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Southwest Declares Kevin Smith Too Fat To Fly 940

Posted by timothy
from the operable-armrest-should-be-the-practical-test dept.
theodp writes "Kevin Smith is not a happy Southwest customer. The director was thrown off a flight from Oakland to Burbank, after being deemed too fat to fly. He later wound up on another Southwest flight, but has declared It's On and taken his rants to Twitter. 'Dear @SouthwestAir — I know I'm fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?' he began. He also let the airline know he'd made it to his destination. 'Hey @SouthwestAir! I've landed in Burbank. Don't worry: wall of the plane was opened & I was airlifted out while Richard Simmons supervised.'"
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Southwest Declares Kevin Smith Too Fat To Fly

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  • Welp, that's it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gruvmeister (1259380) * on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:44PM (#31136252)
    There goes the last shred of credibility Twitter may have had. Fatties are now using it to vent rage over how cruel the world is for discriminating against them for being fat.

    Maybe if he directed some of that rage into jogging or not stuffing twinkies into his maw it wouldn't be a problem.
  • by sycodon (149926) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:45PM (#31136254)

    Even if they can get their butts between the armrests, the rest of them overflows into the next seat.

    They should have required him to buy two seats, since he takes up two seats and twice the gas as a normal person.

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:46PM (#31136264)

    If he was really too fat to fly they never should have sold him a ticket.

    And they'd better damn well have given him a full refund or a free transfer or it's fraud.

  • by TinBromide (921574) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:48PM (#31136286)
    I still think its awesome, but let's keep this next celebrity rivalry off of slashdot. Slashdot didn't cover trump vs o'donnel, and it doesn't cover paris hilton, so while Kevin Smith is a nerd celeb, let's not report on every twitter update in this matter? Mmmkay?
  • by jaymz666 (34050) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:49PM (#31136296)

    They should kick the people off who are jerks, to smell, too. Those are even more offensive

  • Really? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by XPeter (1429763) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:50PM (#31136310) Homepage

    Isn't this supposed to be a tech site? Not "popeater?"

    C'mon /.

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:51PM (#31136318) Journal
    They put him on the next flight and gave him a $100 voucher. Didn't seem to make him feel better, and I can't say I would feel better either, but about your point

    If he was really too fat to fly they never should have sold him a ticket.

    how exactly is the airline supposed to know he is too fat when they sell the ticket? Most airlines sell their tickets online without ever seeing the person.

  • by IdleTime (561841) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:57PM (#31136366) Journal
    Why is he angry?

    It's all his own fault! Stop shoving worthless crap into your pie hole, start exercising. If you are fat enough for the airline to have an issue with you, it should tell you all you need to know. Haviung problems fitting your ass into a plane seat? You are too fat, start loosing weight.

    Bottoom line, fat asses of the world, it is your own fault for allowing yourself to blow up like a balloon. Nobody was forcing you to eat the shit you have. Take some fucking responsibility for your own fat ass first!
  • Silent Bob (Score:2, Insightful)

    by conureman (748753) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:57PM (#31136372)

    Known to be eloquent and verbose on occasion. Not unlike his creator.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:02PM (#31136406)
    I'm about 135 pounds. Why the fuck do I get charged extra if my bag is 55 pounds, when the fat bastard behind me has 150 pounds on me, and his bag is slightly less? Like somebody mentioned above, yes, I DO think they should weigh people before they get on. The nominal reason for this is fuel charges, right? Can I get a discount because I'm not toting my giant bloated belly around?
    </rant>
  • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:03PM (#31136414)
    The only reason they're working to resolve it is because of Kevin Smith. If it was a nobody with no platform to mention this from, Southwest would've cared much less.
  • by Courageous (228506) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:07PM (#31136454)

    IIRC, airline regulations require that a passenger be in THEIR seat. If you're sitting next to a morbidly obese person, and they annoy you, just ask them to stay in their space. If they cannot, and it bothers you a lot, call a stewardess and explain that you understand your rights, and wish her to enforce them. At this point, the person who cannot remain in their seat will either be assigned a new one or forced to deplane. If you're fat, and upset by this--suck it up. You did not pay for the space the other passenger is in. THEY did.

    C//

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pipedwho (1174327) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:10PM (#31136484)

    If he was really too fat to fly they never should have sold him a ticket.

    And they'd better damn well have given him a full refund or a free transfer or it's fraud.

    Either that, or they should never have sold me a ticket when I failed to mention I have a chronic aversion to sitting next to someone who overhangs their seat so far that I can't see my own lap.

    And if they don't give me a full refund or transfer, then it's $RANDOM_LEGAL_TERM.

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asdf7890 (1518587) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:11PM (#31136490)

    If he was really too fat to fly they never should have sold him a ticket.

    I understand the sentiment, but how would you implement that? Are you going to make people weigh in before they can buy a ticket? Going to rely on self reporting?

    I've always thought that people should be counted in the weight allowance instead of just luggage. A bit porky like me? You get to bring less stuff (or pay more for the same stuff). Properly obese? You get even less. That and people who are for too large to fit in a single seat (with people to their sides being comfortable too) should be made to purchase the double seat they need.

    Of course there are logistical complications to this. Firstly there is weight distribution between the passenger cabin and luggage hold which may affect the handling of the craft if most of the passengers are porkies with little luggage. And there is the issue of defining what constitutes too big for one seat. And finally there will be the people who cry like babies and moan that "it isn't my fault" - well it might not be (in which case get a medical cert and we'll consider some extra compassion) but it isn't the airline's fault either and it certainly isn't the fault of the other passengers who get less space between them because of your lardy presence. Another complication is what to do at the other end of the scale - it would be important not to encourage the "a stick of celery and half a tomato is more than enough for lunch" mob so there would need to be lower limit on the luggage gains (perhaps the weight distribution issue would be a legitimate reason for imposing this lower limit).

    FYI: I'm a chunk overweight myself and not exactly getting any less so as time passes, and I would have no problem with getting a lower luggage allowance than someone of more healthy proportions. It seems quite fair to me: I want you to transport X kilograms of stuff from here to there which will use up Y amount of fuel, it just so happens that Z% of that mass is me and the heavy boots I prefer to wear. What's that? Xkg is over the total allowance and I'll have to pay a fee for the extra? Fair enough.

