Friday, April 17, 2009

Obese Passengers Must Buy Two Seats

My heart goes out to huge people. There is so much "fat" discrimination in our society and now, United Airlines has announced that obese passengers will be bumped from full flights and be required to buy two tickets on the next flight or upgrade to business class. (tip from me: chose business class). Think how humiliating and expensive it is to be obese!

I do understand the need for such draconian rules and it isn't fair to other passengers if an extra large person spills over into their seat. But, lets face it, to fit comfortably into any coach airline seat you need to be under 5 feet tall and weigh, oh... about 80 lbs. The airlines have squeezed the space so narrowly passengers are already touching and it is impossible to cross your legs or crawl out.

Delta Air Lines, the world's largest carrier, tries to place overweight passengers next to empty seats. I haven't seen an empty seat on an airplane for about two years. Southwest Airlines requires a passenger who cannot lower their armrest to buy two seats also.

I don't envy the flight attendants who have to enforce the new policy. And the embarrassment of being asked to move or be bumped from a flight when you are already seated is painful to think of.

Its no wonder bariatric and lap-band surgery are two of the fastest growing elective procedures. Being fat is no fun and it is proving to be very expensive.


tracy said...

It is sad, because eating too much is an addiction like any other, with so many emotional components. i keep from getting "fat" by often being hungry, but that doesn't stop me from drinking a couple of glasses of wine at night, so...i'm no better....

Knitted_in_the_Womb said...

Have you read the thoughts on all the "fat phobia" in America at Very interesting reading!

That said...I think that the airlines should be able to charge for the number of seats a passenger requires. But in the interest of preserving a person's dignity, hopefully they are notifying passengers about this BEFORE they board, and perhaps even just send out a notice with all tickets so that passengers know in advance that this might be an issue--because they do know how many tickets have been sold for a flight.

Quiact said...

With excessive weight, obesity has been defined as when excess body fat accumulates in one to where their physical overgrowth makes the person unhealthy to varying degrees.

Obesity is different than being overweight, as others determine obesity to be of a more serious concern.

While obesity is not a disease, it is a serious health risk for one who has this risk.

As measured by one’s body mass index (BMI), one’s BMI of 25 to 30 kg/m is considered overweight.

If one's BMI is 30 to 35 kg/m, such a person is class I obese, 35 to 40 BMI would be class II obese, and any BMI above 40 is class III obesity.

Presently, with obesity affecting children progressively more, the issue of obesity has become a serious public health concern.

In the United States, greater than one third of all citizens are obese, and this number continues to progress.

Approximately half of all children under the age of 12 are either obese are overweight.

About twenty percent of children ages 2 to 5 years old are either obese are overweight.

The consequences of these stats on our children are very concerning, considering the health issues they may or likely experience as they get older.

Worldwide, nearly one and a half billion people are either obese or overweight. In the United States, about one third of adults are considered either obese or overweight.

Women of low socioeconomic status are likely to be possibly twice as obese compared with those who are not at this status.

It is now predicted that, for the first time in about 150 years, our life expectancy is suppose to decline because primarily of this obesity problem.

Morbid obesity is defined as one who has a body mass index of 30 kg/m or greater, and this surgery, along with the three other types of surgery for morbid obesity, should be considered a last resort after all other methods to reduce the patient’s weight have chronically failed.

Morbid obesity greatly affects the health of the patient in a very negative way. It has about 10 co-morbidities that can develop if the situation is not corrected.

Some if not most of these co-morbidities are life-threatening.

One solution beneficial in many cases of morbid obesity if one’s obesity is not eventually controlled or corrected is what is known as gastric bypass surgery.

This is a type of bariatric surgery that essentially reduces the volume of the human stomach in order to correct and treat morbid obesity by surgical re-construction of the stomach and small intestine.

Patients for such surgeries are those with a BMI of greater than 40, or a BMI greater than 35 if the patient has co-morbidities aside from obesity.

This surgery should be considered for the severely obese when other treatment options have failed.

The standard of care illustrating as to whether this surgery is reasonable and necessary should be clarified by the health care provider as well as the patient.

There are three surgical variations of gastric bypass surgery, and one is chosen by the surgeon based on their experience and success from the variation they will utilize.

Generally, these surgeries are procedures related to gastric restrictive operations or mal-absorptive operations.

Over 200,000 gastric bypass surgeries are performed each year, and this surgery being performed continues to progress as a suitable option for the morbidly obese.

There is evidence that this surgery is particularly beneficial for those obese patients that have non-insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus as well.

It is believed that the results of this surgery to correct morbid obesity greatly limits or prevents such co-morbidities associated with those who are obese.

Yet about two percent of those who undergo this surgery die as a result from about a half a dozen complications that could occur.

However, the surgery reduces the overall mortality of the patient by 40 percent or so, yet this percentage is debatable due to conflicting clinical studies at times.

Age of the patient should be taken into consideration to determine if the risks of this type of surgery outweigh the potential benefits or not.

Such candidates may have co-morbidities that have already caused physiological damage to the patient.

Also what should be determined by the surgeon is the amount of safety, effectiveness, and rationale for a particular patient regarding those patients who are elderly, for example.

Many feel bariatric surgery such as this should be considered as a last resort when exercise and diet have failed for a great length of time. There are risks with this type of surgery, such as gastric rupture or ulceration.

Such issues should be discussed with one’s health care provider.

If a person or a doctor is considering this type of surgery, there is a website dedicated to bariatric surgery, which is:,

Dan Abshear

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