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Heavier drivers seen using more gasoline

Old 10-26-2006, 09:06 PM
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Default Heavier drivers seen using more gasoline

I guess some reporter got bored. Certainly funny and probably true.

I think we could save more gasoline if we all checked our tire pressure once a month
and made sure we didn't carry any extra weight in the trunk or bed of our trucks and cars.

Heavier drivers seen using more gasoline

Study concludes costs will become 'more significant' as obesity increases.
October 26 2006: 1:08 PM EDT
NEW YORK ( -- The widening waistlines of Americans have increased the consumption of gasoline since 1960 according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Virginia Commonwealth University.

A report by Laura A. McLay of VCU, concludes that Americans now pump 938 million gallons of fuel more on a yearly basis than they were in 1960 because of their increasing weight.

"Although the amount of fuel consumed as a result of the rising prevalence of obesity is small compared to the increase in the amount of fuel consumed stemming from other factors such as increased car reliance and an increase in the number of drivers," the report stated, "it still represents a large amount of fuel, and will become even more significant as the rate of obesity increases."

Americans' reliance on cars for private transportation has increased as low rise construction, single-family homes and highways associated with suburbs have grown since the end of World War II.

McLay began the study as a doctoral student of Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science and director of the simulation and optimization laboratory at Illinois.

The report's conclusions are drawn from mathematical computations of weight gain applied to passenger vehicles, including cars and light trucks driven for non-commercial reasons.

The study ruled out increased cargo weight or poor performance through lowered maintenance of cars as contributors to increased consumption. The report will be published in a forthcoming issue of The Engineering Economist.

In spite of a recent dip in gas prices, oil companies such as BP (Charts), ConocoPhillips (down $0.32 to $62.43, Charts) and ExxonMobil (Charts) have enjoyed rising profits, based in part on Americans' dependence on their product.

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Old 10-26-2006, 10:49 PM
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Default RE: Heavier drivers seen using more gasoline

It isn't the weight that makes them use more fuel, it is the increase use of driving over walking that causes them to weigh more. It is likely a case that people who weigh more are lazier and are more likely to drive then people who have motivation to walk. They have a weight problems because they don't have enough self-restraint to quit eating and might also lack the self-restraint to not drive when they don't need to. (No offense to the over weight of course)

I was amazed one time when a cousin of mine, who came by earilier to borrow my computer, offered me a ride back from the parking lot which is about 200 yards from my dorm hall. I walk around 4-6 miles a night around campus, walking 200 yards is nothing. How lazy are we getting when people actually think we need a ride for a 200 yard distance.

In fairness though not all people who are over weight can help it. I have relatives who do more exercise in one day than I do in a week and they weigh a lot more than I do and we have similar eating habits.
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