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Old 04-19-2009, 07:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Ecomodding on a more personal level

I was thinking this morning. How does America's obesity epidemic relate to it's extreme fuel consumption problem.

Anyone have any estimates as to the savings that could be had? A little statistics mixed with a little physics should give a conservative estimate but I haven't taken the time to play with the numbers.

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Old 04-19-2009, 07:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't have any statistics, but personal experience suggests that public transit is a causative factor in the health of people who use it.

And not the park & ride BS we have to get into NYC, but the kind you have to walk to bike to and then walk up steps and things,

edit: Or do you mean the relationship between food and the fuel used in its production? In which case statistics are easy to come by but harder to trust, I find.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think the direct relationship is fuel consumption and obesity as much as sitting in a car to get to a place that's walking distance in good weather or convenience seeking. What I mean is, you can use a fuel-efficient car and use less fuel. However, if you insist to drive everywhere, therefore not burning the calories you consume, you'll store fat. I've heard of people who are extreme enough to get in the car to drive to their mailbox in a suburb, not a farm, where the mailbox might be a quarter of a mile ore more away.

However, I can see why there is a correlation since the ease and familiarity of driving more effects greater fuel consumption.

A side note, I believe the fuel consumption that should be considered is the increased portion sizes. There is no reason to eat as much as Americans do, no matter what we eat. We're programmed to eat when there is abundance. There's almost always been abundance in the US

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Old 04-19-2009, 08:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hah well I was thinking like... say everyone in America is 5 lbs over weight (On average. It's probably more.) and you consider the amount of fuel used in the rolling resistance and acceleration of that mass. Then multiply that by the number of driving americans and distance driven and such. It seems like it would add up to a massive number (No pun intended?).
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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O that.

There have been some articles on that in the past. "Obesity wastes X amount of barrels a year"

Hit up google
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I found an article saying that average weight gain since the 1960's has amounted to an average of about a billion gallons of gas per year.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe I can motivate myself to lose baby fat with the knowledge that I'll at the pump
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Some people wind up buying a larger car/suv since they can't comfortably fit in a smaller vehicle. So from that standpoint the simple mass of the driver may not reflect the possible fuel savings.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm hijacking this thread.

Being obese is expensive in many ways. The same source who mentioned driving to the mailbox also said when she was fat, it was a "disaster" to get in and out of a car if you were parked close to somebody or if somebody pulled next to you while you were inside, which was something I'd never thought about before since I've always been about a hundred pounds.

I have a 2001 Sentra too
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Many Americans are just... slobs, in every way. If you're too lazy to walk to the mailbox, odds are you're too lazy to conserve energy around the house, and too lazy to conserve energy with the vehicles, and too lazy to think about driving something economical, and too lazy to think for yourself instead of following the herd, and too lazy to not have more than two kids, and so on. Oh- lazy = selfish too, in all the previous examples.

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