Plane seats becoming narrower and fat shaming rising

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by stylinexpat, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. stylinexpat macrumors 65816

    stylinexpat

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    Mar 6, 2009
    #1
    For thin and skinny people this is not an issue but these days pretty much all carriers design plane seats as if elementary students from Asia were going to be flying in them and not the average 197lbs person in America. The average American person seems to weight 50% more compared to Asian people. The average sized waist in America is also quite big at 39.7" for men . Again we are talking average here. Now look at the numbers above average. Now is the average sized wait in America is 39.7" and the average sized seat width is 17-18.5" then we got a big problem. This means the majority of the people occupy the full width of the seat and probably 30% of the people exceed the width of the seat into the passenger seated next to them :eek:

    Over 30% of Americans are considered obese. As people are getting more obese and wider plane seats are becoming more narrow so the passengers tend to suffer. The problem then is not only does the obese person themselves suffer but the passengers next to them as well if they decide to speak out about it.

    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/mom...ht-im-sorry-couldnt-take-space-212303839.html

    Closer seats also mean if someone next to you stinks you have to put up with a foul smell as well. With plane cabinet being pressurized you all know what happens to foul odors but if you speak out about it then all hell could break loose.

    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/fam...allegedly-complained-body-odor-185057248.html

    [​IMG]

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  2. smallcoffee macrumors 65816

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    #2
    The airlines thing is annoying but I don’t have a problem with fat shaming. Excluding legit medical reasons there is just no excuse for being fat (I’m talking serious obesity, not being a little round) besides laziness and being undisciplined. And I’m not some skinny triathlete or something either. You should be ashamed of being obese and then change it. Body-positive movements or w/e or getting mad at airlines is just a way of off-loading the fact that you’re responsible for your diet and exercise on to someone else.

    Also we need high speed trains.
     
  3. Zenithal macrumors 604

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    #3
    I'd say 99% of obesity cases are a result of overeating. The remaining on medical grounds. The reality is that the obesity rate worldwide, not just the US, has been steadily increasing in recent decades. This whole body acceptance movement merely contributes to the problem.

    Obesity is a disease, and thinking it's fine for you or someone else to be and feel alright with it is something I'd consider a borderline mental illness.

    There is zero benefit in males or females to be obese let alone overweight.
     
  4. Plett macrumors regular

    Plett

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    #4
    I would disagree that thin people don't have an issue. When the person of larger carriage spills over it makes for discomfort for them and the thin person. This is a human issue and the airlines are responsible. Don't blame the victims large and small for being human.
     
  5. decafjava macrumors 68030

    decafjava

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    #5
    More available higher energy content food + less necessity for physical movement = greater obesity. Not a difficult equation but again like poverty it's not just an individual issue.

    As for airlines well not sure what the solution is except flying "larger" people on C5 Galaxies (anyone remember those)?
     
  6. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

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    #6
    I’d say overeating and lack of exercise are equally to blame.
    But having visited America on a number of occasions, I’m not surprised based on the portion sizes!
     
  7. decafjava macrumors 68030

    decafjava

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    #7
    Lordy no kidding, I have visited Central Asia and seen kids gobble candy and chip portions that would be fit for a mouse in the USA and of course the people there are a LOT thinner than most North Americans.
     
  8. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #8
    fat shaming is not enough. banning would be ideal.
     
  9. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #9
    Flying is one of the few occasions in life my size works to my advantage. (male, 5'6", 132lbs) :)

    I would never fat shame anyone — their issues and problems are not mine — but if my personal safety or comfort is at risk, then sure I do make it known that I am happy for us to reach some sort of compromise. ie. We each stick to our own personal space.

    But then again as pointed out, this is not just size related. Body Odor can be incredibly offensive. Personally I'd trade a large person spilling over onto my seat before tackling a long distance flight seated next to someone who smells.
     
  10. stylinexpat thread starter macrumors 65816

    stylinexpat

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    #10
    I am on the skinny and thin size myself and I believe this is because I don’t have a very good and strong stomach to pretty much eat and digest anything I eat. Some people have strong stomachs that are like garbage disposal machines which can pretty much process any amount of food they eat like huge animals while others may have been born with some sort of obesity disease.

    This week I am in Thailand and there is no shortage of food here. Food here is also very very cheap but why then are people in America 50% to double the size larger then..? Thai people also eat a lot I reckon. Food in Asian cities is mostly with walking distance as well where most people in California need to get in a car and drive some where to be able to get food.