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:11PM (#31136498)

    how exactly is the airline supposed to know he is too fat when they sell the ticket? Most airlines sell their tickets online without ever seeing the person.

    Well, I'm no fan of sitting next to fatties either, but maybe they should have decided *before* they let him board the plane?

    Like, when I was a kid at amusement parks, they had signs, "you must be this tall to get on this ride."

    Why don't they have similar constructions at airports that say, "you must be skinny enough to fit through this to get on this plane" . . . ?

    That would save everyone some grief later on.

  • by melted (227442) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:18PM (#31136544) Homepage

    Yet airlines want me to pay a full fare. You can't have it both ways. If you're going to charge the fat folks extra, you gotta give the rest of us the price break on kids' tickets. Otherwise, just reduce the passenger density and charge everyone the same.

  • by neumayr (819083) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:19PM (#31136558)
    What is it with the animosity towards large people?
    Sure, most of the time they themselves are to blame for the state they're in. So what? It's their choice, and they shouldn't have to endure getting frowned upon, let alone being openly insulted.
    I mean, c'mon, when the seats in an airliner are too small for the person, it's the person's fault? How so? Because he's larger than most others? A quick google search says that the average person in the US weighs 7 kg more than "ideal", so the airlines should of course have to adjust their seats accordingly. They're way too small anyway.
    IMO, the airline is to blame when a large person inconveniences someone else due to the size of the seats. Don't ignore their failing just because big people are such easy targets =)
  • by JustNilt (984644) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:21PM (#31136584) Homepage

    The only reason they're working to resolve it is because of Kevin Smith. If it was a nobody with no platform to mention this from, Southwest would've cared much less.

    Actually, I suspect it's mostly because it's on Twitter that they reacted at all. Random average Joes have had similar responses from other corporations as well. They tend to be scared to death of bad publicity and Twitter especially seems to make them nervous.

    Of course, the fact that it's a celebrity, however minor (sorry Kevin; I love your films but ...) on Twitter doesn't exactly hurt.

  • by DeadboltX (751907) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:22PM (#31136604)

    This will take quite some time to take off.

    Even when there are proper justifications for discrimination, the feel-gooders will still fight for the right for everyone to be treated equally, despite not being equal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:24PM (#31136620)

    Like with sandwich buns. They come in packs of 8, but I only want 6. I should get a discount. And those guys that want 10 buns shouldn't be charged extra. It's unfair that they have to buy a second pack!

    I'm sorry, but almost everything in the world is sold in discrete increments. If you need more than one unit, you buy two. If you need less than one unit, you have extra. Sometimes that extra goes unused.

    If you're that concerned, make sure to sit your child next to a fat guy. Then the fat guy can use up the extra space that your child isn't.

  • Good for southwest (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Degro (989442) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:25PM (#31136638)
    As much as I am a fan of Kevin Smith and take pride in the fact that he's from my home state of NJ, I have to side with Southwest on this one. I've had the horrible experience of being seated next to and between very fat people several times and it just isn't fair. They should have paid for part of my ticket each time. Flights are cramped uncomfortable experiences as it is, but to have some bloated wheezing corpse pouring over the arm rest into my seat really crosses the line socially.
  • by pipedwho (1174327) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:26PM (#31136656)

    Or just charge by weight.

  • by markass530 (870112) <markass530 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:32PM (#31136706) Homepage
    Why is he not flying first class on a different airline?
  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:33PM (#31136716) Journal
    I never understood this either. It's also not just fat people. A weight limit in your luggage encourages you to put all of the heavy things in your coat pockets or hand luggage for the flight. Why do I pay less for something heavy in my hand luggage than something heavy in my stored bag? You should pay the same amount for 1kg, whether it's 1kg in a suitcase, 1kg of hand luggage, or 1kg of you.
  • Re:awesome! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:37PM (#31136762) Homepage
    I think the key word here is obese, usually defined as a BMI over 30 kg/m^2, i.e. weight divided by height squared. You might not enjoy sitting next to a person with a BMI around say 28 kg/m^2, but they'll basically remain inside their seat. Anyone whose BMI exceeds 30 will spill over into your seat, so removing them will make the crowded flight much more pleasant.

    BMI isn't just useless, it's worse than useless. Not only does more muscle mass than usual completely skew the results, but being taller than average does as well.
  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tibman (623933) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:37PM (#31136774) Homepage

    My guess is that weight isn't the issue, it's volume size and overflow into adjacent seats. Could a fat man fly if he didn't have any checked bags? Could a high density, heavily muscled, guy get kicked off because he weighs too much but is compact enough to not overflow the seat? If it is weight dependent, couldn't a fat man pay the extra $10 in fuel?.. or reduce his baggage weight? I think it has to do with seat overflow.. which is related to weight but more about volume.

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:40PM (#31136788)

    Well, don't forget the skinny, tall people like me (6'2", 135lbs). I can't get into a seat without my knees getting smashed by the seat ahead. And forget it if the person in front tries to put the seat back. I can only fit (semi-comfortably) in exit-row seats, or other rows where there's extra leg space.

    It's one of the reasons why I now refuse to fly.

  • FFS! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by migla (1099771) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:47PM (#31136848)

    Just work this out. Let everyone fly if they want to. Stop picking on fat people. Yes there are practical hurdles or considerations. Just work them out. Sheesh.

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:47PM (#31136852) Homepage Journal

    If you're going to charge the fat folks extra, you gotta give the rest of us the price break on kids' tickets.

    Well, what it comes down to is they can only sell whole seats. Your 6 year old might only need half a seat, but that still means he's taking up the whole seat - they can't sell the other half seat to someone else. A fat guy might prefer to buy 1.5 seats, but that isn't an option: he has to buy 2 seats, and that second seat is being taken away from another paying customer.

    On the other hand, there's a possible solution: seat the kid who isn't using half of his seat next to the fat guy who needs an extra half seat. But in order to accurately bill everyone for the fractional seats they use, the airline would have to know everyone's measurements ahead of time (not just weight, because bulk is what really matters).

