Topics: Obesity, Body mass index, Airline Pages: 7 (2667 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Obese Passenger and Economic Seating

There have been lots of debates taking pre-eminence on whether obese and overweight passengers should pay for two seats on flights since in essence they are consuming more space than they are supposed to and consequently using more fuel because of their extra body mass. The “fat tax” has spurred a lot of reactions, some citizens, economists and scholars recommend that ticket costs be calculated according to passengers’ weight. Some people view charging passengers according to their weight as discriminatory and humiliating for the overweight people. Maybe to better comprehend this law or policy we need to know what obesity is and what causes this condition. The dictionary definition of obesity refers to it as a medical condition whereby surplus body fat has accumulated to the point that it may have adverse health effects, leading to a reduced life expectancy and increased health problems (Brethauer SA 19). Obesity is calculated using the Body mass index (BMI) which compares height and weight. A person is defined as overweight if their Body Mass Index is greater than 30 kg/m2. When one consumes more calories than he or she can burn then obesity occurs once a person consumes more calories than can burn. The fundamental causes of an obesity epidemic are unhealthy dietary, such as high-fat; energy-dense diets, and sedentary lifestyle. The rising epidemic is a sign of the profound societal changes and the behavioral patterns of communities; even though some people may become obese, partially because they have a genetic or any other biological inclination to gain weight more readily when exposed to an unfavorable environment (Arterburn DE 12). Obesity has become a national health priority as public health officials are worried that it is reaching epidemic proportions. At least 72 million citizens in American are overweight. The effects are enormous, and they include personal suffering through disease, increased medical care and attendance costs, and a significant economic impact of lost wage. Due to the rising number of obese people, some airlines contemplate to charge people for a second seat if found to be overweight (Appleton 16). My argument is that overweight people should pay for a second seat. Not doing so id invading on other passengers space, a safety threat and economically speaking, can lead to a loss of profits for the airline since more weight means more fuel and hence more costs. Charging overweight for an extra seat is also a kind of motivation for them to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. I do not think its discriminatory since in most cases, obesity is a choice. In addition, there is no airline for extra size, so they do not have a choice other than to just pay for the extra seat. The first reason why I think obese passengers should buy two seats is because airplane seats are usually standard size and hence unbearable for heavy extra weight. It is common sense to pay for the second eat since in essence, you are taking up almost half of the space of the next seat. Weight distribution in an airplane is highly critical since if the center of gravity does not go over the wings, the plane will most likely crash. When one purchases two plane tickets, the airline will consider that as two people occupying a seat, hence letting them calculate the weight appropriately and accurately. When an overweight person purchases only a single ticket, that will mean it is the weight of almost three or four people occupying two seats, and it can be a major safety issue. Sometimes issues of weight limits can lead to a plane being delayed, and waste of time equals loss of money and consequently this hurts the economy badly. Recently when travelling to visit my relatives, my flight was delayed apparently because it was above the weight limit. This led to people being annoyed since they could not get to where they wanted on time, some were even going for business meetings. If only...
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