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Frankie
10-26-2006, 11:35 AM
....we all lose a pound each in the next year!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061025/ap_on_re_us/obesity_gas_consumption


Weight gain means lower gas mileage
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer
Wed Oct 25, 7:43 PM ET



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.

___

On the Net:

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov

Phobia
10-26-2006, 11:37 AM
In related news, Exxon just acquired McDonalds.

Hog Farmer
10-26-2006, 11:39 AM
Or if everybody would quit tasting their gas checking for sugar!

BWillie
10-26-2006, 11:52 AM
How people get fat is really beyond me. You would think in a country that is full of people who are workaholics they wouldn't have time to eat. It continues to amaze me

Frankie
10-26-2006, 12:02 PM
How people get fat is really beyond me. You would think in a country that is full of people who are workaholics they wouldn't have time to eat. It continues to amaze me
One world: McDonalds

DMAC
10-26-2006, 12:19 PM
We are not workaholics, we just say we are.

StcChief
10-26-2006, 12:25 PM
one word: Beer

Redrum_69
10-26-2006, 12:31 PM
How people get fat is really beyond me. You would think in a country that is full of people who are workaholics they wouldn't have time to eat. It continues to amaze me


Its called being married.

redbrian
10-26-2006, 12:34 PM
Ok so if I lose 100 lbs I could save $40 bucks in gas.
Now of course my medical bills would go through the roof since that would leave me at 70lbs, which at 5'8" isnt a real healthy weight.

Or I guess I could get rid of the wife and kids, now that would save a lot of money on all fronts.

And if you follow this logic it would mean you should not car pool as that just adds weight.

TrickyNicky
10-26-2006, 12:55 PM
This just in: The easiest way to save gas money AND lose weight is to buy a bike.

listopencil
10-26-2006, 12:57 PM
And if you follow this logic it would mean you should not car pool as that just adds weight.

No, because you are hypothetically eliminating one vehicle for each person that joins the carpool.

FAX
10-26-2006, 12:59 PM
Why can't we just tie hydrogen filled baloons to our cars? Dieting is hard.

FAX

FAX
10-26-2006, 01:25 PM
Actually, not a bad business idea. Does anyone know how much helium balloons cost? And, how much helium would you need to offset a pound of person fat? Or, an entire big fat ass if it weighed, say 30 pounds?

We could make helium balloon reverse ballasts for car trunks, reduce the weight of the automobile, and save people lots of money.

Do helium baloons explode if you crash into them?

FAX

ck_IN
10-26-2006, 01:28 PM
<i>How people get fat is really beyond me. You would think in a country that is full of people who are workaholics they wouldn't have time to eat. It continues to amaze me</i>

Actually thats part of the problem. We spend so much time working, meeting schedules, dropping kids to whatever, etc that we don't have time to eat healthy food. We eat fast food junk or tide ourselves over with snacks. That stuff is loaded with fat, salt, and sugar. That in turn leads to obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Working in IT with nutty schedules and deadlines I have to force myself not to do this kind of thing.

ck_IN
10-26-2006, 01:30 PM
helium != explosion
Hydrogen = Hindenburg (Oh the humanity)

Cochise
10-26-2006, 01:32 PM
If we just gave one in every 150 people a bowl of antifreeze nobody would have to lose any weight at all.

JBucc
10-26-2006, 01:32 PM
I'd rather just take the spare tire off the car or throw out the back seat.

Donger
10-26-2006, 01:35 PM
Actually, not a bad business idea. Does anyone know how much helium balloons cost? And, how much helium would you need to offset a pound of person fat? Or, an entire big fat ass if it weighed, say 30 pounds?

We could make helium balloon reverse ballasts for car trunks, reduce the weight of the automobile, and save people lots of money.

Do helium baloons explode if you crash into them?

FAX

But you wouldn't have reduced the mass at all.

Cochise
10-26-2006, 01:39 PM
But you wouldn't have reduced the mass at all.

Not to mention that towing along these balloons that might as well be enormous parachutes could have a slight effect on the gas mileage...

FAX
10-26-2006, 01:41 PM
But you wouldn't have reduced the mass at all.

Would Protestant balloons work?

