Americans are spending more money on fuel these days in part because adult men and women on average are at least 24 pounds heavier than their counterparts were in 1960, a study has found.
Collectively, today's automobiles are burning more gasoline to haul all that extra weight around -- about 1 billion gallons more annually, in fact, than they would if drivers weighed the same as they did in 1960. At recent gas prices of $2.20 a gallon, that adds up to $2.2 billion more spent at the pump each year because of America's weight problem.
"What we have here is a socioeconomic implication of obesity," said (Sheldon) Jacobson, an industrial engineer. "If people decide as a nation to get healthier and lose weight and be fitter, not only will we have a healthier country but we're actually going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil very covertly, simply because we're going to be using less."
So, losing weight is now not just good for your heart, decreasing your chances of certain cancers and reducing your risk of diabetes. It's also a way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil! (It also reduces our dependence on french fry oil...)