Losing weight can help you save money at the petrol pumps. That's the message from new research that found Americans' expanding waistlines are affecting fuel consumption and causing them to burn 4.3 billion more litres of fuel a year than they did in 1960.
Based on recent average petrol prices, that means that Americans are spending about $2.2 billion (R15.6 billion) more a year to lug their extra kilograms around in their cars, the Associated Press reported.
And the researchers noted that 4.3 billion litres is enough to fill almost 2 million cars with petrol for an entire year.
The study will appear in the October-December issue of the journal The Engineering Economist.
Hunger for food, hunger for oil
"The bottom line is that our hunger for food and our hunger for oil are not independent," study co-author Sheldon Jacobson of the University of Illinois, told the AP.
"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," Jacobson said.
In 2002, the average weight for American men was 87 kilograms, and 74 kilograms for women. That's about 11 kilograms more than the average in 1960, according to US government figures. The researchers used those weight figures in their calculations, which also included 2003 data on Americans' driving habits for nearly 223 million cars and light trucks, the AP reported. – (HealthDayNews)
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