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:49PM (#31136866)

    Why don't they have similar constructions at airports that say, "you must be skinny enough to fit through this to get on this plane" . . . ?

    They could size the metal detectors you have to walk through accordingly. If your ass hits both sides of the metal detector, you get to hear children sing:

    Fatty, fatty, two-by-four
    Can't get through the cockpit door!

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gid (5195) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:56PM (#31136922) Homepage

    I hate flying for the same exact reason. I can control my weight by diet, but I'd have to cut my legs off if I was to get any shorter. (6'5) On the same note, some amusement park rides are excruciating, especially the ones with the over the shoulder harnesses. They need to have a height max, in addition to a height minimum--I've learned that there's just something things to avoid.

  • by gavron (1300111) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:00PM (#31136952)
    Yes, and they'll probably claim it's a HORRIBLE Denial-of-Service attack by those awful awful people who have no respect for law and order and don't care about the safety of OUR CHILDREN. MY GOD, THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

    Or they'll blame it on Linux-users.

    FORTUNATELY the Department of Homeland Security said they'll be monitoring Twitter [go.com] until the olympics are over.

    Maybe if Kevin Smith had less than 3.5oz liquids they can help him.

    "We're from the government and we're here to help." -- SNL

    E

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cryacin (657549) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:26PM (#31137218)
    Damn straight it's about seat overflow. I flew from LA to Sydney (15 hr flight) next to a rather stout Polish tire salesman. He couldn't even fit into the damn seat! He lifted the arm rest, took over half of my seat, and I would up crunched against a couple next to me.

    When I found out, I complained to the QANTAS stewardess, and she said that I could move seats later. Quite hard on a full plane.

    you know how uncomfortable it is having a seat rest firmly wedged in your back for 15 hours?

    Sorry people of carriage, but if your caboose cannot fit into the seat to the point where you need to lift your armrest, you simply need to buy another god damned seat.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:27PM (#31137226)

    ...and some people are just assholes incapable of empathizing with anyone other than themselves.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:33PM (#31137278) Homepage Journal

    captain in a plane is as much a captain as one on a boat. If he says you're not welcome on board, you're out.

    We'll give some seats to the chinks and the niggers, but we don't want the Irish.

    In simple terms: you're full of shit.

  • Re:If he were fat (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ModernGeek (601932) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:34PM (#31137284) Homepage
    You have to be let on the plane to get kicked off.
  • by VShael (62735) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:34PM (#31137292) Journal

    So why didn't he?

    Well, if you'd read the article (I know, slashdot, why would you read the article?) you'd know that he did buy an additional seat. But when he asked to be flown out on an earlier flight, you go onto standby. And *that* flight only had one spare seat available, so he tried to take it.

    So it's not that he thinks he's hideously obese and society should accept it.
    Look at his tweets. He's pissed that they waited until he was in the seat, to tell him "sorry, you need the second seat after all"

  • by Rix (54095) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:38PM (#31137324)

    The seat I, not they, paid for.

    Yes, it's not right to sneer at people for being fat, whether it's their fault or not. It's perfectly all right to sneer at someone for stealing someone else's seat.

    If you need two (or three...) seats buy them. Don't steal from your neighbours.

  • by jeko (179919) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:43PM (#31137380)

    Airlines have overcrammed more seats into each plane than the original designers would have believed possible. When people complain, they respond with "You're freakishly tall," or "You're mbidly obese," when the real answer is "The airlines are so greedy they're cramming so many people into their cargo hold it would make a slave trader of old boggle."

    My 5'2", 100lb mother-in-law complains that they've made the seats too small to be comfortable, and she's been flying for 50 years. Do we really think the problem is Kevin Smith is too husky?

    How about this for an answer? Let's make airline seats the same size and legroom as movie theater seats and see if the problem goes away.

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:45PM (#31137400) Homepage Journal

    It could be a bit like the frame they use to assess carry on baggage. If they can't fit through this narrow doorway they can't get on the plane.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:47PM (#31137424) Homepage
    This shouldn't be modded troll because he's spot on. Obesity is one of the few diseases that is self inflicted and especially for a rich celebrity who will have access to the finest health care, there really isn't much excuse. If he's happy with it then fine but like all freedoms there are responsibilities. It really hacks me off when people cry for their freedoms but once the responsibilities come up they want nothing to do with those.
  • Customer of Size? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Comboman (895500) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:51PM (#31137448)
    "Customer of Size"? Is that like "People of Color"? Has political correctness come so far that you can't even call someone a fatass any more? I'm with Southwest on this one. Brilliant director or not, if I had to spend an "Evening with Kevin Smith" squished up against him in a coach-class seat, I would not be happy and would be demanding my ticket price back. They tried to accommodate his special request to fly early and couldn't. He should graciously accept their apology (it's more than he would have gotten from me).
  • by WCguru42 (1268530) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @05:58PM (#31137508)

    I find pushing it back upright, perhaps with the occasional irritated punch, always works.

    Maybe it's the look on my face whenever anybody actually turns around to complain..

    I support this 100%. Mastering a proper scowl is a must for minimizing verbal garbage.

  • Too Small (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @06:02PM (#31137556)

    Of course its ok if the airlines have cut back both the width of the seats and the space between the rows in order to pack in more cattle. Thats ok, despite the fact that over and beyond the obesity problem people in general are getting taller and heavier. Sure, sell by the seat or sell passage by the pound, but dont cut back on the space and then punish the people who were dumb enough to fly them in the first place.

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @06:11PM (#31137630)

    Well, if you'd read the article (I know, slashdot, why would you read the article?) you'd know that he did buy an additional seat. But when he asked to be flown out on an earlier flight, you go onto standby. And *that* flight only had one spare seat available, so he tried to take it.

    So in fact he *DIDN'T* have a second ticket for the flight he *actually* took. SO WHAT IS HE BITCHING ABOUT?

  • by glodime (1015179) <eric@glodime.com> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @06:16PM (#31137648) Homepage
    Kevin Smith wrote: [twitter.com]

    Dear Fucktarded PR-Challenged Fatty-Haters at @SouthwestAir: Your "apology" blog is insulting, redacted bullshit. FULL details in two hours.

