Obesity is attributed to a number of health conditions including increased risk of type-2 diabetes, cancer and heart and liver disease but its latest liability is an increase in fuel consumption. According to reports in the Daily Mail, up to 2% of fuel economy is lost per additional 100lbs (45 kg). They claim that this equates to an additional 39 million gallons of fuel be used every year per pound.
Weight is one of the key elements car manufacturers constantly seek to reduce in the race for better economy and emissions. Even mainstream manufacturers like VW are looking to employ exotic materials like carbon fibre to combat weight and improve performance, handling and, crucially, efficiency.
The National Obesity Observatory reports 26% of men and 26% of women were obese in the UK in 2010 (those with a BMI over 30). This trend is predicted to increase to affect 60% of men and 50% of women by 2050.
These statistics are not only worrying for the nation's health, but for motoring manufacturers worldwide who are all seeking to build lighter, more fuel efficient cars. Drastic attempts to cut bulk from models could well be completely out-weighted (literally) by occupants who drive them.