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Obesity Adds $4 Billion to Gasoline Bill

Americans spend an extra $4 billion dollars a year to fuel their cars with the extra gasoline needed to carry overweight and obese people.

Moving 250 pounds requires two times as much energy as moving 125 pounds. So a vehicle carrying heavier passengers uses more gasoline than if it were carrying lighter passengers. About 34 percent of the U.S. population is obese, and about 34 percent is overweight.

That leads to a net increase in consumption of 938 million gallons of gasoline -- or 0.8 percent of the total U.S. gasoline consumption per year, according to Sheldon Jacobson, engineer at the University of Illinois, told MSNBC.