The rise in popularity of weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy could benefit airlines.

Airlines always want to make their planes lighter so they use less fuel.

People are using weight loss medicines like Ozempic and Wegovy a lot nowadays. This could help airlines save money on fuel.

Airlines want to make their planes as light as possible because heavy planes need more fuel to fly. They have done things like making food and drink carts lighter, using lighter seats, and using lighter paper for magazines. The government tells airlines to think about how much their crew members weigh when they figure out how heavy a plane is. Some airlines, like Korean ones, even weighed passengers to collect data, but most airlines probably won’t make passengers step on a scale for safety reasons.

We don’t know exactly how much weight loss drugs will change the average passenger’s weight. But an expert thinks that if passengers were 10 pounds lighter on average, airlines like United could save a lot of money. This could be around 1,790 pounds less weight on each flight, which is like saving 27.6 million gallons of fuel per year and $80 million. In 2021, the average passenger weight had gone up. American Airlines said their average passenger weighed 8 pounds more in the winter compared to the summer. They used data from the CDC to figure out passenger weights.

The latest CDC data is from 2015-2018, and it says the average man over 20 years old in the US weighs about 199.8 pounds, while the average woman weighs about 170.8 pounds. These weights had gone up compared to the previous report. Now, there are new weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy that were first used for diabetes but are now popular for weight loss. Many famous people like Elon Musk, Boris Johnson, Amy Schumer, Charles Barkley, and Sharon Osbourne have talked about using these drugs. Lots of people want them, so there might not be enough for everyone.

We don’t have the latest CDC data yet to see how much these weight-loss drugs are changing people’s weights. We will have to wait and see.

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Amar Shinde is a writer and researcher specializing in the intersection of culture, technology, and society. In their free time, they enjoy playing chess.