The British Medical Journal (BMJ), a leading comprehensive medical journal, publishes a special Christmas issue in December, which began in 1982 with a collection of scientists’ strange brain holes. In this year’s Christmas special, one of the studies was from a Chinese team that analyzed changes in the movement and weight of Chinese car owners after they owned a vehicle.
Original title: Middle-aged and over 50-year-olds should be cautious about taking care: Chinese study shows that 5 years later weigh 20 pounds
Journalist He Liping
The paper is written by Lu Fangwen, a professor at the School of Economics at Chinese Min University, and Michael L. Anderson, an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Global obesity rates, including in China, are on the rise, but little is known about the reasons behind it, the paper notes. One possible reason is that the traditional way of travelling-
In January 2011, to address traffic congestion, Beijing began to implement a car-buying policy to limit the annual increase in new vehicles to 240,000 vehicles. By mid-2012, the probability of a monthly license plate shake had dropped below 2%. The samples from the study were from a group of families collected by the Beijing Institute of Transportation Development.
For the study, the team randomly selected a sample of 937 people from people who joined the Beijing license plate number between January 2011 and November 2015, 180 of whom were licenseplate dithered and 91 percent actually purchased a vehicle.
The results show that people who successfully buy cars use 45 percent less public transport than those who don’t, the paper said. Over time, the differences in physical activity between them became more and more apparent. About 2.6 years after the success of the rocker, new owners spend 7% less time walking or cycling than those without a car. After 5.1 years, the proportion increased further to 42 per cent. Specifically, about five years after the success of the rocker, the number of bus or subway trips for new owners decreased significantly, by an average of 2.9 trips per week, and by an average of 24.2 minutes for walking and cycling.
In terms of weight, the paper notes that the overall sample showed no significant change in average weight, regardless of whether or not they bought a new car. But among those over 50, the average weight of new car owners changed significantly over 2.6 years and 5.1 years. Of these, the group gained an average weight gain of 10.3 kg after 5.1 years.
To explain the results, the team said that new car owners over the age of 50 had reduced their physical movement by 30 minutes a day, meaning a reduction in energy consumption of 140 kcal (1 large card s 4.18 kJ s 0.00418 MJ). These values are related because changing the energy balance of 100 calories a day can prevent many people from gaining weight.
In fact, the team notes, the reported basic metabolic rate equation suggests that reducing energy consumption of 140 calories per day will lead to a weight gain of 10.3 kg over five years. This significant weight gain was consistent with the team’s estimate of weight gain in groups 50 and older.
The team concluded that their findings suggest that restrictions on car purchases can have considerable public health benefits. In other words, as middle-income countries respond to rising obesity rates, policymakers should consider the impact of the sharp rise in car use and ownership.