DAILY DIRT: Apparently, you are not alone if you eat while you drive

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Daily Dirt for Friday, Dec. 15, 2022

I have no study material to back me up, but I’m pretty sure I’m above that Illinois average for calories consumed … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 478 of The Daily Dirt.

1. The average Illinois commuter will have consumed more than 161,000 calories, most of the total via fast food, while driving by the end of 2022, according to a recent study.

That figures out to be 623 calories per commute, or one quarter of the daily recommended intake.

Now that the world has been getting back to normal, more and more employees are returning to the office — and that means the return of the era of the long commute. And we all know it’s way too easy to try and break up a long, boring journey with a distraction — such as food. 

A person’s likelihood of becoming obese increases by 6 percent for every hour spent commuting, as well as an increased risk of high blood pressure. Long commute times are linked to other factors such as insufficient physical activity and poor sleep habits. 

Broken down by state, the report found that Nevadans consumed the most calories on their commute this year — a substantial 287,000. On the other hand, those in Maine, with perhaps shorter distances to travel, consumed the least — just 65,000. On a national scale, the average driver consumed 199,997 calories this past year.

The study also found the following:

While commuting, drivers say they normally consume chips (32 percent) – presumably they’re easy to access with one hand, while keeping the other on the steering wheel. This was followed by burgers (30 percent), fries (24 percent), burritos (6 percent), chocolate (4 percent), tacos (2 percent) and ice cream (2 percent).

75 percent of commuters say that the more time they spend on their commute, the less time they spend exercising when they get home. And despite the potential health detriments, 49 percent would opt for a higher paying job if it mean they had to commute more. 

And for those interested, Missourians will have consumed an average of 208,000 calories while behind the wheel this year.

2. Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, hoping to spark positive change.

The recurring themes each year include a more active approach to health and fitness, improved finances, and learning new things for personal and professional development. Chances are, more than a couple of the top 10 most common resolutions will look familiar to you. The following most popular year-end resolutions are compliments of goskills.com:

  1. Exercise more
  2. Lose weight
  3. Get organized
  4. Learn a new skill or hobby
  5. Live life to the fullest
  6. Save more money / spend less money
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Spend more time with family and friends
  9. Travel more
  10. Read more

To which I say:

  • 1. Not going to happen.
  • 2. Nothing major is going to happen here, either.
  • 3. I’m as organized as I will ever be.
  • 4. I’m too old to learn a new skill and I already have plenty of hobbies.
  • 5. Is there any other way?!
  • 6. Great ideas, but highly unlikely.
  • 7. Never smoked, and no plans to start now.
  • 8. I already spend a lot of time with family and friends. Anymore and I would start losing some of those friends.
  • 9. I don’t like to travel. For me, a long trip is going to Walmart and I like it that way.
  • 10. If it involves sports, TV or the movies, I’m all for it. Otherwise, I’ll just see the film interpretation.

3. We haven’t examined funny town names lately.

Here’s a few more that should bring a smile to your face:

  • Knockemstiff, Ohio
  • Burnt Porcupine, Maine.
  • Gas, Kansas.
  • Unalaska, Alaska.
  • Lick Fork, West Virginia.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — The best bumper sticker I’ve seen in a while: “My Mind Was Changed By A Bumper Sticker. Said No One Ever.”

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. His resolution is to not make a resolution.

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