Diet manual transmissions

'In the book ["R.E.D. Marketing."], he [Greg Creed, a former Taco Bell C.E.O.] endorses a popular theory - that, as American drivers switched to automatic transmissions, the nation collectively gained weight because it became easy to hold a snack in the hand that was formerly reserved for the gearshift.'

My daily driver is a 5 speed manual and I can eat the same thing driving it as I can an automatic…
I can shift gears holding a hamburger… lol
But I also know what I can eat that will not be messy, that is the main thing…
I can also shift with my left hand into 2nd and 3rd pretty easy if needed…

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Yeah, it wasn’t the proliferation of fast food establishments or the change in lifestyle that supported them, it was because of the automatic transmission… :roll_eyes:

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And all this time I blamed my weight gain on the television remote that let me change channels from my recliner.


I used to blame the dryer for shrinking my clothes. Turns out, it was the refrigerator…


I commented yesterday watching people waddle down the aisle after communion, how huge people have gotten, especially the women. Although that might not have been a fair representative sample. Then did a sit down breakfast that we hadn’t done for a while and the bill went from $25 to $47 plus a $10 tip. What I used to get at macs for $8, is now $15. So I’m thinking we are in the midst of a nation wide diet pogram, and just in time. There is hope. Can’t imagine these folks in boot camp and the poor drill sarge trying to get them in shape to fight. I can still see one poor guy that could not do even one pull up, just hung there being yelled at.

Problem is not just food. The car related products I’ve bought the last couple weeks range from 30% to 100% higher than the last time. So food is fine but don’t need a diet on all the other stuff. I’d kinda like to know the guys alma mater though and where he got his mba, and if he had ever been in the cia.

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Look at how different it is from 50 or 60 years ago. When I was a kid, we didn’t have electronics of any sort and TV was 3 or 4 channels. You went outside to play and stayed there all day long. We ran around for the most part and played sports. If you wanted to take it easy, you rode your bike and that required pedaling. Everything is motorized now, even the scooters. And there are enough electronics to sit all day long and never get up except to get something to eat or drink. Kids by and large (no pun intended) have very little physical exercise in comparison and that carries over into adulthood.


Twin Turbo summed it up very well.

During a discussion of people’s tendency to believe strange and invalid theories, I recall my Psych professor stating that there was a fairly wide-spread belief in the '50s that drivers of automatic transmission cars would soon suffer from atrophy of their left leg, and would have trouble walking and running.

In those days, strange bits of misinformation were spread by word of mouth. Now, we have the internet to spread even bigger lies further and wider.

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I don’t have that problem since I brake (break) with my left foot. Always have.

Those dang psych professors. I remember one of mine said he teaches facts, not concepts and if you get the facts you will learn the concepts. I’m not sure that bears true for some. I tend to discard dates and quotes but remember the concepts.

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No idea what causes folks to gain weight, but the auto-transmission theory seems pretty unlikely. Not dissing the former Taco-Bell exec though. Hhere in San Jose there’s a lot of excellent Mexican restaurants serving authentic style food, but I have always quite liked Taco Bell’s products too. TB used to be my favorite fast-food restaurant, before Covid. Now I don’t go to restaurants at all, fast food or otherwise, cook my own food.

I have lost a few pounds during the Covid era, so maybe the true cause of weight gain is eating at restaurants. I noticed when my high school classmates got their drivers license at age 16 , their weight also started to increase. Not sure if the two events were related though.

