Disease Proof

Plumbing the Reason We're Fat?

The toilet, you can’t beat it! Think of the alternative. A shabby outdoor hut with a board with a hole cut in it—EEK! Freakonomics explores the possibility that all this convenient indoor plumbing causes us eat MORE which contributes to modern obesity. Take a look:

This may sound ludicrous, but think about it for just a moment. Very few people have to trek through the night to use an outhouse anymore; furthermore, restroom facilities are readily available just about everywhere — which means you don’t have to worry about getting rid of your waste, which frees you up to consume as much as you’d like…

…I’ve rented a summer house with no garbage pickup. This meant not only paying for how much waste you produce, but also storing your trash until the one day that the dump is open. During these times, our behavior changed radically: not only did we compost all our food waste to cut down on stink, but we thought about everything we bought before we bought it to make sure we wanted to deal with the waste. As a result, we bought a lot less.

Okay, the theory is a little bit of a stretch, but I don’t think it’s TOTALLY off base. At my old job I used to eat A LOT of candy bars because there was a vending machine down the hall.

But if the Freakonomics hypothesis is correct, than states like Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama and Louisiana must have some GREAT toilets! They’re the FATTEST in the country.

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Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Elijah - September 19, 2008 8:51 PM

That is so true!

California Plumber - September 23, 2008 12:40 PM

I think this is an interesting premise, and a rather unique argument, but I think it is hard to argue against the food we eat as being more fattening than our inability to walk a few yards to an outhouse. Nonetheless, interesting theory.

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