Just about every industry has been affected by the growing obesity epidemic, and the transportation industry is no exception. In 2006, Americans consumed $938 million extra gallons of gasoline due to the increased weight of the passengers. It is also estimated that Americans spent over $4 billion on gasoline in 2006.
In 2000, American airlines used 350 additional gallons of fuel in order to handle the increased weight of the flyers. Furthermore, the average weight of an airline passenger increased by 10 pounds between the years of 1990 and 2000.
New York City Transit officials are considering increasing the seat weight limit on the trains to 400 pounds. New Jersey Transit officials have already widened the seats on the trains by 2.2 inches. The obesity rate is currently 35.7 percent, but experts are predicting that it will increase to 42 percent by the year 2030 if the current trends continue. If that occurs, then the transportation industry will be spending billions more dollars each year.