epidemic wasn't portion size, or lack of exercise, or the decline in smoking. It was the invention of the automatic transmission. Here I was, the typical, atrophied American, barely able to press the clutch without my slack muscles begging for relief. Automatic transmissions became widely available in the 1940s. Over the decades, as Americans have increasingly embraced them, they've increasingly increased. Since you need both hands to drive a stick shift, there's no way you can also be sucking down Slurpees and shoving in Big Macs. It's because of automatic transmissions that we're becoming blob people who will soon have to be hoisted into our behemoth vehicles. Compare us with Europeans, who still generally have firm left legs and discernable waists. About 85 percent of cars sold in Europe have manual transmission. It doesn't seem like a coincidence that European weights are creeping up in tandem with upward sales of automatics.

http://www.slate.com/id/2128407/

Personally I don't like automatics very much and I drive a manual here (more control, more fun, can get better gas mileage if you're careful, also I simply didn't want to get out of practice while living here) but the car the Mrs drives is an automatic. She can drive a manual perfectly well but her attitude is simply why bother? Her sister (age 25) has never driven one and admits she wouldn't have the first idea how to.

Anybody else have strong opinions one way or the other with regard to the manual/automatic debate, or the (tongue in cheek) points raised in the above article?

manual transmissions don't put fat into your body....and it don't give you much excersize
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 9:58 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by Chorlton
Automatic transmissions are not a cause but probably an effect.
what, you mean automatic transmissions had to develop because the blobby's thighs were too fat to allow the legs close enough to hit clutch and throttle at the same time? Or their arms were too short to reach round their vast girth to reach the gear lever
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

I think it's probably a number of hands thing, you can't change gear, talk on your cell phone and drink coffee at the same time, so one of them has to go
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by elfman
Since you need both hands to drive a stick shift, there's no way you can also be sucking down Slurpees and shoving in Big Macs.
Nah, when in the UK, my lunch was often eaten in the car when trundling down the outside lane of a motorway. True enough I couldn't get through a Big Mac - too messy. A quarterpounder with cheese was easily consumed and wasn't too messy. Plus with two cup holders I had one for my milkshake and one for my fries!
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 10:08 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by gruffbrown
I think it's probably a number of hands thing, you can't change gear, talk on your cell phone and drink coffee at the same time, so one of them has to go

Beg to differ. I can drive a tractor trailer, roll a cigarette, pour a coffee from the 12v coffee pot, throw a pasty in the microwave, text a message during a phone call, flip the middle finger to a volvo driver, use turn signals, blind oncoming little old ladies with my 450 spotlights just for fun AND change gear (without using the clutch) all at the same time.

I can do all this with just a little imagination and a quarter outside Walmart!!
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 10:08 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by Schnorbitz
Nah, when in the UK, my lunch was often eaten in the car when trundling down the outside lane of a motorway. True enough I couldn't get through a Big Mac - too messy. A quarterpounder with cheese was easily consumed and wasn't too messy. Plus with two cup holders I had one for my milkshake and one for my fries!
What ever you do never try to eat a kebab whilst driving - nasty.

Funny thing is that they started clamping down on this in the UK and there were famous stories about the cops prosecuting someone for eating an apple and someone else for eating a kitkat.
I could never work out how this is fair when they leave smokers alone - if you drop the apple you were eating on the floor you can pick it up when you stop - if you drop a ciggie i reckon that you'll go down there pretty sharpish to try to get it.

Anyway, just a thought.
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by gruffbrown
I think it's probably a number of hands thing, you can't change gear, talk on your cell phone and drink coffee at the same time, so one of them has to go
I'm sitting in a coffee shop now, and there's a drive thru window right opposite me. Some silly cow has just driven up and bought a coffee, she had a toddler, maybe 20 months sitting on her lap while she drove, and as she left, she had the coffee in her right hand, and her left arm stretched around the kid to the steering wheel. And then she went up the ramp to the freeway. Couldn't do that in a manual!! I sincerely hope the Highway Patrol stop her and throw the friggin book at her, but they won't...........
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad
I'm sitting in a coffee shop now, and there's a drive thru window right opposite me. Some silly cow has just driven up and bought a coffee, she had a toddler, maybe 20 months sitting on her lap while she drove, and as she left, she had the coffee in her right hand, and her left arm stretched around the kid to the steering wheel. And then she went up the ramp to the freeway. Couldn't do that in a manual!! I sincerely hope the Highway Patrol stop her and throw the friggin book at her, but they won't...........
What book should they throw at her Gruff?
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by rushman
Beg to differ. I can drive a tractor trailer, roll a cigarette, pour a coffee from the 12v coffee pot, throw a pasty in the microwave, text a message during a phone call, flip the middle finger to a volvo driver, use turn signals, blind oncoming little old ladies with my 450 spotlights just for fun AND change gear (without using the clutch) all at the same time.

I can do all this with just a little imagination and a quarter outside Walmart!!
Is that the choo choo train or the rocket ship that goes up and down?
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by rushman
What book should they throw at her Gruff?
Encyclopedia Brittanica, they always keep one in the trunk. Why I don't know
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Old Oct 24th 2005, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: The automatic transmission/obesity connection

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad
I'm sitting in a coffee shop now, and there's a drive thru window right opposite me. Some silly cow has just driven up and bought a coffee, she had a toddler, maybe 20 months sitting on her lap while she drove, and as she left, she had the coffee in her right hand, and her left arm stretched around the kid to the steering wheel. And then she went up the ramp to the freeway. Couldn't do that in a manual!! I sincerely hope the Highway Patrol stop her and throw the friggin book at her, but they won't...........
I hope you're at a table and not driving Yorkie
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