Promote Energy Independence — Lose Weight!

It was just a matter of time before someone made this connection: The rising incidence of obesity in the United States doesn’t just lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, it also increases fuel consumption in passenger vehicles, according to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Americans have gained an average of 24 pounds since 1960. That weight gain has resulted in an extra 938 million gallons of fuel consumed annually, according to the study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation. That’s nearly three times the total amount of fuel consumed by all passenger vehicles each day based on current driving habits.

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5 responses to “Promote Energy Independence — Lose Weight!”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Well, at least if they are driving their own cars, they are paying for their own weight gain in terms of transportation.

    If they are riding Metro, we are all paying for it.

  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I read somewhere that this trend has resulted in larger “bottoms” which, in turn, has caused the airlines
    to look at bigger seats plus .. not to mention pay more for fuel ….

    which has resulted in .. .higher fares for everyone to compensate….

    So.. next time… you shuffle onto a plane.. stop and demand a refund from every one whose size indicates guilt.

    or .. here’s an idea … everyone gets weighed .. and you pay a premium for every pound over your ideal weight!

    … so .. go to Orbitz.. where a fare is advertised as $159 bucks.. but at the airport.. you pay $209.

    This would be a huge benefit to security… because folks would be taking off every stitch of clothes including their shoes and stowing it in their carry-on.

  3. Jim Patrick Avatar
    Jim Patrick

    Rephrased, they’re claiming Americans’ weight causes 3/365 or 0.8% more vehicle fuel consumption.

    What’s missing is the amount of heating fuel saved, by heavier people who tolerate sub-68 degree temperatures.

    The bottom line is that we cannot conserve ourselves into energy independence.

  4. Ray Hyde Avatar

    You are not going to believe this, but it is a true story.

    I was on a plane that was over weight, and the airline was offering a bonus to people who would deplane and take a later flight. The specifically requested that people who were overweight accept the bonus.

    I am height and weight proportional, but I didn’t think twice: I took the bonus and got off that overweight airplane. I thought about that often after that overweight commuter crashed in NC.

    That is cutting it far too close, in my opinion.

  5. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Jim Patrick:

    I absolutely love your comment.

    Everything is a system. The more you look at one part irrespective of the others, the more likely you are to come to a sub-optimal (not to say outright wrong) conclusion.

    It is the parable of the three blind men examining an elephant, over and over and over again.

    Yet people just don’t get it. That is why the idea of tolls as the only method of funding roads doesn’t work. You need to look at the system.

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