All that extra weight adds up. In this case, it adds up to $275 million each year in extra fuel costs, not to mention the environmental impact of burning all that extra jet fuel. Perhaps the airlines will start requiring overweight passengers to pedal harder in an effort to make the plane's wings flap faster.
Weight gain is a well-known problem for people who want to live long and healthy lives, but who would ever think that it would affect the health of the airline industry?
- According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it does.
- In a recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the Atlanta-based federal agency said that bigger luggage is not the only thing weighing down airliners and causing them to burn more costly fuel.
- In fact, the CDC said, the average weight of Americans increased by 10 pounds during the 1990s -- requiring an extra 350 million gallons of jet fuel to fly them around during 2000.
- Put another way, that's about 2.4 percent of the total volume of jet fuel used domestically that year, and it cost airlines an extra $275 million to transport what the CDC called "this additional adiposity."
- Dr. Andrew Dannenberg, one of three authors of the CDC report, said in an interview Thursday that the agency was trying to focus public attention on the problems of weight gain.
- Airlines having to spend more on fuel, he said, "was looked on as an unexpected consequence."
- Dannenberg noted that overweight passengers on airplanes pose no sort of threat to safety.
- But Jack Evans, spokesman for the Air Transport Association of America, which represents the major U.S. airlines, said weight is a real issue.
- "Every bit of added weight increases the amount of fuel you're going to be burning," he said.
- 'For that reason, he said, airlines in recent years have bumped metal forks and spoons, replacing them with plastic, and have ditched bulky magazines.
- Southwest Airlines of Dallas requires large people to buy a second seat, citing safety and comfort of the other passengers.
About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, author and award-winning journalist with a strong interest in personal health, the environment and the power of nature to help us all heal He has authored more than 1,800 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, and he has authored and published several downloadable personal preparedness courses including a downloadable course focused on safety and self defense. Adams is an independent journalist with strong ethics who does not get paid to write articles about any product or company. In 2010, Adams created TV.NaturalNews.com, a natural living video sharing site featuring thousands of user videos on foods, fitness, green living and more. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products (BetterLifeGoods.com) and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also the founder and CEO of a well known email mail merge software developer whose software, 'Email Marketing Director,' currently runs the NaturalNews email subscriptions. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and practices nature photography, Capoeira, martial arts and organic gardening. Known by his callsign, the 'Health Ranger,' Adams posts his missions statements, health statistics and health photos at www.HealthRanger.org
Have comments on this article? Post them here:
people have commented on this article.