retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Chalk up another victim of the nation's obesity crisis.

Allstate, the insurance company, now is saying that overweight Americans are causing the vehicles they drive to get less fuel efficiency - amounting to more than one billion gallons of wasted fuel each year.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Allstate "teamed with to document the struggle between fuel efficiency and passenger weight. Between 1960 and 2002, 1 billion gallons of gasoline could be attributed to the weight gain of motorists in passenger vehicles ... More gas is likely to get guzzled as people are getting heavier. Currently, more than a third of adults are obese, but the obesity rate is expected to reach 44 percent by 2030."

Of course, one billion gallons is "less than 1 percent of  the total fuel used by passenger vehicles annually," the Tribune notes. But now that this data is in the public domain, expect New York City to start weighing drivers at toll booths before they drive into the city, and increasing their toll charges depending on their BMI; the same could go for taxi fares, which are likely to be synched to how overweight passengers happen to be.
KC's View: