Automobiles may keep getting lighter, but light not enough to offset our soaring obesity rate — a conundrum that has thwarted the auto industry's attempts at greater fuel efficiency, according to a recent report by Allstate Insurance.
"Federal regulators are requiring 54.5 MPGs for cars and trucks by 2025. But even as the automotive industry goes to extremes to shed weight to meet these rules, heavier drivers are adding unexpected pounds," reads a recent entry on the Allstate blog.
One billion gallons of gasoline per year between 1960 and 2002 can be attributed to the weight gain of the passengers, as each additional 100 pounds drops a fuel economy by as much as 2 percent.
The Houston Business Journal points out that Harris County was ranked No. 2 in a recent study on the most oil-addicted areas of the United States. We're guilty of expending more that 1.6 billion gallons annually, just below Los Angeles.
And, since Men's Fitness named Houston the fattest city in America (based on the data points of long commutes, lack of mass transit, inhospitable weather and ample fast food restaurants), we can only conclude that the excessive gas guzzling has something to do with the collective waistline growth of our populous.