• Aug 18, 2010
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]


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  • 69 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Someone out there is looking at that picture and saying: "Oh $#!+ honey, that's us!".
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah! Another article about fat americans.....
        • 4 Years Ago
        The sad reality is that it is becoming socially accepted and the norm in America today. Weight loss centers, apparel stores for the larger "figures", even reality shows --all a slice of where this country is at this moment. Step into a high school and look at the size of those kids, they don't stand a chance when they're already that big in their freshman years. In fact, look around you at any public place like a mall and you can count a dozen overweight people easily in a span of 5 minutes. That's a problem.

        Americans abuse food, like drugs or alcohol. Food is entertainment. A home-cooked meal will be a rare thing for kids those days with the prevalence of take out, fast food, frozen entrees, and the weekly family dinners at Applebees or any chain restaurant with the all-you-can eat ribs. There is just an abundance of cheap convenient food everywhere and people just shovel the stuff into their bodies without thinking about things like how a calf grows to full size in 2 months (almost true)

        Even Starbucks has turned into a glorified McDonalds, anyone notice the food choices there lately as well as the clientele buying dessert drinks? (usually the fat high school kids) Do they even contain coffee?

        • 4 Years Ago
        We need more articles about fatties. It needs to be a social taboo to be a fatty to discourage it; like DUIs or DWIs. It's detrimental in so many ways and should in no way be supported or encouraged.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What about people driving around with all the added weight of cheesy body kits, big wings, fart cans, and a trunk full of speakers?

      If we criticize people for obesity than we should criticize those with bad taste.....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Speakers add maybe 50 pounds, the rest of the stuff you listed adds maybe 10 pounds overall. Bad taste doesn't affect your health or lifespan, nor does it affect our health care providers and insurance companies.

        Silly comparison.
        • 4 Years Ago
        not so silly. if you trade up to Uuge rims that weight 20lbs more than stock wheels, you are adding inefficiency. on top of that all the 50+ lbs of junk in the trunk, and the added wind resistance of the bolt-on wing... and then of course you go WoT from red to red.
        the idea is it all does add up, and i wouldn;t be surprised if it created mroe than a .07% drop in mileage.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh brother..... if I did a review of this article I'd photoshop a picture of autoblog flushing down a toilet....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Jesus, that's a sexy headline picture isn't it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's the picture in the print ad for that new gym:

        24-Hour Fatness
      • 4 Years Ago
      All the gas was wasted on their daily trek to Wal*Mart to get the lowest price on Twinkys, HoHo's, and potato chips, and almost forgot about the diet Coke.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Obama should come up with a 'fat tax'.
      He should also tax short people who buy large SUV's and subsidize tall people because we can't fit into small cars and some of us can't afford proper sized SUV's.
      It's discrimination.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I call BS.

        There's plenty of small cars that tall people can fit into. When I was shopping for a compact car a year ago, I fit in every single car I sat in. Honda Fit. Nissan Versa. Sentra. Civic. Corolla. Elantra and I'm 6'3".

        In fact, there's some cars that could be too big for me. When i put the seat in the Toyota avalon all the way back, I couldn't touch the pedals.

        By the time you start looking at midsize cars, you're going to fit in the car - and if you don't there's not many SUVs that can accommodate you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ airchompers

        Sure, you are 6'3" but how wide are you?

        Height usually isn't the biggest problem with obese people. My boss sits in my vehicle and pours over into the center console.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm sure 0bama would like that tax but he has no time -- he's headed on vacation.......or is he just coming back from one? Hard to tell....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Obviusly, with those big bellies, they fart a lot!!! LMAO!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fat Americans produce more gas. :D
        • 4 Years Ago
        But skinny Americans creates more smug.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If that's the case... Car reporters should have to fall under the "Healthy Weight" section of the Body Mass Index.

      Or, have
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if this report takes into account the extra gas used by bigger vehicles purchased by fat people for the simple fact that they can't fit into anything else.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or the fact that fat people tend to run the air conditioner wide open at all times for some reason.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just wait for the EPA to require all vehicle occupants weight under 160lbs a-piece to regulate fuel usage :)

        • 4 Years Ago
        If people want to charge Semi truck shipping companies for their increased weight impact to the interstates, would this be the same situation?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Fat tax, make it happen! Just kidding..............make it!
        • 4 Years Ago
        In what reality should I even care about this idiocy?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can't wait for the DMV to start surcharging based on driver and passenger weight.
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