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Americans' bulging waistlines weigh heavy on airlines

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Washington (dpa) - U.S. airlines have incurred huge new fuel costs because of the bulging waistlines of their passengers, according to a study published Friday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The report found that the average weight of Americans rose by about 4 kilos in the 1990s and caused airlines to spend an additional 275 million dollars to burn 1.3 billion more litres of fuel in 2000 in comparison to 1990.

"The obesity epidemic has unexpected consequences beyond direct health effects," said Deron Burton of the Centers for Disease Control. "Our goal was to highlight one area that had not been looked at before."

The extra fuel burned also had an environmental impact as an estimated 3.8 million extra tons of carbon dioxide were released into the air, according to the study.

Copyright 2004 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH


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