    According to TFA Kevin Smith claimed to be sitting in the seat with the armrests down before he was asked to leave the plane. He also claimed to have purchased only one ticket when flying the first leg of his trip. He was kicked off on his return leg.

    The Southwest PR people seem to be stretching the truth in their side of the story. I think that the Southwest policy to require the purchase of two tickets when some one cannot fit between the armrests of one seat is generally a good one. However, I think the pilot was overzealous in enforcing the policy. Southwest has not apologized for the mistake they actually made. They merely said, "we're sorry that you don't like our policy." They need to say "we're sorry that we misapplied our policy," in this instance.

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @06:17PM (#31137660) Homepage

    At work they had a big article about "differently abled persons" recently. I just don't get it? How is it derogatory to call somebody disabled? Am I "differently abled" if I can juggle?

    There is no need to use slurs like "fatass" or whatever. You can just call them overweight, or oversized - kind of like luggage. It is hardly unusual to charge a different rate when shipping a piano when compared to shipping a book. Will amazon.com start a "products of size" shipping policy soon?

  • by laughingcoyote (762272) <barghesthowl@exD ... com minus distro> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @06:30PM (#31137770) Journal

    I've got to agree here, even though I'm not at all a fan of Southwest after my own recent experiences with them. First off, there's no guarantees when you're flying standby that you'll get any seats. No room really to complain if you don't. In this guy's case, however, he needs two seats. I'm entirely with that, and it applies in this case-he takes up both the space and the weight of at least two passengers.

    If you are severely obese, there will be certain physical limitations as to what you can do. If you would prefer not to have those limitations, your option is to lose the weight. Even those with legitimate medical conditions can do so under a doctor's supervision, and generally the "medical condition" is "Eats too much, exercises too little".

    It is of course one's decision whether to continue to overeat and not exercise, but it is then one's responsibility to live with the consequences of that decision. If you don't want the limitations that come with being fat, get to work on losing the weight. If you'd rather not, then yes, you need to buy two seats if that's what it takes to accommodate you. I wish more places would work up the nerve to plainly state that you need to buy as many seats as you overflow into.

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @06:37PM (#31137838) Homepage Journal

    I probably weigh as much as Kevin Smith, but my BMI is about normal. I am 193 cm tall and I find economy seats very uncomfortable. Any taller and I wonder if it would even be safe to travel in those seats.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @06:51PM (#31137966)

    You would've been somewhat right (food industry has a large role), but the rest of what you say just ignores reality. The reality is - A country where people exercise less has much higher obesity rate than other countries. A country that had chosen fast food and high fructose corn syrup is more obese than others, and it is more obese since those choices were made. I have moved to the US 6 years ago. The first thing me and my family noticed is how uber-sweet everything is - everything from bread to meat was sweetened. But - that doesn't mean you can't find less sugar saturated food, it just takes a bit more effort. If genetics are to blame, why is obesity growing so fast in recent decades? Where are genetics when it comes to children diabetes - did new genes appeared in the last 20 years?
    Show me an obese North Korean (not from the top echelons of the ruling party), and then go claim that calorie restriction and exercise won't help control weight. Yes, for a modern middle class American it is practically impossible to exercise enough (considering how many calories and carbs he consumes), but this is hardly genetic. You are right, some people react differently to exercise and their metabolism is different. But it is all a matter of degree.

    Run 10 miles every day and eat 1500 well balanced calories a day (proteins/fats/carbs) and you will not be obese - guaranteed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @06:59PM (#31138036)

    I'm about 135 pounds.

    Did you get a lot of sand kicked in your face at the beach? Is that why you're so angry?

    Bruce Lee weighed 135 lbs. Would you kick sand in his face while he was still alive?

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_Bruce_Lee%27s_weight

  • by MrNaz (730548) * on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:03PM (#31138058) Homepage

    As a traveler I hare airlines. They are a bunch of snivelling money grubbing slime balls who would never give anyone an inch more room than they paid for in blood.

    That said, SWA's response does sound quite reasonable, much as it pains me to admit.

  • by yoshi_mon (172895) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:23PM (#31138228)

    What was Kevin's weight/height? I mean I've seen a lot of subjective options here as to what it's like to fly next to someone who is spilling over into your seat. How it's unfair that a 5 year old has to pay a full fair because they are taking up a full seat but weigh next to nothing compared to an adult. Blah blah blah.

    Look, during my real hardcore WoW days was at least 250 lbs. and I stand 6' tall. I've leaned up to 190 lbs. but you know I still fill those airline seats up pretty damn much the same way. (For those who don't understand how the male body stores it's fat, it is not just right to our guts. Look at any obese persons face and think about it.) And I'm quite sure I could have easily packed on another 50 lbs. and not made that much a difference in my presence to the people next to me from 250 -> to 300 at 6'.

    My point is that I've yet to see the real reason that Kevin, given that he freaking eventually flew the same airliner to his destination, was booted from the flight in question. I suspect that it had nothing to do with his weight but lets clear that up so that we can get down to what really happened.

  • by twiddlingbits (707452) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:29PM (#31138288)
    Yep, I fly a lot too, SWA's response is very nice and very reasonable. It's a LOT more than other airlines, say American, would do. In this case the customer IS wrong and SWA points that out in a nice way.
  • by twiddlingbits (707452) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:31PM (#31138316)
    Mr Smith is acting like an asshole. That sort of language isn't going to win him any sympathy from SWA even if they WERE wrong.
  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:47PM (#31138452)

    As a traveler I hare airlines. They are a bunch of snivelling money grubbing slime balls who would never give anyone an inch more room than they paid for in blood.

    The main reason airlines never give 'anyone an inch' is because their profit margins are unbelievably small - They transport thousands a day. An inch here and inch there, and suddenly they're bankrupt.

    This happens largely because airline passengers day to day often have little brand loyalty. They simply shop for the cheapest fare.

  • How about this for an answer? Let's make airline seats the same size and legroom as movie theater seats and see if the problem goes away.

    You already have this option. It's called first class.