    I would love to be able to eat more and enjoy food like other people do but my stomach doesn’t allow me to do this. The advantage is am not obese and the disadvantage is I can’t eat and enjoy food like others can.

    I was on a plane recently and saw huge man sitting in a seat that he was uncomfortable in but not only was he uncomfortable in it but so was the passenger next to him. The lady next to him was Chinese so she did not say anything but I heard her speaking in Chinese to the person next to her of how uncomfortable this trip was going to be for her because of the man next to her.
    That man was not just huge and obese but was Andre the giant like in size.

    7B69681C-35B9-455C-95C8-3B88EE3DD34B.jpeg 38FA5A3D-FA4F-4D01-8CAB-86B1139FF23C.jpeg D20392DE-B25A-4D89-BC4E-80A8F9EE50FE.jpeg 28354873-4985-44B6-A372-75B7FC1E432D.jpeg FED00CF5-9127-488C-B4E5-EC45F39B3124.jpeg
    --- Post Merged, Jan 26, 2019 ---
    In Asia there is a lot of public transport systems in place so people are forced to do some sort of walking to get from point a to point b everyday where as in America their car is parked in the garage or within 1 minute walk from their house and then they try to park as close as possible when they get to their destination. In Asia on the other hand they need to walk to nearest bus stop or metro stop then from there walk to their next destination. They walk more in Asia and in America we drive more. So I reckon Americans walk less compared to Asians in Asia. I am talking about people who commute everyday.
     
  11. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

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    #11
    Overeating is a part of it, but it's also food choice - in particular that it's very difficult to find food that doesn't have added sugar (in particular, but among other things) unless you scratch cook every single meal (it's possible to do, but tends to be more expensive and of course takes time which can sometimes be off-putting if you've just got in from work and are hungry).

    For people who can stick to a half-decent diet, we're also working with outdated RDIs - 2,500 calories/day for men and 2,000 for women is based on mid-century activity levels. Realistically, for someone in a relatively sedentary office job that doesn't do much exercise, it's going to be a fair amount lower (I've heard around 1,800 for women and 2,100 for men bandied about). This doesn't square very nicely with what people are now conditioned to think of as portion sizes.
     
  12. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #12
    Content and calorie count of the average restaurant meal has quadrupled in the last fifty years. Most of us are taught from a young age to clean our plates. The two don't square anymore.

    I'm now in the habit of getting a go box right away, and putting half my meal in it. Sometimes I'll add to it when I'm full and what I take home feeds both my husband and me for a meal the next day.
     
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

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    #13
    I went to LA for a convention. Our hotel was about 20 minute walk away. The Americans there thought I was mad to walk it every day.
     
  14. stylinexpat thread starter macrumors 65816

    stylinexpat

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    #14
    I drove with a lady the other day. Was sitting in traffic for an hour in the car. The drive back was going to be over an hour as well. Spent most of the time in the house so I felt like I barely walked that day. Wanted to walk for a bit before eating at the restaurant and after eating wanted to walk a bit before I sat back down again. Instead of parking within 1 minute walking distance to restaurant I parked to about 3 minutes walking distance to restaurant and the lady had a cow about why I parked so far away and make us walk for so long.. The walk was like maybe 350 yards instead of 200 yards. Move from sitting in car seat to sitting in restaurant seat. A little walk in between is nice I think. She did not think so.
     
  15. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #15
    I can relate to this, definitely.

    My sister lives in the USA…

    This gets me each time I go over for a visit. No matter how near the destination is, we have to drive. This is non negotiable apparently.

    Walking a few minutes is just not done. No blizzards, no heatwaves, just ordinary summer weather.

    Now, in their defence I will add that the US (in major cities) does not seem to be very pedestrian friendly… there are these islands created surrounded by highways and in that way it is easier to just drive than walk.

    I could not image living in the USA without access to a car. It would seem an impossibility.

    Of course when she visited us here in the UK, the thought of having to walk down the hill (and then back up!) nearly caused a mental meltdown. :D
     
  16. adrianlondon macrumors 6502a

    adrianlondon

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    #16
    oo this is an interesting topic. I've spent quite a bit of time in Thailand and also lived in China for a while. The food choices and prices in Beijing back then (10 years ago) were amazing. I could afford to eat 24x7 if I wanted. However, I actually lost a bit of weight in my time there.

