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  1. #1
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Obesity drives up U.S. fuel appetite

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    Chubby drivers and plump passengers add to the fuel crisis in more ways than one. A fat nation needs more gas in the tank, according to research released yesterday.
    "The key finding is that almost a billion gallons of fuel are consumed each year because of the average weight gain of people living in the U.S. since 1960," said Sheldon Jacobson, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois who crunched the numbers to show obesity is expensive on the roadways, and it's going to get worse.
    We may be hungry, but we're also impatient.
    "If our nation gets lighter -- and healthier -- one of the side benefits is that we will simply use less fuel," said Mr. Jacobson, adding that although Americans continue to gain weight, they are also driving more aggressively, which in turn uses more fuel.
    He compared national health data and passenger-car fuel consumption from 1960 to 2003 to find that because of a heftier population, we use 983 million gallons of gas more each year than we did in the slimmer '60s. That amount could fill 1.7 million gas tanks.
    It also translates to an extra $7.7 million a day, or $2.8 billion a year for consumers -- serious money, Mr. Jacobson says, considering that much of our fuel comes from foreign sources. A further finding of note: His analysis showed that every extra pound of human body weight in a vehicle equals an additional 39 million gallons of extra gasoline use collectively in a year.
    "We felt that beyond public health, being overweight has many other socioeconomic factors," Mr. Jacobson said.
    Indeed. Close to 66 percent of Americans are considered overweight by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, racking up $91 billion in health care costs to treat the condition. But obesity has become a force to be reckoned with as well.
    The Ford Motor Co. announced last month that it would recalibrate engineering standards to accommodate fatter drivers, using updated design mannequins with bigger bellies and wider hips beginning next year. Savvy fashion designers already have tweaked women's sizing to flatter today's generous figures, replacing the Department of Agriculture guidelines established in the 1940s.
    Plus-size thinking has also arrived among furniture manufacturers, not to mention medical suppliers who must provide sturdier X-ray tables, ambulances and longer needles to accommodate an ample population.
    Beefier passengers cause airlines to spend $275 million a year for extra fuel to get them aloft, prompting some airlines to charge fatter fliers extra fees. While environmentalists cringed to discover the increased fuel use sent an extra 4 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air, the Federal Aviation Administration revised its passenger weight standards in 2004, for the first time in 66 years.
    Fact-finding can turn to fault-finding, though. A 2003 study by the National Center for Smart Growth blamed obesity on urban sprawl and the commuting lifestyle. Research released last year by Oregon State University found that obese folks personally preferred a car-centered existence, concluding that "overweight people tend to choose suburban life."
    Drive everywhere and get fat.
    Get fat and have to drive everywhere.

  2. #2
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    so let's complain about the socioeconomic factors obesity brings and let's plurg in to making seats larger, furniture larger while keeping a low cost very accessible fast food chains on the market and let's not try and put all this money into reaching out to this population and educate and offer them exercises and meal plan and the supervision and incentive they need to gain back thier health and happy life.
    Could be true that we are a fat nation but however more and more people are coming out trying and gain control of thier life again and exercise, id like to see more energie put in to this effort.

  3. #3
    KombuchaCHIC Shadiyah's Avatar
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    Perhaps they could make a start by giving the kids a healthier lunch in public schools? I don't know what they eat in private or charter schools, but when I worked at a public school last year, I was always very disturbed at what they fed these kids. I remember my own lunch choices as not being so great when I was a kid. It just keep getting worse and worse.

  4. #4
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    I think it's less the food, and more the inaction.

    I didn't eat fresh veggies and baked skinless chicken as a kid. I ate tatertots and ballpark franks.
    The difference was, after school I didn't plop in front of cathode tube, but was out building forts, jumping ramps, and plotting water-balloon ambushes on the neighborhood girls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadiyah
    Perhaps they could make a start by giving the kids a healthier lunch in public schools? I don't know what they eat in private or charter schools, but when I worked at a public school last year, I was always very disturbed at what they fed these kids. I remember my own lunch choices as not being so great when I was a kid. It just keep getting worse and worse.
    so true! they offer my kid's school pizza twice a week and there is a vending machine with sodas! and they only have to take gym 2 session out of 4 a year.

  6. #6
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Simple solution.....
    Ban videogames, ban TV and put a bicycle powered dynamo in place to power the computer!

    Other than that, just try as best you can to encourage better choices in the people you directly interact with. Past that, you can't legislate diet, or tax it, so just make your choices and remember, others have that right as well!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  7. #7
    KombuchaCHIC Shadiyah's Avatar
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    Yeah, the inactivity plays a HUGE part. Kids don't go outside and play like they used to. Still, the diet does NOT help. The stuff we have been eating within the last 25 years or so is the worst its ever been.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    I think it's less the food, and more the inaction.

    I didn't eat fresh veggies and baked skinless chicken as a kid. I ate tatertots and ballpark franks.
    The difference was, after school I didn't plop in front of cathode tube, but was out building forts, jumping ramps, and plotting water-balloon ambushes on the neighborhood girls.
    right.... back then, you needed to be outside to see your friends or socialise, these days, all they have to do is come home and go online, on myspace to get thier interactions with friends.