    People have chosen this world of crammed airlines, because people will choose the airline that's $1 cheaper than the other guy. Very few people use any other factor as a consideration. They want cheap flights, and that's exactly what they have.

  • by vadim_t (324782) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:55PM (#31138542) Homepage

    Two things.

    First, it can't be all genetic. People living in the US aren't native americans for the most part, they came for a large part from Europe, not so long ago. They shouldn't have wildly different genetics, yet you're going to find a lot more fat people in the US than in Europe.

    What the US has that is considerably different is the food and the layout of the cities. When I came to the US I was quite amazed at the rather insane serving sizes. An US "normal" sized ice cream is something I simply couldn't finish eating. The idea of a restaurant serving enough food that you'd ask for a box to take it home was completely alien to me before visiting the US. Getting the drinks refilled constantly was another new thing.

    Also, in Europe you can, and usually do walk to places. Even if you have a car, there is a small grocery store somewhere nearby you can walk to when you find you don't have enough milk, and not far enough to actually bother getting into the car. In the parts of the US I've been to, however, it seems impossible to do that as the streets aren't made for it.

    Second, no matter what kind of metabolism you have, you can't violate the conservation of energy. If you use enough energy, or eat less than you consume, you will HAVE to get slimmer, eventually. Your body can't create additional mass out of nowhere, or produce energy to keep you going out of nothing.

  • by joocemann (1273720) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:11PM (#31138684)

    And the women who wear way too much perfume or hairspray and make my eyes water the entire trip.

    And the dialect of some of the southerners is just appalling.

    And the way the chinese people talk to each other just sounds annoying and I can't even think when they are talking!

    And the old people constantly talking about what they ate just kills me.

    And the smell of baby powder on the baby next to me is really gonna ruin my meal.

    And the mothers breast feeding babies just grosses me out.

    And the midgets being seated with the rest of us is just ridiculous.

    And the dreadlocks on that rasta guy is disgusting.

    And that kid with a cold is ridiculous and he should not be flying with me!

    ------------ (that was all sarcasm)

    Ever stop to think that someone doesn't like you, either? Maybe they don't always feel the need to tell you why you're bugging them, but I'm sure there are plenty of 'reasons' to be overly sensitive over.

    I'm not saying you complained about the kid with a cold, but I would bet people that have been upset about it have taken flights with contagious diseases of their own as well.

    Life isn't so shitty if you learn to like it.

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:59PM (#31139114)

    If a company wants my loyalty, they have to be loyal to me. Pretending to give a shit when my luggage goes missing or waiving the cost of one of those padded sleeping goggle whatchamacallits instead of carrying on like I'm trying to screw them out of the 2c those things cost would go a long way

    Right, but you're the exception, not the rule. Airline customers *claim* they'd pay more for a fare that included things like free eyemasks and pretzels, but then when the time comes to book a ticket they pick the airline with the cheapest fare. Airlines have, in the past, tried to be 'loyal to you' and have learned it gets them nowhere, at least in the USA and Canada. Customers aren't interested in good service, they're interested in getting where they're going on the cheap, pure and simple - And with respect to service, passengers have reaped what they've sown. Compared to 20 years ago, airline fares are dramatically cheaper, and service is dramatically worse. Coincidence? I think not...

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:01PM (#31139136) Homepage
    That crossed my mind but I do believe that is a smaller percentage of the population than people would like to believe.

    We didn't go from being a thin nation to one of the fattest by passing on defective genes overnight and having been born in the US and living abroad, it's very apparent that portions are bigger in the US and, along with a nearly allergic reaction to public transportation/walking would lead me to believe in most instances it isn't some sort of disorder.
  • by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:04PM (#31139158) Homepage

    There is a condition known as "hypothyroidism". There are many causes; in my case it was an auto-immune disease known as "Grave's Disease". It caused my body to attack my own thyroid gland - a gland in the neck that secretes thyroid hormone, which controls most of a person's metabolism.

    Yes, it seems the US has had a pandemic of 'hypothyroidism' the last few decades. I wonder if it is contagious.

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mysidia (191772) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:19PM (#31139288)

    Actually, what they should do is publicly disclose the maximum distance around your waist.

    E.g. They can print something like "To get on this plane, you must have a waste circumference no larger than 15"

    So then people can simply measure themsevles, and avoid any unanticipated embarassment.

  • by shadwstalkr (111149) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:05PM (#31139684) Homepage

    First it's just plain politeness and good business to avoid calling your customers fat, even if they are.

    Second, it's not just fat people. A large linebacker would probably also have trouble fitting in one seat.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:37PM (#31139924)

    It's simple: Airlines don't sell distance per gas consumed. They sell seats.

    Actually they sell freight space and the meat they transport is the least profitable as it requires to be heated and fed in a pressurised cabin (it also complains) where as most other freight can happily sit in an unpressurised hold.

    The reason airlines in the US started charging for baggage is to dissuade you from bringing more of it (you should have figured this part out already). Now most people assume that this is to cut down on weight, wrong. Airlines can sell the space they freed up to logistics companies who want to move small sized parcels to other parts of the country or world rapidly. This appears cheaper but has a much higher rate of return per KG and is more steady and less problematic then the meat transportation business.

    Budget Airlines like Tiger, Air Asia and Ryan Air make all of their money on freight, the passenger service is only expected to break even.

  • Re:Welp, that's it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:50PM (#31140022)

    What's your point? It's OK to be morbidly obese as long as your wife is hot? Does it occur to you that health might be something worth considering hot wife or no?

    For many men (both heterosexual and homosexual), particularly those who are single and under the age of 40, a key motivator to get fit is not 'health reasons.' Rather, it's the desire to be more sexually attractive to a mate. In Kevin Smith's case, this motivator isn't present. He's already got an attractive mate. Therefore, in his case a key incentive to lose weight, quit smoking and reduce drug use isn't present. Usually the next driver comes after a health scare (i.e. heart attack or diabetes), and that may not happen for another 10-15 years.

  • by jeko (179919) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @11:09PM (#31140148)

    "it is not that bad."

    And yet you're calling it the Goat Locker?

