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Americans are using more fuel because they weigh so much.  (Source: Healthy Me!)
"If you see me coming your way/Better give me plenty space"

Americans these days are living big, though not necessarily in a good way. Even as some people in America turn to healthier lifestyles, obesity rates continue to soar upwards.  That's frustrating news not only for doctors, but for transportation engineers as well.

We already covered how obesity was costing the U.S. airline industry $275M USD more a year in fuel use.  But according to
Consumer Reports, it's not the only transportation industry to buckle under the America's growing mass.

The publication cites a 2006 study which indicates that for every pound added to the national average passenger weight, 39 million more gallons of fuel are used.  In total, over 1 billion gallons of fuel a year (about 0.7 percent of the nation's total use) can be attributed to fat.

Other studies show that the effect, while small, may be larger than those previous estimates.  Non-profit company Resources for the Future in 2009 showed that between 1999 to 2005 a 10-percent increase in overweight and obese drivers reduced fuel economy of new vehicle demand by 2.5 percent.

The report also comes to the more controversial conclusion that obesity is driving SUV, van, and pickup truck purchases.  It attributes much of the rise in this sector from 16 percent of total sales in the 1970s to over 40 percent today as being the result of passengers seeking cars to deal with their growing size.

Another study, which we previously covered, comes to the conclusion that obese drivers are more likely to be injured during car wrecks despite their extra mass apparently overcoming whatever padding their flab provided.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in America obesity rose 1.1 percent from 2007 to 2009 -- meaning that roughly 2.4 million people entered the category for the first time.  Plus the number of states with over 30 percent obesity rates jumped from three to nine.

Consumer Reports suggests both that Americans need to lose weight and that plus-sized crash test dummies need to be implemented to better protect those who haven't lost weight yet.

There's not always an easy answer for obese drivers.  An Edmonton, Alberta Kia dealer last year was forced to inform a woman who purchased a Kia Rio that she might be too heavy for it.  The sedan was pulling towards the left.  The dealership tried to correct it, to no avail, but eventually gave up, realizing the laws of physics were stacked against them; the driver had too much mass.  

 



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RE: So What.
By eggman on 8/12/2010 3:18:33 PM , Rating: 2
They strain our health care system which already pretty much sucks.

Russ


RE: So What.
By Ammohunt on 8/12/2010 4:04:26 PM , Rating: 4
Strange my healthcare is excellent...you in canada?


RE: So What.
By Iaiken on 8/12/2010 4:25:29 PM , Rating: 5
Kind of a cheap dig...

I've lived under both the California system and the Ontario system and I would take the Canadian system any day of the week.

I injured my shoulder here, I had no wait at emergency and once I was patched up I was on doctor ordered rest (woot! no work!) until I could begin physio.

I talked to a US specialist about it later and he was shocked at how well it had healed. When I told him about the surgery and the physio regiment, he told me there was no way he could get that approved by an insurer. I would have simply recieved a sling, a pat on the butt, a bill and a f***ed up shoulder for the rest of my life.

No thanks.


RE: So What.
By JediJeb on 8/12/2010 5:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I talked to a US specialist about it later and he was shocked at how well it had healed. When I told him about the surgery and the physio regiment, he told me there was no way he could get that approved by an insurer. I would have simply recieved a sling, a pat on the butt, a bill and a f***ed up shoulder for the rest of my life.


Must be something with the California system, because here in Kentucky I have known several people who got the same type of care you talk about receiving in Canada right here and paid for by the insurance company. A lot of it depends on what insurance company you have.


RE: So What.
By Reclaimer77 on 8/12/2010 5:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I talked to a US specialist about it later and he was shocked at how well it had healed. When I told him about the surgery and the physio regiment, he told me there was no way he could get that approved by an insurer. I would have simply recieved a sling, a pat on the butt, a bill and a f***ed up shoulder for the rest of my life.


Coming from someone with a completely rebuilt left knee and extensive physical therapy before I could extend my leg, much less walk, I call BULL.

I don't know who this doctor was, but there is no way he could possibly make that statement with the utter validity you just stated.


RE: So What.
By Spuke on 8/12/2010 6:57:54 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you guys rating these people down? They're stating their experience. My healthcare is also excellent. My experience. I won't say that it sucks when it doesn't. Do some have crappy healthcare? Yep. Am I and other two posters part of that group? Nope. If everyone in the US is covered, will US healtcare automatically become great? As far as I'm concerned, that has sh!t to do with quality of care.


RE: So What.
By FITCamaro on 8/12/2010 7:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
Take several million illegal aliens out of the mix in California and see what happens.

And my health care here in dumb @ss South Carolina is excellent.


RE: So What.
By Lerianis on 8/14/2010 12:22:01 AM , Rating: 2
Uh, excuse me, but I'm usually on the side of people who say "I wouldn't have gotten this treatment in America!" and I know it's BULLCRAP in this case.

My father works for Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and he had the same type of injury.... he got surgery for it, physical therapy, and even a cold machine (so he wouldn't have to keep on putting ice on the wound himself) from the insurer at NO cost other than his usual deductible.

So, you would have gotten this same stuff in the United States unless your doctor is a gutless jackass who wasn't pushing hard enough for it.


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