The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a new report on obesity in the U.S. According to the study, the U.S. witnessed a 1.1 percent increase in the number of self-reported people with obesity between 2007 and 2009. The increase amounts to 2.4 million additional Americans admitting that they have joined the category of obese individuals. In addition, the number of states reporting that at least 30 percent of its population fit into the obese category has tripled to include nine states. Rising obesity rates have led to increased medical costs and other public issues, but the automotive industry has felt the added weight as well.

According to the study, an estimated one billion gallons of extra fuel were used up to compensate for the added weight of drivers and passengers from 1960 to 2002. If you look at it another way, 0.7 percent of all the fuel burned in vehicles from 1960 to 2002 has been attributable to passengers who have packed on a few extra pounds. Or, how about this one: 39 million gallons of fuel are burned for each pound gained by the average American. While these numbers will probably make an eco-conscious driver think twice next time they're in line at a fast food joint, it seems unlikely that the majority Americans will slim down for the simple sake of saving fuel.

[Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Consumer Reports, Green Car Reports | Image: Tobyotter – C.C. License 2.0]