Authors of obesity/gas consumption study to speak at Pittsburgh meeting of operations researchers

October 30, 2006

Pittsburgh, PA, October 30, 2006 -- The authors whose study links obesity to American driving habits and gas consumption will be speakers at the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS ) annual meeting in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, November 7, 2006.

Operations researchers Sheldon Jacobson of the University of Illinois and Laura McLay of Virginia Commonwealth University will be delivering a paper The Economic Impact of Obesity on Automobile Fuel. The study has received extensive national coverage. (One article, which appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, can be viewed online at http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/109855,CST-NWS-fatfuel25.article)

Obesity is a major public health problem in the United States. One socio-economic implication of obesity is that it reduces automobile fuel economy. This research quantifies the amount of additional fuel consumed annually in the United States by automobiles that is attributable to higher average passenger weights, during the period from 1960 to 2002. The results indicate that approximately 938 million gallons of fuel are consumed annually as a result of obesity when measured from 1960.

Over 3,000 operations researchers are expected to attend the INFORMS Annual Meeting November 5-8 in Pittsburgh. The meeting's theme is Celebrate the Renaissance of Operations Research. Information about the annual meeting is at http://meetings.informs.org/Pittsburgh06/. Additional plenary speakers include former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, IBM Vice President William Pulleyblank, and Patrick Harker, Dean of the Wharton School.
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The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®)) is an international scientific society with 10,000 members, including Nobel Prize laureates, dedicated to applying scientific methods to help improve decision-making, management, and operations. Members of INFORMS work in business, government, and academia. They are represented in fields as diverse as airlines, health care, law enforcement, the military, financial engineering, and telecommunications. The INFORMS website is www.informs.org. More information about operations research is at www.scienceofbetter.org.

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

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