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I was a child of the '50s and I remember the Cigarette Advertisements (Billboards, TV, Radio, Magazines, etc…) and I also enjoyed the radio broadcasts of Dragnet with Jack Webb where the show was endorsed by Fatima Cigarettes. And there were a lot of endorsements during the show…

The Cigarette Companies even got Doctors and Nurses to endorse their products… Both parents smoked and I started about 14 or so…

Below is an old advertisement for Fatima Cigarettes and below that is a link to an old Dragnet Radio Show, titled “The Big Car…” Just to keep it Car Orientated… LoL…

Link to Draget (c1952), “The Big Car…”

Maybe less walking. When I worked summers at the truck plant, we’d always see the plant manager walking the three miles or so to work. We’d stop and ask if he wanted a ride but no that was his exercise. Had weights on his ankles just make it hard. He was always in shape. Must be about 85 now and fit. I should have told him if he actually did physical work in the plant like me, he wouldn’t have to walk to work for exercise.


Seems to me that manual steering and manual brakes would cause a driver to expend more energy than shifting a transmission.

A friend once joked that a manual transmission would force him to drink beer from a bottle because otherwise a glass of whiskey would spill. :cocktail:


I don’t think woman have outgrown men in size. Both sexes are equally fat these days. Friend from high-school is a cardiologist. When he first started his practice in the early 80’s, less than 1% of his practice were obese. Now - more than 90% of his practice is obese (or morbidly obese - with many even super morbidly obese). 70’s and 80’s, smoking was thee leading cause of heart problems. If you’re overweight and smoke…that’s real bad. And I know a few. And they’re all taking major medications and not even mid 60’s yet.

Dare I say it?

Please don’t eat and drive.

Just drive…



I have a car with a 6 speed stick, no cupholders, no Bluetooth cell connection, no ashtray and I love it!

No sticky dashboards, no distractions, no burn marks … just get in and drive in peace. :smiley:

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55-years later and I still miss my first car. I’ve written about it several times, it was a 1954 Dodge Meadowbrook with a Red Ram Hemi V8 rated at 150 HP with 240 ci… Like Wow, my friends with old Chevy 6-bangers had 260-cubes… But that Red Ram was faster…

But I digress, my '54 had no power steering, the steering wheel was large in diameter and I loved it. I even had a “Nicker Knob” on it to steer. By today’s standards, that steering wheel was like the steering wheel from a bus… That '54 also had “three on the tree” or more commonly known as a three-speed manual shifter on the steering column.

My friends use to kid me about having “three on the tree and one under the seat…” When racing it, and I ran it numerous times at Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, NY, I took home best in class on two separate occasions (a trophy with a plastic man on top holding a wreath in the air…).

That '54 did the quarter mile in mid 18s at 75 MPH. The only change to it I made was the tires were a bit shorter than the stock ones so it was like having a bit lower gear ratio in the rear end and she could wind up quicker. The “Under the Seat” remark came about because as it wound up in third gear and it was a long stretch from about 60 up to 100, I would “false shift” (just jam the clutch in to allow the engine to wind up a bit and get a bit of a surge when I let the clutch out…

As for @Beancounter having to shift his 6-speed and the clutch use if he were stuck in traffic, my '54 had a Fluid Clutch also called a Hydrostatic Clutch. It worked just like a regular hard disc clutch or you could just let the clutch out in gear and it worked like a torque converter. You could put it in first or even second gear and let the clutch out and it continued to idle like an automatic transmission. And if you were stuck in traffic, just leave it in gear and hold the brake… But you could not shift without the clutch…

My Honda and Toyota both have Paddle and Slap Stick shifting to simulate shifting the automatic transmission, but I still want to stomp the clutch between shifts…

Some habits are hard to break…


You know I love all the new technology, from cars that will practically drive themselves to the cheap fast food that brings immediate gratification, but we also individually need to to decide what we adopt and how we use it because it’s a two edge sword.

For example, cars are remarkably better and safer than they ever were in the 1950’s but we still have crashes and deaths, largely because of how people decide to use / misuse the technology.
In the same way, food technology has given fresh produce and strawberrys in the middle of Winter and cheap fast food but we still have obesity and diabeties, largely because of how people decide to use / misuse the technology.

The problem is the result of our own bad decisions so to blame technology like automatic transmissions for our excess calorie intake is just plain silly.

To quote the old comic strip Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us!” :rofl:

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