  9. #9
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    The Ford Motor Co. announced last month that it would recalibrate engineering standards to accommodate fatter drivers, using updated design mannequins with bigger bellies and wider hips beginning next year.
    Does this mean I'm compromising my safety?

  10. #10
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    Does this mean I'm compromising my safety?
    Maybe you could just slip into one of those Sumo suits.

  11. #11
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    We'd have to ban bike forums to get people on their bikes and off the computer.

  12. #12
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ efrobert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    I think it's less the food, and more the inaction.

    I didn't eat fresh veggies and baked skinless chicken as a kid. I ate tatertots and ballpark franks.
    The difference was, after school I didn't plop in front of cathode tube, but was out building forts, jumping ramps, and plotting water-balloon ambushes on the neighborhood girls.
    Building forts and jumping ramps RULE! I never see kids doing that stuff. When I was a kid after school, you got on your bike and rode to a playground and ran around untill dinner time. I remember playing a game called "muckle" all the time. Basically it was like football, but with no goal. You grabbd the ball and everyone else tried to tackle you and throw you to the ground, so you ran like hell to avoid it. Then after you were down someone else would grab the ball and everyone would chase him. That was a fun game.
    Who's up for a game of Muckle tonight afterwork?

  13. #13
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Muckle?
    We called it "Kill the guy with the ball"

    We had no use for euphemisms!

  14. #14
    KombuchaCHIC Shadiyah's Avatar
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    Sure, I'll muckle you! You're going down!

  15. #15
    Kicked out of the Webelos bluebottle1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    Muckle?
    We called it "Kill the guy with the ball"

    We had no use for euphemisms!
    Yeah, no kidding! What's with giving it a cutesy name?
    ______________________________________________

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blonduathlongrl
    so true! they offer my kid's school pizza twice a week and there is a vending machine with sodas! and they only have to take gym 2 session out of 4 a year.
    I eat pizza twice a week, but I exersize. Some unhealthy food is fine in moderation, but must also be accompanied by exersize.

  17. #17
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    It's really simple.
    If you have only 200 cals more a day than you burn (about the amount in a 16 oz coke) you'll gain 20lbs of fat in a year.

  18. #18
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    Rename the US 'canada' and it should solve all our problems

  19. #19
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Yeah, I love to start my day with a toasty warm bagel washed down with a gallon of high octane, preferabbly Shell, as Exxon leaves a bad aftertaste.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
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    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  20. #20
    Tail End Charlie Ritehsedad's Avatar
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    Burn fat, not oil.
    Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?

  21. #21
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pheard
    I eat pizza twice a week, but I exersize. Some unhealthy food is fine in moderation, but must also be accompanied by exersize.
    Right on! How about providing some health and nutrition education in school? Teaching kids how to make decisions on their own that's wise. All the sheltering "for their own good" that's done is only going to delay the inevitable and does them a disservice in the long-run. It sucks that all the funding-cuts have forced schools to remove sports and arts programmes...

  22. #22
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blonduathlongrl
    so let's complain about the socioeconomic factors obesity brings and let's plurg in to making seats larger, furniture larger while keeping a low cost very accessible fast food chains on the market and let's not try and put all this money into reaching out to this population and educate and offer them exercises and meal plan and the supervision and incentive they need to gain back thier health and happy life.
    Could be true that we are a fat nation but however more and more people are coming out trying and gain control of thier life again and exercise, id like to see more energie put in to this effort.
    Take away my big macs, and I'll kill ya !
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadiyah
    Yeah, the inactivity plays a HUGE part. Kids don't go outside and play like they used to. Still, the diet does NOT help. The stuff we have been eating within the last 25 years or so is the worst its ever been.
    McDonalds goes back farther than that (heck I got boots older than that). It's definitely a combination of the two, but I think the exercise is the most important factor. Hell, back in the day when I was an olympic class athlete, the bulk of my diet was quarter-pounders, beer and pizza - and I smoked! Not saying that I couldn't have been even better had I taken better care of what I put in me, but it was how, and how often, I burned it out of me that enabled me to get to that level anyway.

    My diet has varied over the years, but the only reason I am not 300lbs like most of the rest of my family is the exercise.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  24. #24
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I agree with shadiyah and Danno about schools being a problem. Not just the food, but also a lack of gym clases. Elementary school students typically get gym class once a week, and that is nothing short of horrible.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  25. #25
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Right on! How about providing some health and nutrition education in school? Teaching kids how to make decisions on their own that's wise. All the sheltering "for their own good" that's done is only going to delay the inevitable and does them a disservice in the long-run. It sucks that all the funding-cuts have forced schools to remove sports and arts programmes...
    Yep, and liability concerns have removed playgrounds and even outdoor recess. It's like we are raising our kids like they raise calves for Kobe steaks...feed em and keep em immobile.

    I remember way back when JFK made fitness a national priority...now it seems our national priority is to do whatever it takes not to exert ourselves.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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