Print 128 comment(s) - last by 0ldman.. on Aug 18 at 12:33 AM

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 Ammohunt on 8/12/2010 4:20:32 PM , Rating: 1
Only the small crowd wasn't too small, every single person was well over 200lbs, no healthy-sized (or even slightly over weight) people in sight.

So who determines who is “Healthy Weight” is and who isn't? The same people that decided to sterilize the mentally retarded at the turn of the 20th century? perhaps Government? It’s a myth that weight is always an indicator of poor overall health. My point is people are free to make whatever destructive choice they want in a free society it’s called personal responsibility. It’s only a societal problem when it directly affects others such as drunk driving. Like Smokers, skydivers, people who practice Erotic Asphyxiation or have unprotected sex, play Russian roulette, shoot heroin etc.. People that are obese assume the risks of such behavior as an individual and only ruin themselves. Frankly its none of my business what you choose to do with our life and its none of your business what I do with mine.

RE: So What.
By WW102 on 8/12/2010 4:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly it is no ones business until the we socialize medicine. At that moment that society becomes responsible for health care bills then society should have a right to do something about it.

Best way to not make it my problem or my business....Stop socializing everything.

I would 100% perfer to not to care or pay for someones life habits as you stated such as sky diving, smoking, drinking etc...

RE: So What.
By Ammohunt on 8/12/2010 4:32:19 PM , Rating: 1
Oh but you know you will becasue jogging, skydiving, mountain biking are all acceptable destructive activities. I agree my problems should not be societies why is society so eager to own them?

RE: So What.
By WW102 on 8/12/2010 4:42:45 PM , Rating: 2
So now we are on two different topics. One is the way it should be, meaning society is not responsible for pay for I guess the word we are using is destructive behavior. So if I over eat, break my arm skiing, fail to deploy my parachute then all that cost and responsiblity falls back on me or on my assets and securities.

Now the second topic is if we socialize everything meaning were all in this together and we all pay into the same pot and we all withdraw from the same pot. Then if the healthy are paying for the unhealthy lifestyles, who gets a voice on how the money should get distributed?

Now we will all grow old and die. Thats a given and to a degree you can account for the cost of death. Its when someones medical cost start to grow past what the cost for someones life is that we start to have issues.

Please don't get caught up on singluar or direct pronouns, this is a general discussion not singling out anyone.

RE: So What.
By JediJeb on 8/12/2010 5:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
Now the second topic is if we socialize everything meaning were all in this together and we all pay into the same pot and we all withdraw from the same pot. Then if the healthy are paying for the unhealthy lifestyles, who gets a voice on how the money should get distributed?

This is the part if socialized everything that I have a problem with. Unless everyone is making the same amount of money then they can't all pay the same amount into the pot. And with how most of the socialized societies are working now, those that don't make money to put into the pot, are the very ones drawing the most out of the pot! This is in no way a fair and equitable society.

RE: So What.
By rcc on 8/13/2010 12:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
Then if the healthy are paying for the unhealthy lifestyles, who gets a voice on how the money should get distributed?

And, who gets a voice on welfare payments if the employed are paying for the unemployed?

Or the people with or without diabetes, Parkinson's disease, etc. Alcoholics, or even just habitual drinkers. Other partakers in modern pharaceutical recreation. Personally, I'm really worried about rodeo clowns and pro wrestlers, I don't want any part of their medical bills. : )

Who gets to draw any of those lines. And if you draw it in one place for one group, is it fair to draw it elsewhere for another group.

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