Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: March 4th, 2013
Is the vacuum cleaner to blame?

Here’s a stupid theory: The rise of convenience in doing housework has resulted in the spike in obesity in our country.

I kid you not. According to MedPage Today, the researchers for this particular study “looked at how women spent their time – paid work, household management (unpaid housework and family care), personal care, and free time (such as watching television or exercise). The data came from more than 55,000 women, ranging in age from 19–65 years.”

The researchers at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina in Columbia, explained that women went from burning 4,663 calories per week doing chores around the house in 1965 to 2,806 per week in 2010.

Conveniences such as vacuums and advances in cleaning house, have meant more time to sit around and watch television, the study deduced.

Here’s where the big leap comes in. They extrapolated that this is tied to an increase in obesity among women. Hmm. I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. And it also doesn’t explain the same spike in obesity rates among men.

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