For every step we take forward, it seems that there is a step backwards. The CAFE fuel economy standards keep getting cranked up, but so does the weight of the drivers. In an infographic based on information in a Consumers Report post, a billion gallons of fuel are burned each year that can be attributed to obesity.
It isn't just the fuel needed to move the extra weight of the people; according to LiveScience, it is also the size of the car that fatter people purchase.
A 2009 study by Resources for the Future, a nonprofit organization that conducts research on environmental issues, investigated whether there's any truth to the notion that larger people tend to buy larger vehicles, ostensibly for reasons of comfort. It found that, between 1999 and 2005, a 10 percent increase in the rate of overweight and obese people corresponded with a 2.5 percent decrease in the miles per gallon of new vehicles that were purchased.
More in Livescience.