Monday, October 30, 2006

To Shake US Oil Dependency, Lose Weight

An extra $2.2 billion is spent on gas each year in this country because of, "America's weight problem," according to a widely reported study by the University of Illinois (read it here at the Washington Post).

This is one of those stories that, when I tell people, they call me a crackpot. It's like a Bigfoot story. Too incredible to be true. And I'm pretty skeptical about these stories myself, but here are the facts.

Today, Americans weigh 24 pounds more than they did in 1960. To move this extra weight around, cars burn an extra 1 billion gallons of gas. Multiply that by the average price of gas right now, and you've got your $2.2 billion figure. But it's probably higher, if you think about it. Gas is cheaper now than it's been all year. In fact, it's been above $3 per gallon for a while.

So now there's more than your health that you have to think about while you're packing on the pounds. There are "socioeconomic" and national security implications as well.

Said an industrial engineer interviews by the Washington Post, "If people decide as a nation to get healthier and lose weight… we're actually going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.