    My best guess is that in Asia people tend to either eat quickly, or sit down to a shared family/group meal and don't really eat that much overall. There isn't the "ooo starter! oooo wine! ooo main course! oooo a dessert? Why not! ooooo chocolates oooo coffee ooo liqueur" thing that happens here in Europe. I love both styles of dining out but if I did the latter daily I'd be huge. I did the former daily for 6 months in Beijing and there was no change. Well, no change externally, I'm sure my blood pressure took a hit from all the salt.

    I live in Switzerland now, a land of cheese and potatoes and the people here aren't fat. Well, until we look at people under around 25 - they're getting chubbier. Again, my best guesses are because the locals mix outdoor sports and smoking in equal measure which keeps them trim.

    America goes in for a deadly combination of cheap, processed foods and little exercise. Sure, it's usually an individual's fault for becoming obese but the society around them nudges people in that direction. Many people I know live within walking-ish distance of the town centre but the streets to get there aren't safe for cycling, public transport is dire and often there's no pavement/sidewalk to walk on. And even if they fought all that, they'll discover the shops they want are in an out of town mall anyway.

    Yes, I've tried to cram as many assumptions into this post as I can.
     
  17. stylinexpat thread starter macrumors 65816

    stylinexpat

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    #17
    I Need Asia part of the WeChat app has steps and people compare to see who walked the most everyday. They are ranked from 1 to bottom
    26353AE3-CE19-40DA-8D0B-1FCFAE0A72CA.jpeg
     
  18. Scepticalscribe, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    There are two issues that this thread seeks to discuss, - obesity and shrinking airline seats - and one area where these two topics intersect, which happens to be the thread title.

    To be honest, I don't much care for the judgmental tone of several of the posts.

    Bear in mind that there is also the issue of social class and food; in parts of the UK, (and doubtless the US), it is far cheaper and easier to buy sugar laden food - and such food is more readily available - than it is to buy (or locate) fresh fruit and vegetables.

    For many poor people, people with stressful private lives, enduring work conditions of part time or contract or zero contract employment, caring for sick parents, or autistic kids - both money poor and time poor - for many such people, - especially women - comfort eating is their sole pleasure in life; to sit in judgment on them shows a profound lack of understanding of their circumstances.

    Having said that, I deplore the greed of the airline industry, and the fact that flying economy (or coach, or "cattle class") has really become something of an endurance test in recent years, whereas it used to be quite pleasant as recently as a decade ago.
     
  19. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

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    #20
    I’m curious to see how far they can push it before people actually start turning away en-masse:
    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www....p-avio-interiors-skyrider-2-a8310541.html?amp
     
  20. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #21
    I also do this on occasion.
     
  21. Matz, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019

    Matz Contributor

    Matz

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    #22
    I feel pretty strongly about these two issues, in part based on my airline travel experience, and in part being raised by an obese mother.

    I liken obesity to alcohol abuse. One may have a problem with alcohol, and feel that they have little control over it, but ultimately it is their responsibilty to deal with appropriately. Hangovers, DUIs, and worse are symptoms that one’s life has gone off the rails to some degree. As a society, we impose boundaries on what is acceptable regarding alcohol use.

    IMHO, obesity is a symptom of a larger issue. But unlike alcohol abuse, obesity is much less likely to cause direct harm to those around the obese individual. One exception, and one of the two topics of this thread, is airline travel. Someone’s obesity can literally reduce another paying passenger’s space, without consent or compensation.

    Indirect harm of obesity, however, is significant. Examples that come readily to mind are health care costs and timing of service. In the US, my guess is that health insurance premiums are higher as a result of the increasing number of obese individuals and their tendency to have related health conditions. All medical equipment, for example, must be designed to accommodate “people of size.” Diagnosis and procedures, including surgery, often take longer, which takes time from others. Diabetes is often directly linked to obesity.

    The long term costs of obesity (monetary and otherwise) are staggering. I suppose we have acquiesced to what has arguably become an epidemic much in the same way that a frog placed in room-temperature water that is slowly heated doesn’t realize he’s cooked until it’s too late.

