Found An Old Report: Being Overweight Equals Higher Fuel Costs

October 30, 2012
Blog Author

According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (see report), there was a 1.1% increase in obesity between 2007 and 2009 along with the number of states reporting an obesity rate over 30% in nine states. This jump in bodyweight not only affects an individuals health but also their pocket book when it comes to filling up at the pump.

Couple this with a study from 2009 by Resources for the Future which found when an individual who was overweight or obese gained 10% more bodyweight, it decreased the fuel economy of the vehicle by 2.5%. So if you are a 6 foot tall male that weighs 184lbs (which is the start of the overweight category) and increase your weight by 10% to weight 202lbs, you will start to experience that 2.5% fuel economy decrease. For example, if your vehicle was rated at 40 miles per gallon, it would be reasonable to say that you are now receiving an average of 39 miles per gallon or using an extra 9 gallons of gasoline each year (assuming 40mpg and 15,000 miles driven). This may not seem like a huge amount but when considering the amount of overweight drivers and the total miles driven, it starts to add up.

A study published at found that almost 1 billion gallons of fuel a year can be attributed to weight gain. With a gallon of gas close to almost $4.00, that is nearly 4 billion dollars in additional nationwide fuel costs, raising the demand and therefore raising the overall price. Remember, there are other costs associated with being overweight such as the additional cost of healthcare.