November 2, 2006

Weight gain of U.S. drivers has increased fuel consumption

Champaign, Illinois – Researchers at the University of Illinois report that weight gains by American drivers since the 1960s has increased fuel consumption. The report says that Americans now use 938 million gallons of fuel more annually than they did in 1960. At an average price of US$3.00 per gallon, the cost is US$7.7 million per day.

The researchers conclude that each extra pound of body weight in all of today’s vehicles results in the need for more than 39 million gallons of extra gasoline usage each year. The conclusions are based on publicly available data on U.S. weight gain from 1960 to 2002, which states that the average American’s weight has increased by more than 24 pounds.

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