    It is, of course, a multivariate problem. Entrenched corporate interests are served by people eating addictively. We are bombarded through various media to consume foods that are prone to create and maintain obesity. Our legislators, influenced by lobbyists, are complicit. I recall watching a NatGeo documentary on sugar. It was an eye-opener.

    But shaming people that have become obese is not an effective strategy. Moreover, most shaming negatively affects both parties. And, in rare cases, obesity is caused by medical conditions outside of the person’s control.

    I believe we need to acknowledge the problem for what it is in most cases - a form of addiction - and become more supportive in finding ways out the addictive cycle, which is what I suspect the vast majority of obese people want.
     
  22. Scepticalscribe, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #23
    Yes, but as Caitlin Moran points out (in her superb book "How To Be A Woman") over-eating is the addiction of choice among (low-paid) carers - who tend to be predominantly female.

    She further argues that it is this intersection of class and gender that ensures that over-eating is viewed with the sort of contempt (and judgmental societal dismissal) that does not apply to skinny (and often destructive) cocaine addicts, who may be fashionably thin, further pointing out that over-eating as a form of addiction usually leaves the individual in question fully functional and more than able to carry out their professional responsibilities.

    Anyway, I don't buy this American idea of over-reliance on the idea of "personal choice", while constructing a society that makes it difficult for those who are not upper middle class to lead healthy lives.

    So, I would argue that you stop serving junk food, reduce those colossal portions sometimes served in US restaurants, improve public transport, police what additives go into your food and enforce what limited regulations that exist in order to ensure that whatever food is on sale is healthy, make fruit and vegetables affordable and easily available, pay carers and other women (and others) proper wages, cease with this horrible shaming of - and corrosive contempt displayed in public policy - towards the poor.
     
  23. adrianlondon macrumors 6502a

    adrianlondon

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    #24
    I'm too lazy to run the figures but I suspect it's much cheaper to fly now (taking into account inflation, average earnings etc) than it was 10 years ago.

    Also, people tend to just buy the cheapest ticket regardless of seat pitch/size so there's little incentive for airlines to change. If BA added more economy seats and made the prices 20% cheaper than Singapore Airlines, as a random example, I'd guess BA would sell out before SIA did. Which would lead to SIA adding more seats.
     
  24. BigMcGuire, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019

    BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #25
    I have strong opinions on this as well. Starting 2017 and into 2018 my work required me to travel more than I had travelled in my entire life on airplane. I went overseas twice to Germany and Japan.

    Before I start my rant, I’m definitely overweight but not super obese. I’m 230 pounds, 5’11 and I wear a size 36 pants (waist) - 30 length. I have a huge chest cavity - people call me a bear, broad shouldered, barrel chested, etc... I can run 13 min miles with ease, 10 min miles require some work - I usually do 2-3 3 mile runs a week.

    I HATE air travel. My huge chest easily overlaps the seat even if I hold my arms the entire flight. I thank the heavens if some small person gets next to me, I am also thankful I don’t make their lives miserable (I’m not that fat). That said, get 3 guys my size in a row? I’m half way in the walk isle - and yes, it has happened.

    It is boarderline claustrophobic these airplane seats. Don’t get me started on Japan... the airplane seats. There were hugging my hips like no tomorrow. That said, they boarded / disembarked in less than 15 mins - fell in love with the country right away - polite people, super nice, love bowing to say thanks. Germany? Everyone was super thin and walked everywhere. I walked 2 miles uphill to my workplace from my hotel every day for a week. What a workout - probably why those tall beers had 0 effect on my weight.

    My wife had a conference in New Orleans last year. We chose to drive from California to New Orleans because of our dislike of plane travel. We had a BLAST driving across the USA together (stopping every night in a hotel) - with my 43mpg+ avg Civic? It was cheaper than flying.

    ——-

    The only reason why I rant is because I almost always had to sit next to someone larger than me and this resulted in a VERY uncomfortable trip. I can’t sit next to the window anymore because that hurts if someone in the middle seat is my size or bigger. Being stuck like that on a flight from CA to DC? Hell on earth.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 26, 2019 ---
    Thankfully, in all my flights, I’ve only had one person that was so foul smelling that I almost threw up. The morning flight was near empty and flight attendant gladly let me move to the other side. The person must have had no clue but wow that sour smell was AMAZING - dozens of people were affected. Is it that hard to shower before going on a flight? It was definitely BO (fyi). Thankfully it was a quick flight to San Fran.
     

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