I trust your judgement on matters such as these, Mr. Donger, but if fat people use more gas than skinny people, it's because skinny people weigh less, correct?

If you tie a helium baloon to a fat person, they weigh less, correct? In fact, if you tie enough helium balloons to a fat person, they would float off into the air, correct?

If we offset the fat person fatness with helium, the total weight of the car plus the fat person is more similar to the weight of the car plus a skinny person, correct?

FAX

FAX
10-26-2006, 01:42 PM
Not to mention that towing along these balloons that might as well be enormous parachutes could have a slight effect on the gas mileage...

We should put them in the trunk so they don't get popped by hooligans.

FAX

JBucc
10-26-2006, 01:44 PM
Or we could all take a big poop right before we go anywhere in a car. That's usually about a pound of waste I think.

Donger
10-26-2006, 01:50 PM
Would Protestant balloons work?

I trust your judgement on matters such as these, Mr. Donger, but if fat people use more gas than skinny people, it's because skinny people weigh less, correct?

If you tie a helium baloon to a fat person, they weigh less, correct? In fact, if you tie enough helium balloons to a fat person, they would float off into the air, correct?

If we offset the fat person fatness with helium, the total weight of the car plus the fat person is more similar to the weight of the car plus a skinny person, correct?

FAX

Yes, all correct except for the Protestant part. That's a question for theologians.

listopencil
10-26-2006, 01:51 PM
Would Protestant balloons work?

I trust your judgement on matters such as these, Mr. Donger, but if fat people use more gas than skinny people, it's because skinny people weigh less, correct?

If you tie a helium baloon to a fat person, they weigh less, correct? In fact, if you tie enough helium balloons to a fat person, they would float off into the air, correct?

If we offset the fat person fatness with helium, the total weight of the car plus the fat person is more similar to the weight of the car plus a skinny person, correct?

FAX


The problem with the helium balloon theory is that to get the best effect, and therefore the highest savings, you need to use balloons with the largest surface area possible. As mentioned before this will increase drag unless the balloons are inside the vehicle. As a test you could rent a U-Haul and drive it all day while recording your gas mileage. Then fill it with helium balloons and repeat the process during a second day. I would hypothesise that you will see a savings but keep in mind that this particular arangement can't apply to the average commuter. I think auto engineers are stymied right now by this "Where Do We Put The Helium Balloon?" problem.

JBucc
10-26-2006, 01:51 PM
The problem with the helium balloon theory is that to get the best effect, and therefore the highest savings, you need to use balloons with the largest surface area possible. As mentioned before this will increase drag unless the balloons are inside the vehicle. As a test you could rent a U-Haul and drive it all day while recording your gas mileage. Then fill it with helium balloons and repeat the process during a second day. I would hypothesise that you will see a savings but keep in mind that this particular arangement can't apply to the average commuter. I think auto engineers are stymied right now by this "Where Do We Put The Helium Balloon?" problem.Sounds like a job for the mythbusters.

Frankie
10-26-2006, 01:57 PM
Why can't we just tie hydrogen filled baloons to our cars? Dieting is hard.

FAX
You might just have something brilliant going there Mr FAX. :hmmm:

Frankie
10-26-2006, 02:03 PM
Would Protestant balloons work? ROFL

I trust your judgement on matters such as these, Mr. Donger, but if fat people use more gas than skinny people, it's because skinny people weigh less, correct?

If you tie a helium baloon to a fat person, they weigh less, correct? In fact, if you tie enough helium balloons to a fat person, they would float off into the air, correct?

If we offset the fat person fatness with helium, the total weight of the car plus the fat person is more similar to the weight of the car plus a skinny person, correct?

FAX

Or we can have them inhale their daily dose of Helium everyday. Only we have to put up with universal munchkin voices.

Frankie
10-26-2006, 02:04 PM
Or we could all take a big poop right before we go anywhere in a car. That's usually about a pound of waste I think.
This thread runneth over with brilliance!

FAX
10-26-2006, 02:06 PM
You might just have something brilliant going there Mr FAX. :hmmm:

It appears we have some skeptics, Mr. Frankie. Hydrogen is out because it = explosion. So, we have to go with helium which is safer.

