Do we have an obesity epidemic?

Today I parked next to a new Subaru Forrester and I couldn’t believe how big it was, it was huge. So I went home and did a little research and found that the new Forrester is 2mm taller, 15mm wider and 35mm longer than the outgoing model. That doesn’t sound like much, but when compared to the 2003 model you discover it’s 130mm longer, 60mm wider and 84mm taller and you start to realise that new cars are having a growth spurt.

Then, on my drive home, there was suddenly a large shadow cast over the surrounding countryside. At first I thought it was a solar eclipse but then realised a new Ford Ranger had pulled up next to me. The owner had fitted bigger wheels so it now looked like a giant Tonka truck. If it was any bigger it would be able to drive over the other traffic like a monster truck. So what’s happened to the Ford Ute in 10 years? Well it’s 353mm longer, 155mm wider and 196mm taller than the 2003 Courier. It’s enormous! In the photo above it’s actually bigger than the mountains. And think of the poor farm dogs that now have to leap the better part of 20cm higher than they had to 10 years ago. Not fair.

In our quest for safety our cars are growing to cope with all the extra airbags, crumple zones and people’s desire to drive taller, wider cars. But at this rate imagine the traffic congestion problems in another 10 years. Even if the number of cars on our roads doesn’t grow (and it will) the ones that are on the road are going to take up much more space. It might be time for a diet.

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