Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Illinois have both confirmed that the United States consumes an extra billion gallons of gasoline annually due to obesity. And for each pound on average that we gain as a nation, an estimated 39 million gallons of additional fuel is needed to cart us around. Given that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, that’s fuel for thought.
If you’re driving somewhere Labor Day weekend, the high price of gasoline is sure to put a dent in your travel budget. But if you want to make the most of your fuel efficiency avoid abrupt starts and stops, drive no faster than 60 mph and get rid of excess weight in cars.
This last part, get rid of excess weight that’s easy to do, and it goes beyond merely emptying the junk in the trunk. The more a car and its occupants weigh, the more fuel needed to move it. Who knew losing weight could affect your fuel economy?
Considering, adults body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher fall in the obese category this research might be something we need to take seriously. To hammer home the point even more apparently as weight increases, seat belt use decreases. The CDC found that only 70 percent of extremely obese people say that they always wear a seat belt, compared with 83 percent of normal-weight people. It is believed standard seat belts are only built to accommodate a 215 pound person. But should a severe car crash occur, a moderately obese driver faces a 21 percent increased risk of death, while the morbidly obese face a 56 percent increased risk of dying, according to a study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.
But skinny people out there don’t think you get off so easily. The same study found that normal-weight drivers are more likely to die in a severe crash than slightly overweight drivers.
So maybe going to the gym today isn’t a priority, a few pounds, just to be safe sounds good.