    "It was Hell. It was a little warm."

    Pick one. Either it's a goat locker, or it's not that bad. Which is it?

  • by aXis100 (690904) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @11:12PM (#31140166)

    Metabolic condition or not, the fat does not apppear out of thin air. You still have to have bring your hand to your mouth and consume those calories. It's like an asthmatic complaining of shortness of breath after smoking.

    I realise however that in order to control your weight you may end up being hungry all of the time though, and that just plain sucks.

  • by a whoabot (706122) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @11:12PM (#31140168)

    I saw a job offer that said, in the small print, something along the lines of: "We are committed in our hiring and operating practises not to discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, race, ethnicity, or ability."

    We can see what they wanted to say: They wanted to say "disability" (which itself would read strangely except that by now it has taken on a particular meaning in these situations which is broadly recognised), but because that word is not politically correct they were brought into saying something which reads as if it were patently absurd: That they actually don't take the abilities of the applicants into consideration when they hire. So...what, they cut open a bird and look at the entrails for divine signs?

    Much like how every university is now fully committed to diversity, which reads strange every time I see some such statement on the matter.

  • by morari (1080535) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @11:18PM (#31140202) Journal

    That sounds perfectly reasonable. Maybe this Kevin Smith guy should try getting outside and exercising now and then instead of sitting around on his fat ass in his mom's basement bitching on the internet.

  • Biggest Loser (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @11:51PM (#31140406)

    Whenever a big fatty complains about genetics, I always think of the Biggest Loser.

    They all manage to lose weight. They lose weight in proportion to the exercise they do.

    Sure they find it challenging, that's why it's a workout. But they all lose weight, regardless of their genes.

  • by XantheKnight (986840) on Monday February 15, 2010 @01:30AM (#31140978)

    Ugh. The glib "just lose the weight" pseudo-argument. Yeah sure, all fat people are fat by choice, and, with a little elbow grease, could lose weight and be normal like everyone else. Goodness, and you probably call yourself a scientist. What's next in your view: black people can just scrub a little harder and get white? Oh wait, but being fat is a choice, right? Like being gay? Well a few rounds of jogging make some people lose some weight, so it must be the same for everyone. I know because I saw it on The Biggest Loser. Uh oh, look where this road is leading! Unscientific land!

    Here's a little thought experiment: what if the average weight of an American citizen was, say, 250 pounds, but Southwest airlines decided to make its seats suitable (safety-wise) and comfortable for passengers with an average weight of 140 pounds. That way, they can shove 50% more seats into the same sized plane and thus make more profit. When a 250 pound passenger boards the plane, after having paid their money for their ticket, like everyone else, they are confronted publicly by an air hostess, who tells them that because of safety concerns, as per the airline's policy, they have two choices: (1) get off the plane and cancel their trip (probably thus losing money for hotels, rentals, perhaps losing their job or ruining their family's holiday), or (2) pay double for another seat. What choice would you make? What choice really IS there, assuming you can afford the second seat??

    It is reasonably foreseeable that many North American passengers will be of a size that is too large for the average plane seat. Does this mean those people must pay for two seats? Or, does it mean that airlines should make a few extra-large sized seats? Or has the US become a nation where it's OK to assume everyone looks the same, and one where those who deviate from the norm (in many cases through no fault of their own) should pay an extra price to access the same services?

    This crap would never go down in Canada. Thank God we have Human Rights legislation to prevent others from profiting from discriminatory practices.

  • by grimdawg (954902) on Monday February 15, 2010 @01:36AM (#31141010)

    I read it plenty, and I read it hard. Each of your points is valid and interesting. Each is also an excuse, trotted out by the fatties of this world trying to tell us that they can't help the way that they are.

    Unfortunately your attitude does the bloaters a disservice, too: the more you tell fat people that they can't change the way they are, the more fat they get, the less confident they get, and the less happy they'll get in general. You're part of the problem - by trying to stick up for them you're actually marginalising them more than I am.

  • by vadim_t (324782) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:29AM (#31141258) Homepage

    First, if you read my post, it does not say that it is all genetic. It simply points out that the skinny people in the use are not generally skinny because they are superior.

    I don't deny that there may be a genetic component. But that doesn't explain the disparity between the US and Europe, especially when most people living in the US are descendants of Europeans and shouldn't be that different genetically speaking.

    For it to be a genetical difference over so little time there would have to be something that consistently selected for the propensity to obesity over so little time. But that seems rather illogical, because with the harsh conditions early Americans had to endure, the propensity to have such an inefficient energy usage as to die of hunger while remaining fat should have been selected against, not for.

    Second, The "you can't violate the conservation of energy" argument is stupid. It is only used by the people to simple minded to understand that humans have an anus.

    Lack of comprehension here. When speaking of calories in nutrition, it refers to the amount of energy a human body extracts from food. What comes out of your other end isn't included in that measure. For humans, celery has negative calories, because the body expends more energy trying to extract something from it than it ends up receiving. A rabbit probably gains from it, though.

    There are exactly 0 people on the planet whose body is balanced via calories eaten vs. calories burned. The argument is simply absurd.

    Sure there are. Not every single day of course, but on average. People with a disposition to staying skinny are those whose bodies demand just enough or a bit too little food, and eat that much instead of gorging on it every day. That's what hunger is for.

    Can you run forever without stopping? Can you do an infinite number of pull ups? Not likely. When you have tried to do as many pull ups as possible, was it reaching 0% body fat that caused you to stop? not likely. Why? Because calories consumed vs. calories burned isn't even a 1/4 of the story.

    No, at a point you "hit the wall", due to exhaustion of glycogen, and buildup of lactic acid.

    No, you cannot violate conservation of energy, but you can starve to death while still being obese. Both obese by the absurd BMI standard, or by the 'Holy Crap man, your wider than you are tall' standard.

    Please provide examples. Humans can last a long time without food. You could probably go weeks without it. A human couldn't possibly exist that long on stored glucose/glycogen. Glucose is very short term, and glycogen can be exhausted with intensive exercise in a few hours. After that energy has to come from somewhere.

