Newsflash: Americans are fat. And no, we're not just big boned. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions over the past couple decades, and as a result diabetes, heart disease and just about every other health issue are on the rise.

The Atlantic reports that the amount of fuel we're using is on the rise as well, as heavy occupants need more fuel to get from Point A to *insert drive-thru joke here*. A 2006 study shows that Americans weigh so much more than they did in 1960 that we're using up an additional billion gallons of petrol every year.

That's about $4 billion a year at today's gas prices, and nearly one percent of overall fuel usage. And that was back in 2006 – as we continue to plump up, the dollars continue to pile up. Inside Line reports that each pound we gain as a population adds up to another $39 million. It's too bad we can't get stop/start tech for our appetites.


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  • 120 Comments
      chest rockwell
      • 2 Years Ago
      The irony of seeing extremely overweight folks driving in a Honda Fit makes me laugh every time....
      bonehead
      • 2 Years Ago
      I find this study a little ridiculous. Sure americans weigh more and that will have an impact on the gas consumed. BUT what about the cars themselves! Cars weigh massive amounts now! A v6 Accord from 2010 weighs almost 3600lbs but the accord from the late 80s weighed around 2500lbs! Around 1000lbs less. And back then we didnt drive SUVs either, and small pickup trucks still existed. The number im more interested in; what americans would be saving if cars weighed on average what they did just 20 years ago.
        spdracerut
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bonehead
        Which car would you rather be in an accident in? The 2010 Accord of the late 80's Accord? That's a big reason why modern cars weigh more.
          Fonin
          • 2 Years Ago
          @spdracerut
          i would rather that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists become more aware and responsible. then we can reduce the number of collisions and not need so much protection.
          spdracerut
          • 2 Years Ago
          @spdracerut
          Fonin, I whole heartily agree with improved education. Heck, I ride a motorcycle to work a few times a week and therefore have no protection. However, in the US, people will sure for ANYTHING. Therefore, the automakers have to take extended measures to protect themselves. There needs to be tort reform first along with improved driver education.
          spdracerut
          • 2 Years Ago
          @spdracerut
          *sue.... sorry for the typo.
      David S.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Problem: oil Solution: fat jokes
      Reuben Kincaid
      • 2 Years Ago
      Perhaps using a fat slob in the front seat of the picture would better get the point across. What's that woman's weight??? 105 lbs????
        Fonin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Reuben Kincaid
        but check out the size of the vehicle she is using only for herself, to go get a phatburger. not to mention her unsafe driving position... 10 and 2 lady!
      Boost Retard
      • 2 Years Ago
      Someone better start working on those floating chairs from Wall-E. We're gonna need them.
      Chris
      • 2 Years Ago
      People just need to get off of their couches, and away from their computers, and go ride a bike, or something. Of course, knowing people these days, they'd rather just sit back and wait for the government to do something. One of my biggest fears is that the foods I love to enjoy in moderation, the key being, in moderation, will one day be banned just because some people don't know how to practice self control.
        RustyShackelford
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chris
        "One of my biggest fears is that the foods I love to enjoy in moderation, the key being, in moderation, will one day be banned just because some people don't know how to practice self control." Or stay out of others' business. A nation that seeks to eliminate all possibility of danger or bad decisions is a nation that is no longer free. We've decided we'd rather nanny, nag, and coddle our neighbor than live and let live, apparently.
      RocketRed
      • 2 Years Ago
      So for the picture you show an attractive, normal-weight woman? I know you have to start somewhere but I hope that model quit whatever agency put her up to that career-killing picture.
      Fonin
      • 2 Years Ago
      the extra weight of all the safety features (needed dur to ever increasing... weight) combined with massive wheel/tire packages etc etc did anyone account for that? how about if we reduced stop signs and re-evaluated traffic flows so there would be less stopping? nah, lets just blame the citizenry.
        spdracerut
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Fonin
        It's simple science. More weight requires more fuel to be burned to move the weight around. There's no 'blaming' anything. It's just fact. I weigh about 145 lbs. Take a 330lb NFL offensive lineman, give us the same car, and it WILL require more fuel to move him around. Period. Can't bend the rules of physics.
        icon149
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Fonin
        the study was only taking into account the weight of occupants. it's as simple as comparing the average weight in 1960 to the average weight now and determining what effect the difference has on the fuel economy of the car. you'd have to be pretty stupid to think that they just compared the fuel consumption from the 60's to now. so why would you bring up safety devices and wheel packages?
        tegdesign
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Fonin
        Yes, the reduction of stop signs and poorly timed lights would make a massive difference! Roundabouts! That's what we need. I know Many of us would be scared of that change but they make a HUGE difference to traffic flow and fuel economy. It seems to me that in my city (Seattle) city planners are doing all they can to slow and frustrate traffic and the driver. They think it's a realistic way to get people on mass transit of bikes. They have a poor grasp of reality.
        Fonin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Fonin
        stop-start tech will help a lot too, as millions of americans idle each day at train crossings, stop lights, congestion, drive-thurs, etc.
          photofill
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Fonin
          my point exactly... i think much more fuel is wasted at bad timed stop lights and no turn lanes than for the extra few pounds that some have...
      WillieD
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, I'm 5' 10" and 145 pounds, so don't blame me.
      Chris
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another issue I have with this story is the woman in the picture. It doesn't really do much in conveying that America has a weight problem.
        gtv4rudy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chris
        She looks like 'Twiggy' for Gods sakes.
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @gtv4rudy
          She looks like she just got out of prison, and is having her first burger in 15 years.
      bonehead
      • 2 Years Ago
      BTW i didnt know Vulcans ate fast food. ;)
      Randy
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's hysterical is the fit woman woofing down a value meal for an obesity related blog post!
        protovici
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Randy
        What's hysterical is the fit woman woofing down a value meal for an obesity related blog post!
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