posted at 06:50
Author: TakePart
Crash test dummies are growing to match obese Americans
America's obesity epidemic has claimed an unlikely victim: slender crash test dummies. The new dummies will tip the scales at 271 pounds and have an obese body mass index of 35. A typical dummy currently weighs in at 167 pounds and has a healthy BMI - a size that no longer reflects the proportions of many Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35% of Americans are obese, which it defines as being 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 203 pounds or more, and having a BMI of 30 or higher. "Obese occupants are up to 78% more likely to die in a car crash than an average weight driver," Christopher O'Connor, CEO of Humanetics, the company that makes the dummies, told Crash Test Technology International. "An obese person has more mass around the midsection and a larger rear, which pushes them out of position. They sit further forward, and the belt does not grasp the pelvis as easily." In December 2011 the Coast Guard was forced to raise its Assumed Average Weight Per Person for passenger boats to 185 pounds, up from 160. Unless Americans manage to put the brakes on our portion sizes and get more exercise, we should probably expect crash test dummies to keep on getting bigger.

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