  • by quenda (644621) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:31AM (#31141262)

    I weigh about 260lbs now. I eat sensibly, get exercise, but none of it does any good at reducing my fat.

    Obviously you are not eating sensibly for your condition. Slow metabolism by itself will not make you fat. You have to be eating as if you still had a faster metabolism.
    Adjusting eating habits is difficult, which is why so many of us get larger in middle age. Each snack or meal is a choice.

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:48AM (#31141340)

    Most of us have watched the fatty squeezing down the aisle and dreaded the idea of them sitting next to us. Why should I have to put up with someone like him taking up my space on an already cramped airline seat?

    Most of us have also smelled the skinny person walking down the aisle, dreading that we'd be spending time within 5 rows of him/her let alone next to us.

    Why should we have to put up with the person making us want to vomit or have an allergic reaction to their shower of perfume?

  • by aussie_a (778472) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:15AM (#31141526) Journal

    Fat and overweight both have similar derogatory connotations

    Overweight is a medical term. As is obese. Overweight people have a BMI between 26 - 30 while obese people have a BMI 31 and higher.

    I use to be obese, I am now overweight.

    If people find these terms offensive, stiff-shit. How about instead of changing how we talk to better suit them, they change their appearance to better suit their own sensibilities. It would be like calling people who need glasses (such as myself) "sight-challenged" instead of "long-sighted" or "near-sighted"

    Although I'm sure the suits in legal and public relations will take issue with actually telling the truth.

  • by aussie_a (778472) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:30AM (#31141590) Journal

    Of course its alright for airlines to make unusually small seats and charge what they feel like. Guess what, that's capitalism! This hypothetical isn't even capitalism run amok, its just standard, acceptable capitalism, with a small few assumptions.

    First of all, if the average weight is 250 pounds (which is 113 kg by the way!) your nation is in a lot more trouble then having to pay double for their airlines tickets.

    Second of all, if the seats are unusually small for the airline industry, then I can see a claim for false advertising if the airline isn't upfront about this. If they try to hide the size of their seats and rely on consumer ignorance to allow them to be bait and switched, then clearly there's an issue. Bait and switch tactics aren't legal and is considered fraud.

    However Southwest Airlines is up front about their policy. This customer was aware of their policy. This customer had shown a willingness to accept their policy by buying 2 tickets beforehand. It was only when the airline attempted to accommodate him when he decided to make a last minute change that an issue came up.

    Also, having read their policy, it seems perfectly reasonable to me. Being medically obese isn't a right in which everyone should be forced to treat you as if you were a person within a healthy weight range.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:32AM (#31141600)

    First - your bread point - Bread is carbs everywhere, but most places it's not sweet, don't confuse carbs with sugars, they are similar, but not the same. Meat is not served with jam like it is in the US in most other places

    Now for the rest- I read and understood your post perfectly well. You are shifting the blame from the individual to the food industry and genetics. You are saying that exercise and diet do not always work. To which i say - you are wrong. It takes a lot of effort, but eat less (and balanced) and exercise more - and it'll work. The great food experiment that was conducted here could only succeed because the people are eating fast food and eating out more than they cook at home. Go get some veggies from the grocery store, good lean meat, even add a bit of olive oil - and you get a pretty well balanced dinner (just make sure your steak is under 1 ton).

    Small proportion of population stays thin not because they won a genetic lottery, they either exercise, or eat less, or both. If obese people would really count everything that gets into their mouth (consciously or otherwise) most would discover the simple fact - they overeat. Most are simply not aware of the amount of food that makes it's way to their stomach.

    Think about it - what is the modern's medicine's most radical cure for morbidly obese? That's right, various techniques of stomach reduction. And they all work with dramatic results. What does this have to do with genetics? Or with the food industry? Make your stomach accept less food, and suddenly you are losing weight...

  • by mangodhamma (1714528) on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:13AM (#31141804) Homepage
    Kevin is not the victim of sizism, he - and you and I - are victims of a common feature of modern life: perfect procedures, imperfect systems. Issues of how many seats can an airline cram into a cabin and America's eating habits aside, the Southwest policy sounds pretty reasonable. Oversize passengers buy a second seat and get a refund if the plane isn't full. So how does it happen that Kevin get's so far along the chain of events that it causes everyone involved a lot of unnecessary pain and embarrassment? The captain who threw Kevin off the plane was enforcing a procedure. Nobody was taking any responsibility for the system. What happened when Kev bought his ticket? Did a screen come up - before the plug in your credit card number screen - warning Kev that if you're over a certain weight you have to buy two seats? What happened when Kev arrived at the check in counter? Are the check in staff blind? How hard is it to notice that man or woman is 'of size' and won't fit into a seat my eleven year old daughter can barely squeeze into (she's big for her age)? Isn't there a role here for the security staff? It IS a safety issue. Plane skids off the runway a large passenger will have difficulty getting down that rabbit trail called an aisle. Kevin's embarrassment, and the discomfort of his seatmates, could have been avoided at any of several steps along the way. But it wasn't, because everyone is responsible for a procedure, but no one is responsible for the system.
  • by boxwood (1742976) on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:34AM (#31141904)

    You don't even have to go to North Korea to see the difference. South Koreans and Japanese are generally not as fat as North Americans and Australians. But talk to a Korean or Japanese person living in North America or Australia and they'll tell you that they started gaining weight as soon as the left their home country.

    But apparently your DNA magically changes as soon as you move to a new continent.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:43AM (#31141950)

    If you made any argument besides name-calling, you might be taken seriously.

  • by Ihlosi (895663) on Monday February 15, 2010 @05:05AM (#31142064)

    Has political correctness come so far that you can't even call someone a fatass any more?

    If you're a professional bodybuilder, you might be a customer of size, but not a fatass.

  • by vadim_t (324782) on Monday February 15, 2010 @05:45AM (#31142220) Homepage

    Well, of course such a thing would be unhealthy.

    But, the grandparent's claim was that some people would die of hunger while still being fat. There might be somebody somewhere with freak genetics that would result in such a thing, but if it was a common ocurrence I think I'd have heard of it, so I'd like some proof of that it is a more or less frequent ocurrence in cases of starvation.

