Obesity Costs Americans $3.87 Billion at the Pumps Each Year
We read some funny stories as we delve into what’s new to bring you the latest in motor related news. Well this one’s amusing and it’s from across the pond in the U.S.A.
It’s a well known fact that many Americans are overweight and in fact, its been referred to in the states as an “obesity epidemic” and whilst the side effects of that carry loads of health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and stroke, and these illnesses are putting huge pressure on the economy as the cost of health care increases and of course, many people are even forced to give up working.
You would think that would be enough, but no, new research has shown that Americas expanding waistline is also responsible for another economic disaster and that’s just how much fuel the country is using!
I guess you would expect that if you carry a load in your car, its going to do less to the gallon, purely because the car is heavier, but in the U.S. they’ve drilled that down to find out what the impact is exactly and it reveals some startling figures showing that the United States uses an additional 39 million gallons of fuel annually for each additional pound of passenger weight, meaning that the U.S. uses roughly “one billion” gallons of gas more each year now than they did back in 1960 when the population was more healthy and didn’t weigh so much!
Not to blame themselves however, a 2012 study concluded that there were contributing factors and in fact, the time people spent in their cars on their daily commute, actually is at least partly responsible for increasing the obesity rates in the U.S. (and there’s me thinking it was hamburgers & chips). Apparently, every 10 minutes spent commuting not only raises obesity risks, but increases cholesterol and neck and back pain and of course, as we know, the dependency on the use of our cars just keeps growing (as does the drivers it seems) and that just makes it worse and more difficult to shed the pounds. “I have now got this vision of an already obese person getting stuck in traffic for hours on end, becoming more obese because of it and simply not being able to get out when they reach there destination, because that’s what the U.S. research definitely suggests”.
Research taken as far back as 2006, which looked at 21 states, found that over a quarter of the population was obese and that’s now the case in 35 states, with 12 states having over a third of their population deemed to be obese. How bad is this and what does it all mean? Well the fittest state in the U.S. is reported to be Colorado, but even there, the research said that over 18% of their citizens are still considered obese.
So it seems we should forget spending fortunes in research to produce lower polluting vehicles and divert that money into investigating diets, because if just “one pound” in weight actually does as claimed by the U.S. research, increase the fuel used in the U.S. by 39 million gallons each year, well we would have the answer to all of our pollution and fuel shortage problems!
We know it’s not just the U.S., whose population has a weight issue, but the report was U.S. research, relating to the U.S. population and of course, at some point in the future, we look forward to giving you the UK figures if anyone takes the time to produce them, (must grab a burger whilst it’s still legal).