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FAPTurbo

Want Better Mileage? Lost The Weight Fatty!

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FAPTurbo    1,073

Weight gain means lower gas mileage: U.S. study

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Want to spend less at the pump? Lose some weight. That's the implication of a new study that says Americans are burning nearly 1 billion more gallons of gasoline each year than they did in 1960 because of their expanding waistlines. Simply put, more weight in the car means lower gas mileage.

Using recent gas prices of $2.20 a gallon, that translates to about $2.2 billion more spent on gas each year.

"The bottom line is that our hunger for food and our hunger for oil are not independent. There is a relationship between the two," said University of Illinois researcher Sheldon Jacobson, a study co-author.

"If a person reduces the weight in their car, either by removing excess baggage, carrying around less weight in their trunk, or yes, even losing weight, they will indeed see a drop in their fuel consumption."

The lost mileage is pretty small for any single driver. Jacobson said the typical driver -- someone who records less than 12,000 miles annually -- would use roughly 18 fewer gallons of gas over the course of a year by losing 100 pounds. At $2.20 per gallon, that would be a savings of almost $40.

Outside experts said that even if the calculations aren't exact, the study makes sense.

"If you put more weight into your car, you're going to get fewer miles per gallon," Emory University health care analyst Kenneth Thorpe said Wednesday.

The same effect has been seen in airplanes. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that heavy fliers have contributed to higher fuel costs for airlines.

The obesity rate among U.S. adults doubled from 1987 to 2003, from about 15 percent to more than 30 percent. Also, the average weight for American men was 191 pounds in 2002 and 164 pounds for women, about 25 pounds heavier than in 1960, government figures show.

The study's conclusions are based on those weight figures and Americans' 2003 driving habits, involving roughly 223 million cars and light trucks nationwide.

It will appear in the October-December issue of The Engineering Economist, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Society of Engineering Education and the Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Jacobson, an industrial engineer, conducted the research with Laura McLay, a doctoral student in his Champaign-Urbana lab who now works at Virginia Commonwealth University.

They estimated that more than 39 million gallons of fuel are used each year for every additional pound of passenger weight.

The amount of extra fuel consumption blamed on weight gain since 1960 -- 938 million gallons -- would fill almost 2 million cars with gas for an entire year. However, that is only 0.7 percent of the total amount of fuel consumed by U.S. passenger vehicles each year, Jacobson said.

The estimates "are probably pretty reliable," said Larry Chavis, an economist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "I don't know if it's going to encourage anybody to go out and lose weight to save gasoline, but even for individual families, it could have an effect on their budget."

Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, former CDC director and chairman of an Institute of Medicine report on obesity, said the findings are almost beside the point.

"The wrong fuel is being focused on," said Koplan, now at Emory University. "If you're heavier, the most important fuel you use more of is food."

Eating less, driving less and choosing more active means of transportation would reduce gas consumption, and also help reverse rising obesity rates, he said.

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FAPTurbo    1,073

did this really need to be published....  i mean really...

209135[/snapback]

The news these days has been kinda slow...

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z28luvr01    170

Yeah, but if you drive a FWD car, you'll get better tracton :P

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balthazar    1,852

And how much money would the government have saved had they not granted funds to moronic 'research' topics?

The real culprit by far is not the weight of the driver, which is about 5% of the curb weight involved, but the weight of the vehicle. Cars & trucks have ballooned in weight vs. 1960; and the German & Japanese vehicles have ballooned the most by far. Vehicle weight is still climbing and far too high.

A current mercedes 2-seat roadster weighs more than my early '90s F-150!

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razoredge    0

And how much money would the government have saved had they not granted funds to moronic 'research' topics?

The real culprit by far is not the weight of the driver, which is about 5% of the curb weight involved, but the weight of the vehicle. Cars & trucks have ballooned in weight vs. 1960; and the German & Japanese vehicles have ballooned the most by far. Vehicle weight is still climbing and far too high.

A current mercedes 2-seat roadster weighs more than my early '90s F-150!

209187[/snapback]

:yes: yep, yep and yep :yes:

Everytime I see that people make outragous money to do these research projects, I feel like banging my head off a concrete block so I could be as comfortably numb as these nimrods!

Now, we all have to realize that there is also a commitee working somewhere as we speak, trying to come up with more ways to improve motor vehical safety, thereby pushing the weight of a car even higher.

Our 2dr G6 weighs 400 lb more than our much larger and much more comfortable 86 2dr LeSabre.........

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loki    289

but but but... we gotta be safe, but we have to be fuel efficient....

don't nascar and other racers that work out tend to be "safer" in crashes? as in injured less than ones that don't... idk...

start making cars like how the 240z's were made but with the new engines and tranny's 220hp 5-6 speeds in a car that's 2500lbs... that'll get you those high 30s highway and mid 20s city...

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Cory Wolfe    263

And how much money would the government have saved had they not granted funds to moronic 'research' topics?

The real culprit by far is not the weight of the driver, which is about 5% of the curb weight involved, but the weight of the vehicle. Cars & trucks have ballooned in weight vs. 1960; and the German & Japanese vehicles have ballooned the most by far. Vehicle weight is still climbing and far too high.

A current mercedes 2-seat roadster weighs more than my early '90s F-150!

209187[/snapback]

Exactly. I can't beleive how much certain vehicles weighs. Like the G6... for it's size, it shouldn't weigh any more than 3000lbs.

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FAPTurbo    1,073

It seems like my country has no news at all because a second study came out today, and it's on what makes a good hockey goalie...

The results... Keep your eye on the puck... If you keep your eye on the puck at all times, including a crucial few milliseconds, you will likely block the shot...

F*ckin' amazing, what a revelation. It will truly revolutionize sport as we know it...

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