  • by gabba_gabba_hey (309551) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:28AM (#31142398)

    Sooo...

    Your statement is that all skinny people wear a shit ton of perfume? Where does that even come from? Hmm...

    You sound fat.

  • by grimdawg (954902) on Monday February 15, 2010 @07:31AM (#31142676)

    When a sweeping generalisation has exceptions, it's not "simple-minded" to make assumptions with the generalisation at their core - especially when dealing with a topic as emotionally charged as weight.

    If a fat person told you they'd tried diet and exercise, which of the following is your response?

    a) You feel sympathetic to their cause: it's not their fault! Clearly they're one of those people whose genetics mean they can eat and exercise and remain in an unhealthy state!

    OR

    b) You feel sympathetic to their cause, but wonder whether they really tried hard. It's tough to stick to a diet and exercise regimen.

    If you answered a, you're incredibly naive. I hope you're stuck between 175 kilos of hypothyroidism and 200 kilos of big bones.

  • by drsquare (530038) on Monday February 15, 2010 @07:36AM (#31142708)

    Yeah sure, all fat people are fat by choice, and, with a little elbow grease, could lose weight and be normal like everyone else. Goodness, and you probably call yourself a scientist. What's next in your view: black people can just scrub a little harder and get white? Oh wait, but being fat is a choice, right? Like being gay?

    You're saying that a hundred pounds of excess blubber deposited through years of over-eating is equivalent to being born with a different skin colour? Now I've heard everything...

    Seriously, stop making excuses for people's poor lifestyle choices. I'm with Southwest on this one.

    It is reasonably foreseeable that many North American passengers will be of a size that is too large for the average plane seat. Does this mean those people must pay for two seats? Or, does it mean that airlines should make a few extra-large sized seats? Or has the US become a nation where it's OK to assume everyone looks the same, and one where those who deviate from the norm (in many cases through no fault of their own) should pay an extra price to access the same services?

    A fat person is not accessing the same services, they're taking up two seats and therefore twice the services. Why should healthy people be crushed or financially penalised because some fat bastard won't put down the cake? Maybe it's foreseeable that Americans will just have to pay more to fly than the rest of the world.

    This crap would never go down in Canada. Thank God we have Human Rights legislation to prevent others from profiting from discriminatory practices.

    Thank God I don't live in Canada, so don't have to pay extra so some salad-dodger can get an extra seat for free. For the record, I'm overweight but fit in plane seats just fine. This Kevin Smith fellow must be a real land whale.

  • by Shrike82 (1471633) on Monday February 15, 2010 @07:57AM (#31142812)

    You seem to want First Class elbow room at steerage prices. For that you can't blame fat folks, you can blame your cheapness or poorness.

    No, we can blame the really fat guy encroaching onto our seat. The seat that we paid for. The seat that would be fine if it weren't for the guy next to us being really overweight. Airline seats are a certain size. In economy they're pretty small because fares are so damn cheap. Why the hell should I have to pay for a first class seat just to get the elbow room I deserve in economy? This isn't about being poor or being cheap, it's about someone being too fucking big to fit in an economy seat. Let the fat guy spend the cash on a bigger seat in first class. How dare you say it's my responsibility to pay extra cash to accomodate the obesity of someone else. If anyone is being too cheap/poor in this situation it's the fat guy who won't spring for the extra seat that he needs, or one larger seat in a higher class.

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:50AM (#31144706)

    Ugh. The glib "just lose the weight" pseudo-argument. Yeah sure, all fat people are fat by choice, and, with a little elbow grease, could lose weight and be normal like everyone else.

    Ah, the glib "all fat people are fat because of hormonal imbalance" pseudo-argument. Despite that fact that 2/3rds of adults in the US are overweight and the kind of hormone imbalances that cause massive weight gain occur in less than 2% of the population.

    Honestly, it isn't that hard for 98% of people to lose weight, eat less and, optionally, excersise more. And yes, that means writing down what you eat so you can actually track it. Yes, that means weighing or measuring your food before you cook it so you know how much there is. Yes, that means sticking with it over the course of atleast several months. In my opinion, diligently keeping a food diary is the only way to consistently lose weight. If you're honest about filling it out and you have the will power to keep the calorie count at or below your target, it's almost impossible not to lose weight.

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:47PM (#31145442)

    "Exercise is the another myth."

    This is ridiculous. You're quite correct that genetic factors and some acquired diseases can predispose you to be fatter or thinner by changing the way your body processes food but it is certainly not a myth that exercising more will cause you to be thinner and exercising less will cause you to be fatter. It is also not a myth that your diet affects your weight. You do not directly burn fat while exercising but you certainly divert calories from fat production when exercising and you do burn fat between exercise sessions to support increased muscle mass, muscle building, repair, etc.

    It is not very common for a person who gets a reasonable amount of exercise and eats a reasonable diet to be two-seater obese. That usually requires both genetics AND poor diet and exercise habits. In the majority of cases obesity is a preventable disease.

    None of which changes the fact that, if you need two seats and only one is available you should not be allowed to fly, regardless of whether it's your fault you need two seats or not.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday February 15, 2010 @05:04PM (#31148540) Journal

    I skimmed the wiki article, and didn't see any direct causation between PCOS and morbid obesity. There is correlation, and those with PCOS may be predisposed to weight gain, but one of the treatments is weight loss through diet and exercise.

    I'm technically overweight - 6' tall and 190-195lbs. I have some sympathy for obese people because it really is hard to fight your body's tendency to shift from your "settling point" (mine is about 205lbs - I won't gain more, but it takes effort to drop below 195).

    If you're spending 2-3 hours in the gym doing high level aerobic activity, eating 800 calories a day, and still gaining weight, you are a miracle case. Even if you could survive with a Basal metabolic rate half of normal, you'd burn almost 1000 calories a day without exercise. Any good exercise should burn at least 175-200 cal/hour. Just running a 12 minute mile (almost a fast walk) should be good for 500 calories an hour.

    I have no doubt that being fat sucks, and it takes a shitload of willpower to drop the weight. I would venture, though, that most people (and by most, I mean greater than 95%) who have weight problems simply lack the willpower to fix it.

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