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Americans like to smoke, eat and wear seatbelts

March 5, 2009

Americans like to smoke, eat and wear seatbelts

“It makes them feel cool, grown-up, sophisticated or chic”

A RECENTLY conducted Harris poll confirms that some Americans like to smoke, eat unhealthy foods and wear seatbelts. 

At least 20 per cent of adults smoke cigarettes, while an additional 3 per cent choose to indulge in cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco.

“There are several reasons why so many people still smoke,” the research firm explained in a statement. “Large numbers of young people start to smoke because it makes them feel cool, grown-up, sophisticated or chic. And once people are hooked, tobacco is powerfully addictive. Many surveys have shown that most smokers have tried, and failed, to stop smoking several times.”

Nevertheless, Harris declined to mention one of the potential benefits of smoking, such as appetite suppression. It is therefore no suprise that 80 per cent of American adults over the age of 25 are classified as overweight by one definition (the Metropolitan Life tables) and 66 per cent by another (Body Mass Index). In addition, 32 per cent of individuals over 25 are rated as obese using the first definition, or 26 per cent of adults using the Body Mass Index. Unsuprisingly, obesity has more than doubled over the last 25 years.

Although Americans appear to be unconcerned with their weight, seatbelts are apparently an important element of the collective unconscious. Indeed, 91 per cent of all adults claim to wear a seat belt when in the front seat of an automobile.

“These data reflect how difficult it is to help people to stop smoking, to eat less or to exercise more. Most people know what they should do but cannot do it. Some experts believe a major reason for this is the large number of advertisements people see for foods (and) sugar-rich drinks,” concluded a despondent Harris.

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