Mr. Donger is apparently concerned with mass. I suppose that a prayer isn't a bad idea if you're driving around with a bunch of helium balloons in your car, but he may be overly concerned in this respect.

I still don't know how much helium is required to offset the weight of one fat caboose, though. With that information, we could proceed immediately with R&D.

FAX

Psyko Tek
10-26-2006, 02:08 PM
The problem with the helium balloon theory is that to get the best effect, and therefore the highest savings, you need to use balloons with the largest surface area possible. As mentioned before this will increase drag unless the balloons are inside the vehicle. As a test you could rent a U-Haul and drive it all day while recording your gas mileage. Then fill it with helium balloons and repeat the process during a second day. I would hypothesise that you will see a savings but keep in mind that this particular arangement can't apply to the average commuter. I think auto engineers are stymied right now by this "Where Do We Put The Helium Balloon?" problem.


hokay, so you make the car air tight...
fill it with helium...
everybody talks funny and you get better mileage

there may be a problem with lack of oxygen....

Donger
10-26-2006, 02:09 PM
It appears we have some skeptics, Mr. Frankie. Hydrogen is out because it = explosion. So, we have to go with helium which is safer.

Mr. Donger is apparently concerned with mass. I suppose that a prayer isn't a bad idea if you're driving around with a bunch of helium balloons in your car, but he may be overly concerned in this respect.

I still don't know how much helium is required to offset the weight of one fat caboose, though. With that information, we could proceed immediately with R&D.

FAX

ROFL

FAX
10-26-2006, 02:45 PM
Okay. The results of our research to date:

A helium balloon experiences an upward force that is equal to the weight of the air it displaces (the buoyant force on the balloon) minus its own weight. At sea level, air weighs about 0.078 pounds per cubic foot, so the upward buoyant force on a cubic foot of helium is about 0.078 pounds. A cubic foot of helium weighs only about 0.011 pounds. The difference between the upward buoyant force on the cubic foot of helium and the weight of the helium is the amount of extra weight that the helium can lift, which is about 0.067 pounds per cubic foot. To lift a 100 pound person, requires approximately 1500 cubic feet of helium in a balloon.

How many cubic feet are in an average car trunk? Anyone know?

FAX

Donger
10-26-2006, 02:50 PM
Okay. The results of our research to date:

A helium balloon experiences an upward force that is equal to the weight of the air it displaces (the buoyant force on the balloon) minus its own weight. At sea level, air weighs about 0.078 pounds per cubic foot, so the upward buoyant force on a cubic foot of helium is about 0.078 pounds. A cubic foot of helium weighs only about 0.011 pounds. The difference between the upward buoyant force on the cubic foot of helium and the weight of the helium is the amount of extra weight that the helium can lift, which is about 0.067 pounds per cubic foot. To lift a 100 pound person, requires approximately 1500 cubic feet of helium in a balloon.

How many cubic feet are in an average car trunk? Anyone know?

FAX

About 16 cubic feet.

Cochise
10-26-2006, 03:01 PM
To lift a 100 pound person, requires approximately 1500 cubic feet of helium in a balloon.


That's like a cube 11.5 feet in length on each side.

FAX
10-26-2006, 03:17 PM
That's like a cube 11.5 feet in length on each side.

True. True. But remember Mr. Cochise, we're not trying to lift an entire 100 lb person. Just offsetting the weight by the average fat butt. I'd say 20 to 30 lbs should do the trick. Anyway, we wouldn't want to float them off into space. That would be impractical because cars don't have aelerons or flaps.

Since we have approximately 16 cubic feet in the average trunk, we need to calculate how much a trunk full of helium balloons would lift sans room for the spare, emergency equipment, and our ruby slippers.

I don't think the calculation will be 1 to 1. In other words, if 1500 cubic feet of helium lifts 100 lbs, it will take more than 15 cubic feet to lift 1. I'm working on this problem but I need to go out and buy some helium to see if I can lift the yellow pages. Unless someone already knows the answer which would be awfully darn helpful.

FAX

Frankie
10-27-2006, 08:42 AM
There's nothing like Mr. FAX getting scientific. :thumb: