12
Nov
07

Should fat people pay more to travel?

Hi there. Ros here.  We’re off air now but you can listen again here.

SHOULD FAT PEOPLE PAY MORE TO TRAVEL?

Dr John Tickell is an Australian author and nutritionist and he says it’s time to take a stand against obesity… And his suggestion of how to do that is a ‘fat tax’ which requires people to pay more to fly if they are overweight. He wants to help people lose weight, but some of you are also highlighting the seating benefits of keeping fat people off planes.Do you think your country’s airlines should introduce a ‘fat tax’? What about the idea of it applying to all public transport? And of course, just as importantly, regardless of whether you think it’s acceptable, would it persuade people to stop eating so much? Here’s the story

THE SPANISH KING V THE VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT

It went something like this. The scene is the Ibero-American Summit in Santiago. Hugo Chavez calls Spain’s former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a ‘facist’. Spain’s King Juan Carlos tells Mr Chavez to “shut up”. The next day Mr Chavez asks if the King knew of the coup that briefly removed power from Mr Chavez in 2002. People are lining up to take sides on this… who do you support? Here’s the story

THE HOMELESS VETERANS
Many of you responded to the story last week that a quarter of homeless Americans are veterans. It was a story we know you wanted to talk about, and we wanted to make sure we got in touch with some of the people directly affected. Today we’ll hear from veterans in Nigeria, Russia, the UK and the States to hear why they think so many veterans end up on the streets. If you’d like to speak with them or send them a comment, do get in touch. Here’s the story
——
WHYS’ autumnal world tour has reached its natural finishing point – the little clutch of desks in London that we call home. So thanks to all of you who came along in South Africa, Namibia and most recently San Francisco and Phoenix. It been a real thrill to meet so many of you. But that’s it for our 2007 travelling – which isn’t such a bad thing for what I have left of a green conscience. I should have news of the first trip of 2008 soon – but we’re open to suggestions… Welcome to the Daily Email to Gregor from San Francisco, Jill in Texas, Bjorn in Iceland and Lydia in rural Virginia. Thanks for signing up. The routine is a simple one – I run you through the day’s news and stories, you head to the blog if you want to comment on any of it. So here we go….

GOOD NEWS 1: JOACHIM GIVES US A KISS FM
Joachim is the BBC World Service’s business development person for East Africa and he had some happy news for us while we were in the States. Kiss FM is a fantastic Tanzanian station and it’s started broadcasting WHYS – something I got very excited about from the safe distance of Phoenix. Check out KISS FM

GOOD NEWS 2: WHYS JOINS KALW IN SAN FRANCISCO
The show we broadcast from SF was in conjunction with the two main public radio stations there – KALW and KQED. I had an inkling KALW might be considering taking WHYS when they interviewed me about the show and said they’d ‘play it at a later date’. And it was confirmed when we got back to London. I loved visiting the station – everything from the staff to the programmes to the way there’s a school through the office door made me want to stay in touch. Clearly finding a place in their schedule’s going to help that. We’ll be on KALW in January. Check out KALW

You’d never guess from the length of this email that I’ve been off for a bit. I shall calm down by tomorrow I promise. Speak to you later. Cheers, Ros
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84 Responses to “Should fat people pay more to travel?”


  1. November 12, 2007 at 16:24

    The doctor forgot some think,that by the time you become obis you have more than enough money and that implies that you are capable of paying the tax.Though his assertion may be justified in countries like African countries where obisity is inherited not what you eat,and ironicaly too these are people who realy travel abroad.A’m of the view that his assertion has many critism than one can accept it.Anway it’s agood idea I like it .

  2. 2 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    November 12, 2007 at 17:12

    I’m slim & trim but NO FAT TAX!

    Instead, tax FAT CATS in industry & Government who have allowed fattening substances into foods in the first place! Best example: trans-fat. Hear BBC interview of Danish scientist who said “only place for trans-fat is in shoe polish”! SO! How is it in food for humans? For profits! All fat people ARE NOT fat by choice. Medical conditions play a part.

    What’s to be taxed next? Tall? Short?

    INCENTIVIZE fat people through pay rises for losing weight & company saves indirectly!

    [MaxMaxmilianMaximusI], Indian Caesar in, Singapore

  3. 3 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 17:58

    Dear ros ,
    thanks for your daily email, i particuarly enjoy your news and arguement you always made as a group, Ros ,am student of development studies from university of uganda, i agreed with Dr saying that those over weight should be taxed accordingly as it happened wihen you enter the plane ,they should pay if possible becuase they are the risks becuase they have more weights which can occupy the space,the problem of over is very common in mama Africa.
    Regards,
    Makoi Majok Toch,
    from kampala international university.

  4. 4 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 17:58

    Well If fat people have to occupy two seats, then they should be obliged to pay for occupying that space. Seems reasonable. There is a normal size for an average human being and we cant redesign the world’s seating for obese people. Cruel, but be realistic.

    I am reminded of an incident on a flight to Singapore when a very large Asian man had occupied two seats near me. Settling in, the arm rest went up to accommodate him as he straddled two seats and the hostess fetched a seat belt extension strap so he could connect between the distant ends of the seat belts. When meals were dispensed he was eagerly awaiting his food and happy to receive his tray but called the steward back when he gave only one tray to him – I heard him explain that he had paid for two seats on his ticket, therefore he was entitled to two meals. I could not help but comment to my neighbour as they watched this in aghast, no wonder he will need two seats if he keeps that up! Sad really, but despite the myriad of excuses that the obese can come up with, I still firmly believe it is for the most part self-inflicted. I once ballooned out, but some hard work and tough decisions got me back down to size. It is not impossible and not entirely out of your own hands.

    Andrew

    Australia

  5. 5 steve
    November 12, 2007 at 17:59

    People have no control over their height, but they do have control over their weight. So please don’t say “what’s next” and then mention height.. Come on.. Fat people are fat in 99% of the cases because they eat too much and exercise too little. This victimhood crap is only enabling them to get worse. THEY are at fault for their weight.

  6. 6 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 17:59

    A lot of people who are obese can`t help it and have enough to contend with, without the “holier than thou” sector giving them a hard time. It`s easy for those who aren`t to point a finger. We all have our burdens and everyone should show a little tolerance- be supportive..
    Ingrid B.
    Norway.

  7. November 12, 2007 at 18:05

    A leading Australian nutritionist has urged airlines to charge obese passengers more for their seats.

    Fat people can be embarrassing for their neighbours on planes. Passengers, although using common transport, need privacy. So sitting next to a very fat passenger gives the impression of being surrounded by a towering body which can even eclipse free view.

    In the USA, the CNN reported some years ago the case of two fat black women companions who had complained about being obliged to pay double ticket each. They asked to pay for three tickets instead of four but this was refused. The airliner carrying them said that policy wasn’t enforced in internal flights but just on international ones.

    As airliners have lenient policies towards the handicapped, it should have the same policy towards fat people as long as this doesn’t pose a problem to the passengers or affect the weight limits an aircraft has in transporting goods and people. There are some scientific researches showing that obesity can be genetic. So such fat people shouldn’t have double punishment: living with the medical consequences of their obesity and paying double for flights. After all, none of us choose to have an unpopular and unhealthy shape.

    As a compromise, I suggest that airliners should “penalise” fat people through their luggage. If a fat person weighing, say, 120 kilogram and the normal weight should be 80 kilogram, they should carry only light luggage with them or they should pay double for the 40 kilograms of luggage weight if they have a heavy one instead of paying a double ticket. I know this sounds illogical.

    But forcing people to pay double ticket to reduce weight won’t have the desired effect. There can be many fat people who rarely take a plane. Others used to taking first class will circumvent this penalty by taking second class. They can’t have the same comfort but at least they won’t feel they have paid double. So this decision to double the fee can be just symbolic. Its effect or popularity should be measured if it is implemented in other means of common transport like buses and trains, underground metros. Perhaps the most strident measure can be if fat people are given an ultimatum to reduce weight or they will lose their jobs or if recruitment for a job is based on weight.

  8. 8 steve
    November 12, 2007 at 18:09

    Ingrid B, QUIT ENABLING PEOPLE! YES THEY CAN CONTROL IT! Eat less, exercise more! You are only going to make people get fatter by feeling like they are powerless victims! Of course than can control their weight! STOP ENABLING THEM!

  9. 9 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:10

    Lightening arrow in The Netherlands
    Just make the seat belts a certain length, if you can’t connect the ends you can’t fly. Simple.

    Ralph in Augusta in the US
    I’m a male, fat, bald, ugly looking, left handed, baby boomer, on medication. should I be taxed seven times?

  10. 10 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:10

    I agree that fat people should pay more on airlines, but probably not for trains and busses because the effect is negligable. But on airplanes, the weight is an important factor, and in this time of concern for the environment and rising gas prices, perhaps such a fat surcharge will encourage people to lose weight. The problem today is that very few people take responsibility for their own decisions. The vast majority of fat people are fat because they eat too much, and exercise too little. Glandular problems account for less than 1% of cases of obesity. So when people starting saying obesity is a “disease”
    and they should be pitied, it only enables them. They think they are victims and that there’s nothing they can do, so they will only get fatter. And more people will be fat. What they need to do is eat less, and healthier foods, and exercise more. Unless the laws of physics don’t work because your mass has violated space time, you will lose weight if you do that. The problem is that’s not enough motivation. I’m thinking a surcharge might finally do it, given we’re not allowed to shame fat people. In some places in the US, they are protected from discrimination. When I say shaming them, I don’t mean for it to be personally done, but if it gets them to lose weight, and prevent diabetes or heart attacks, then perhaps we can save their loved ones hurt so that they don’t die prematurely. I’m so evil for wanting that, aren’t I?

    Steve
    Virginia

  11. 11 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:10

    Dear World have your say,
    I think that some fat people have genetic problems so a Dr’s certificate should be good for normal travel perhaps others should pay more like excess weight charge.
    Linda France

  12. 12 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:11

    …And those who r light weight should be charged less. This would be a better incentive. Dr Jamil (TEXT)

  13. 13 Alfred Vosburn
    November 12, 2007 at 18:11

    I think it is only fair. However, fat people who evacuate their bowels on the plane should be given a corresponding fare reduction. I know how much I would save with this discount.

  14. 14 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:12

    Hugo chavez talks very rudly ,undeplomatically like an ordinary tugs. He was insulted bush in the un. Charles from kuwait. (TEXT)

  15. 15 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:13

    Tax ’em. YES> Most Air travel, or ‘air tourism,’ is irrelevant and un-necessary. If you choose to fly, just to save time, then you should be willing to pay. And computers and the Net, Business travel should obsolete by now.
    thanx-

    wil ferguson
    traverse city, michigan, usa

  16. 16 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:17

    Special seats shd be made available to people over a certain weight and made to pay a little more than for ordinary seats. For their own comfort and that of fellow passengers. George in Accra Ghana. (TEXT)

  17. 17 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:17

    Riz, Sydney- i can understand obesity as a serious problem down here, but taxing the sufferers just doesnt sound right. (TEXT)

  18. 18 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:18

    With all the hunger in the world They should also pay more for the obscene amounts of food they eat. Banks, amsterdam (TEXT)

  19. 19 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:21

    The soldiers must be well-treated when they return home. They have a special place in the hearts of all those who are patriotic. We must help them, especially when they are in ill-health, and are homeless. Those who make our home country safe should never be left homeless. Mathew, USA.

  20. 20 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:24

    My father is a Vietnam veteran, and that experience informs every aspect of his life. Though he came back over 30 years ago, the horrors and heartbreak of his 13 months in the bush holds incredible power over his life. He is only now beginning to deal with his PTSD and begin to deal with everyday situations in what we would call a “normal” way. To suggest that he knew what he was getting into and therefore doesn’t deserve assistance is like saying that divorces shouldn’t be allowed, because the partners knew what committment they were making. It also suggests that we, as non-veterans, can fathom what goes on in war. We cannot. I have lived with a veteran my entire life, and I cannot begin to understand the depths of his pain and anger.

    Molly Schulze
    Coos Bay, Oregon

  21. 21 Trinity
    November 12, 2007 at 18:24

    Not moralizing being fat, but it is more expensive to move an object which weighs 300lbs than it is to move an object which weighs 150lbs. What should be done about this? Simple math pay for what you are moving… we have weight limits for our luggage on airlines and we pay extra if we go over, why not people? It is not an issue of judgment, it is an issue of cost. This is not an argument about the causes of obesity. This is business and moving extra weight cuts into profits.

  22. 22 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:24

    I have a question, how many homeless are there in the USA and how does it stack up against the rest of the world? Perhaps one of your panelists can answer this.

    Chris

    Seattle, WA

  23. 23 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:24

    What about when people don’t sign up? We have had a draft here you know!

    Kim Olson

  24. 24 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:25

    The term “Shellshock” was coined after the Great War when it was recognised as a psychological condition for the first time. Shame that we haven’t yet managed to treat our discharged forces personnel properly after all this time…

    Nicholas Varley

  25. 25 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:25

    I believe if the person is large enough, too large for one seat, they definitely should be required to pay for a second seat. On a second note, as a traveling carpenter, at 155lbs or 70 kg, I shouldn’t be charged excess baggage fees for my tool box which usually weighs 90lbs or 40kg. The combined weight of my person and luggage is less than many large passengers alone, yet I was once charged $430 US dollars in an overweight fee to fly back to Oregon from Singapore.

    Ken Carpenter
    Prineville, Oregon

  26. 26 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:27

    Conservatives have always treated soldiers and veterans as cheap disposable labor! After all, to a Conservative it is just a cost of doing business and the less spent on labor the more profit gets made.

    Tom D Ford

  27. 27 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:27

    Hello,

    Fat people should not be taxed, instead they deserve pity – not for being fat, but because they won’t live as long as their slimmer and healthier brothers and sisters. If anyone should be taxed it is the processed food industries who deliberately add sugars to virtually everything – just read the labels. Junk food should have a health warning like cigarettes packets saying something like:

    ‘Processed Junk food could make you unnaturally fat leading to heart disease and premature death’ .

    That way if someone eats at McDonalds or KFC and gets fat they can’t sue because they were warned.

    Paul Critchley (I’m 47 and don’t have a beer belly!)

  28. 28 Luis
    November 12, 2007 at 18:28

    I applaud the King of Spain for telling Hugo Chavez to shut up. Hugo Chavez was in a formal, diplomatic forum were people, no matter what is their political opinion is, should be respected. Chavez insulted the former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, and he rudely interrupted the current Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero. This shows Chavez has no respect for people who have different opinions either on Aznar, RCTV, or on his “Bolivarian Socialism”. He insults people with different opinions. Chavez’s act is shameful, and it makes Venezuela look like a rude country. The King of Spain did the right thing for telling Chavez to shut up; He deserved it! He also makes the Left in Latin America look bad. Here in the US, the media loves to put every left-wing leader as the same as Chavez. There are many good left-wing leaders in Latin America that supports freedom of speech and press, supports its democracy, and have decency. Chavez attacks the freedom of speech and press, he wants to destroy Venezuelan democracy, and he has no decency!

    Luis
    Texas

  29. 29 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:28

    I see no problem in making obese people pay more for an air ticket considering the discomfort they cause their neighbors sitting next to them & the fuel costs for the planes. As harsh as it may sound, i say proceed with the extra air ticket charge. Hemzley in Malawi.

  30. 30 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:28

    It’s completely inappropriate for King Carlos to tell President Chavez to “shut up.” Chavez may have a different world view from western royalty and western leadership, but he is still an international diplomat and president of a sovereign nation, and should be afforded the respect of anyone in such a position. Can you imagine Juan Carlos telling Angela Merkel to “shut up?”

    Jeffrey Gillespie, Portland, Oregon, USA

  31. 31 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:32

    The way USA are luring kids into the army, because they couldn t pay for their education otherwise, is abominable, and should be abandoned. Hana Z, Prague

  32. 32 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:32

    The part of not looking after vet rans in this part of the world is responsible for the corruption and extra judicious activities they engage in.franklin.(TEXT)

  33. 33 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:35

    Hemzley in Malawi.
    I see no problem in making obese people pay more for an air ticket considering the discomfort they cause their neighbors sitting next to them & the fuel costs for the planes. As harsh as it may sound, i say proceed with the extra air ticket charge.

    Uche in Nigeria texts us:
    Telling overweight people to pay more is ofensive, insultive and abuse to human right.

  34. 34 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:35

    Great idea ! But I want my two kids (5 & 1) to fly half price.

    Nicholas Varley

  35. 35 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:36

    I am overweight and have had to ask for seat belt extentions when I have flown. However, I don’t fly that often. Partially due to embarrasment. I wouldn’t mind paying a fat tax at all IF AND ONLY IF the airlines would accommodate larger people with more comfortable seating in a separate area. I’d be willing to pay more then. This can be done. I’ve noticed the seats in First Class are larger with more leg room. Perhaps I’ll fly First Class from now on.

    John in Cleveland

  36. 36 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:36

    Like other passengers, obese occupy a single seat,so overcharging them is unfair.Robert Ug.

  37. 37 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:36

    I heard someone say that we took care of the world war 2 veterans with schooling but not the gulf war people. Check the Veterans Affairs web site you will see that there are extensive benifits to both active duty and reserves.

    Bob Clark
    Ashland, Or

  38. 38 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:37

    If you take away the 1% of people who are obese for medical reasons, this is what I have to say to the person who said being fat is not a choice. EVERY bit of food you put in your mouth is a choice. EVERY time you choose not to do exercise is a choice. THE END RESULT IS THAT YOU ARE FAT BY CHOICE>

    Steve
    USA

  39. 39 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:37

    Engine 7
    The only way that would be fair to all is if we were charged by the pound. That would mean that skinny people would pay less.

  40. 40 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:37

    Ahmed
    Hi,
    I think that unfair to overweight people, but are they also willing to give skinny people a discount for not using the whole seat. ahmed, Buhodle, Northern Somalia.
    Thank you,

  41. 41 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:38

    I agree with Dr Tickell completely. Obesity should be opposed and weight taxes on planes should be just. I find it quite ridiculous that while some people are being taxed hundreds of Euros for a couple of kilo’s too many in their bags while others bring tens of kilos around their waist and then spill them into their fellow passenger’s laps… I think a more just tax could definitely support our overweight fellows and help give them perspective.

    Björn Helgason.
    Reykjavík, Iceland

  42. 42 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:38

    Telling overweight people to pay more is ofensive, insultive and abuse to human right. Frm UCHE in ENUGU STATE NIGERIA. (TEXT)

  43. November 12, 2007 at 18:39

    Fat people should have to pay extra. If cigarette smokers are charged extra because second hand smoke affects others and the result of their bad health brings a burden to society, the same should hold true for the obese. Outside of second hand smoke being the same as second hand flesh, it’s common sense that if one occupies two seats, one should pay for both of them. Would the airlines give a deduction to the person that would have to squeeze into the seat beside said obese occupant?

    Chris – Cleveland

  44. 44 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:40

    Being fat is like having a disease. What makes the situation worse is that the mental aspect is greater than most people realize.

    And all fat people who say it isn’t fair to have them charge more are just using that as an excuse to stay fat. And the worst fat people will take a tax like this out of context and claim it’s borderline discrimination. However when someone moves in on your personal space it’s a concern for all. Being fat is unhealthy.

    Being a former fat person myself. I say the more there is to deter this type of life style (yes being fat is a life style choice in most cases) the better. Make them pay more and help them realize it’s rude and unhealthy to be so fat.

    –Nathan
    Chicago, IL (U.S.A.)

  45. 45 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:40

    Kudos to the king for shutting the mouth of that arrogant dictator. He opened his foul mouth to disgrace my President before UN. Hail to the King of Spain.

    Mathew
    USA.

  46. 46 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:40

    If d over weight pay more, will d under weight pay less? Or dis is jst another means 2 make more money from d public? Jake from london. (text)

  47. 47 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:41

    Veterans in the west are lucky they ve got the where withal to be cared for after battle, for me i fought against Charles Taylor in Liberia, who cares whether am suffering from trauma or not. Kindama Kargbo. Freetown. (text)

  48. November 12, 2007 at 18:41

    If it makes sense to charge smokers for bad habits, the same should be true for obesity which in my opionion, is far worse than smoke.

  49. 49 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:41

    Yes — there has to be a start to controlling the obesity health problem.
    Taxes worked with cigarettes, so why shouldn’t they work here? I support charging a penny per pound for NYC buses and subways. Maybe, too, there should be taxes on calorie density in fast foods.
    The point is that this starts a debate on what to do about the problem.

    Nigel in Manhattan

  50. November 12, 2007 at 18:45

    Pregnant people should try to avoid flight at all cost. Why would one not know that!?

  51. 51 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:46

    John, Cleveland
    I am overweight and have had to ask for seat belt extentions when I have flown. I wouldn’t mind paying a fat tax at all IF AND ONLY IF the airlines would accommodate larger people with more comfortable seating in a separate area. I’d be willing to pay more then. This can be done.

  52. 52 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:46

    Text from Malawi
    If fat persons must pay more for flights, then tall ones need to be charged for getting more sunshine and vitamin D than those below them! Its simply an unthinkable suggestion.

  53. 53 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:46

    Aaron

    I just separated from nine years of service in the US Navy in a non-combat role. I would have to argue that this is a non-issue. Upon separation, there is so much preparation available and required for the transition that is is nearly annoying. I would have to assume that many of the homeless we are speaking of are either anti-social misfits or made that way by combat.

    I believe the issue is in PTSD for combat separatees. Which is a tiny percentage of veterans, by the way

  54. 54 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:47

    Dear BBC,
    I would like to add that people should be charged not only for their personal weight, but also their luggage. Their total impact on the fuel consumption.
    Thank you, Peter Jones

  55. 55 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:47

    HI,

    Two thoughts.

    US planes are getting smaller as people get larger.

    Airlines need to make accommodations for passengers beset by overweight travelers.

    Be it in the form of larger seats at extra cost or just plane larger seats.

    Is it fair to discover a seat mate is occupying not only their seat and half of yours, as well. Will a 50% reimbursement be forth coming?

    Its an invasion of personal space and a form of subsidizing unhealthy lifestyles.

    Bradly

  56. 56 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:48

    Brilliant idea – clearly, humiliating and shaming people will change their behavior, it’s worked for curing gays and smokers, hasn’t it?
    (the economic portion of the argument is simply silly – consider gross vehicle weight versus total passeenger weight, and one passenger’s added weight is nothing as a percentage, that quite aside from the fact that airline prices are not linearly related to fuel costs)
    -Jon Kiparsky
    Portland, OR

  57. 57 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:48

    I still don’t get it, being fat makes you at higher risk for diabetes which means heart disease and losing limbs. Isn’t that incentive enough?
    I’ve sat on enough planes, on long flights, with fat people spilling over onto me. I don’t mind that as much as I mind screaming kids, but a fat tax should be the LEAST concern overweight people have, and they should be worried more about getting heart disease and diabetes from their decision to overeat and underexercise.

    Steve
    USA

  58. 58 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:49

    AIRLINE SEATS ARE WAY TOO SMALL ANYWAY AND SHOULD BE EXPANDED. WE SHOULD NOT CHANGE OURSELVES FOR THE SEATS, BUT THE SEATS FOR US. THE AMOUNT WE PAY TO TRAVEL SHOULD ALREADY MAKE AIRLINES WANT TO ACCOMMODATE US BETTER.

    Ayo in the US.

  59. 59 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:49

    My memory probably fails me but it doesn’t seem that Chavez calling President Bush “a devil” at the UN was taken as poorly as Chavez calling Spain’s ex president “a fascist” I, for one, understand this.

    Drew Robertson
    Corvallis, OR

  60. 60 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:49

    Hi There WHYS!

    I should have like to have left a comment this morning about obese air travellers but every time I selected ‘comment’ the same page reloaded and now link to ‘leave a comment’ that worked in isght.

    I am intelligent and possibly even above average in the use of computers. I use FC Pro , Motion, Flash and design CSS web sites which is the most challenging of the lot , but I have difficulty in finding where to leave a a WHYS comment!

    I usually have to play around find it or if not in the end I email you as I have today.

    SUGGESTION

    Why not have a link which allows you to leave a comment that says something like WHYS COMMENT NOW!

    That would be of great benefit and I think you would get even more comments and be more user friendly.

    Lastly I admit the fault is possibly mine. With computers the fault is usually with the user so could you please point of the link I am missing!

    This time I could not even find the comment page but I am back to have another go otherwise it is off to The Times on Line.

    Hare Ra!

    Janette Heffernan

  61. 61 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:51

    Concerning the ‘Overweight’ extra charge…
    If the argument is that more pounds take more fuel then those of us who weigh less use less fuel. Therefore, perhaps we should establish a charge ‘per pound’ for each passenger???
    Fred Strong
    Portland OR

  62. 62 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:51

    I am an active duty veteran of Desert Storm, Somalia and most recently Iraqi Freedom. I am currently passing 15yrs in the US Army. I was a combat medic in Somalia and Korea during Desert Storm and now I am an Officer.

    Patrick mentioned his problems wih his friends. he would lie to them and such. The one thing we have to understand is that many “veterans” are discharged for violations of corps values. Integrity, Honor, Selfless-service and such. When you violate these values I believe you decrease your value as a Soldier (the military dishonorably discharges you because of these violations).

    I believe an honorably discharged veteran deserves to be taken care of, but other than honorable discharge is a disgrace to the military and difficulties in the civilian sector are to be expected, and they should lose their “Veteran” status in the homeless statistics.

    Major Sean Friendly
    U.S. Army

  63. 63 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:52

    This is actually quite a disturbing discussion – people seem quite willing to take out their grievances – imposed by airlines trying to save money by squeezing extra passengers into smaller space – on a perceived “immoral” minority.
    -Jon Kiparsky
    Portland, Oregon

  64. 64 steve
    November 12, 2007 at 18:52

    A sign of the times, Disneyland has to retrofit a ride because americans are fatter now and were causing the boats to “bottom out” because it was designed for the weight of people in the 1960s, which was about 25 lbs less per person.. Feel free to google this this story. Here is one link.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/11/09/financial/f140225S85.DTL&tsp=1

  65. 65 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:53

    I’m 6’2″ 230 lbs. Not fat but large for sure. I can stay in my seat, but who would be open for “extra” costs? Where is the line drawn? 200? 190?
    and Should I get charged less because planes don’t accommodate my legs? My knees are always embedded in the seat in front of me…. Do I pay less?
    Should I actually pay more since I’m in theory using some space of the individual in front of me?

    Cleveland.
    ~Steve

  66. 66 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:53

    May be aesthetically challenged people should sit in a corner of the plane with a curtain round their heads so an not to visually inconvenience others and they should pay for the curtains too

    Ayo in the US

  67. 67 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:53

    Wider seats already exist for larger people. They’re called “first class” seats. Perhaps if someone weighs over 350 pounds or 160 kgs they should be required to purchase one, whether that weight comes from width or height.

    Kendra in Portland, OR

  68. 68 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:54

    Surely than answer is to charge people according to what they weigh: give small people a break for once!

    Francis B Banks, Head of Chemistry Department, College of the Bahamas

  69. November 12, 2007 at 18:54

    OK, I really wanted to discuss fat people. But anyone supporting George W. Bush at this point in time outta to really have their head examined. I’m saying that out of concern. I mean, you have to wake up a smell the stink.

  70. 70 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:55

    Actual weight is no indicator of being overweight .Men weigh more than women,should I thus pay more because of my gender?Let the airlines designers sort it! (TEXT)

  71. 71 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:56

    Dear WHYS,

    Of course you can’t lump all fat people in the same boat – – –

    The boat would sink !!!

    Regards, Eoin

  72. 72 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:56

    How do you determine who is “overweight” for purposes of taxing them? I am 6’4 and weigh almost 250lb, but I’m not overweight by most standards. Do we get greeted with calipers at the airport?

    Miles

    Columbus, Oh

  73. November 12, 2007 at 18:57

    I think for the purpose of this conversation, we’re not talking about the density of weight but the mass. Y’know the part that spills over.

  74. 74 worldhaveyoursay
    November 12, 2007 at 18:58

    Nadia from Sierra Leone thinks it shouldn’t just be limited to flights…she says
    Obese people should pay more as they make u uncomfortable when seated next to them especially in buses.

  75. 75 steve
    November 12, 2007 at 19:01

    To people suggesting seats be larger. That will mean ALL tickets will be more expensive. Airlines are in this for profit. They want to fit AS MANY people as possible on flights so they can sell more tickets and have more people on the flight.. Larger seat, with the same size plane means less passengers on the plane, meaning they cannot make as much money. If they cannot make as much money, then ticket prices will go up.

  76. 76 steve
    November 12, 2007 at 19:04

    I don’t see why fat tax should be applied to trains, though maybe busses because of the engine using gas or diesel. You cannot make people pay a tax merely because they are a nuisance to others. If anything, then the proceeds of said fat tax on a train should then go to the person sitting next to the fat person…. I sat on a flight to Milan in 2006 and the woman was VERY obese and she was completely spilling over to my seat, and it would cause my right ear to “fall asleep”, they flight attendants wouldn’t let me wakl the cabin because of serurity concerns, so had to sit there with my right arm being crushed and my shoulders were in serious pain, it was like almost having my shoulders get separated. not fun.

  77. 77 Mike
    November 12, 2007 at 19:09

    Taxing the fat is an excellent idea for numerous reasons, but it should not be limited to airline flights. The long- and short-term risks of obesity are well known, and the end result is that we – society – pay the costs, in the form of increased health insurance, hospital bills, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. (At least in the U.S.) We have no problem charging bad drivers higher insurance premiums. Why shouldn’t we charge fat people higher premiums? And the monitoring is fairly simple. Anyone with a BMI (body mass index, a scale that relates weight to height) of between 25 and 30 (the ‘overweight’ range), pays a premium of 10%. Anyone with a BMI of 30-32 (‘obese’) pays 25% premium, and so on (or devise a similar graded scale). If there’s one thing Americans respond to, it’s being hit in the wallet. As soon as we decree that there will be a financial burden for being a physical burden, people will stop eating the super-sized lard burgers while sitting in front of the television all day, and will begin to exercise and eat smarter. Airlines could easily determine the fat tax by having passengers step onto the same scales they use when weighing our luggage. As an aside, I wonder if simply charging each passenger a fare equal to their total weight (body, clothes, luggage, carry-ons) would be the most equitable way of determining airfares. The net result of carrying a 160-pound passenger who travels withan overstuffed carry-on and 2 huge suitcases totalling 100 pounds (or more) is the same as carrying one 240-pound fat guy with a small carry-on. So maybe we should each be charged $1 per total pound for cross-country or trans-oceanic flights, and a percentage of that for shorter flights. Just an idea. Thanks!

  78. 78 steve
    November 12, 2007 at 19:48

    I like your idea Mike, but the fat acceptance groups will never allow it. And given a majority of people are overweight or obese, it wont sell very well. One day there will be laws against mak ing fun of fat people, it will be deemed a hate crime, yet me having to pay higher premiiums becuse of their lack of self control is something I’ll be told I have to accept..

  79. November 12, 2007 at 19:57

    Chavez should learn to be diplomatic, especially when talking in public about his politicians. Summit conferences shouldn’t become a theatre where speakers rival to be on spotlight in the media by uttering pejorative terms. In North Africa, the Libyan leader Gaddafi is known for his bizarre behaviour and speeches. When he was in Belgrade in the 80s, he brought with him 10 she-camels to drink their milk. He seems to have matured politically by refraining from such behaviour. Gaddafi once described late American president Roland Reagan as a cowboy to which he replied by describing him as the stray dog of the Middle East.

    Saddam in his war of words with the USA and UK sparked disparaging terms. His former minister Tarik Aziz described USA as an elephant followed by UK the rat. Tony Blair once said that Saddam should be put in cage.

    In 1991, after Iraq invasion of Kuwait there was an Arab foreign ministers conference. During lunch in this conference there was exchange of nasty words between the delegates as well as the throwing of plates at one another. In another Arab summit, there was footage of Gaddafi angrily addressing Egyptian Husni Mubarak asking him to go to hell. In 2003, there were angry exchanges between the head of the Iraqi delegation and that of the Kuwaiti delegation at the Arab League conference. So history of violent exchanges at summits and conferences isn’t short at least in the Arab world.

    Once late Moroccan King Hassan II was asked by a Spanish journalist to give his opinion about the relations between Morocco and Spain. He replied that the Moroccans and the Spanish have the same temperament. They easily get hot under the collar. The same in my opinion can be said about the Arabs and people from the Mediterranean region. After all, people in Latin America are originally from this part of the world. It’s no wonder if there are hot exchanges between them. After all the Spanish and the People in Latin America are cousins.

    Concerning Chavez’s description former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a ‘fascist, he should have respect for the Spanish delegation, including the king. There are other terms to describe him without offending anyone. By saying so, this implies King Juan Carlos was behind his fascist policy and so the whole Spanish regime is fascist, as well. Maybe Chavez wants Spain to return to the rule of Franco regime so he can find a great ally in southern Europe to counterattack the improving relations between France and the USA.

    Chavez considered his statement as a part of free speech. But considering his closure of TV station RCTV channel just contradicts his statements. It’s better to use diplomatic terms for political effect. Using words just to attract the attention of the media and to get ordinary people talk isn’t the best way to do politics. In democratic societies such remarks are left to free media which is allowed to poke fun at anyone or make them look the ugliest. Heads of states should be above using terms which self-respecting and shrewd politicians refrain from using face to face with their opponents.

  80. 80 abdoukili
    November 12, 2007 at 23:40

    Forcing fat people to pay double ticket to reduce weight won’t have the desired effect. There can be many fat people who rarely take a plane. Others used to taking first class will circumvent this penalty by taking second class. They can’t have the same comfort but at least they won’t feel they have paid double. So this decision to double the fee can be just symbolic. Its effect or popularity should be measured if it is implemented in other means of common transport like buses and trains, underground metros. Perhaps the most strident measure can be if fat people are given an ultimatum to reduce weight or they will lose their jobs or if recruitment for a job is based on weight.

  81. 81 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    November 13, 2007 at 06:18

    Reference post by Steve:
    Quote
    People have no control over their height, but they do have control over their weight. So please don’t say “what’s next” and then mention height.. Come on.. Fat people are fat in 99% of the cases because they eat too much and exercise too little. This victimhood crap is only enabling them to get worse. THEY are at fault for their weight. Unquote

    The Navy should NOT hire tall men/women to work in a submarine as it is a highly constricted vessel & propulsion efficiency may/will be affected? No matter how intelligent & technically qualified the person may be! A cloth manufacturer should pay less to short employees as they will not use enough ‘trouser length’ and so affect the sales of the company!

    I WILL agree with you Steve PROVIDED all the fingers on your hands change to be of the same size. OR – arrange that for your children or grand-children…. & then I’ll agree.

    MaxMaxmilianMaximusI, Indian Caesar in, Singapore

  82. 82 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    November 13, 2007 at 07:08

    Refer to the post by Steve on Nov 12th, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Quote I don’t see why fat tax should be applied to trains, though maybe busses because of the engine using gas or diesel.Unquote AND on Iain’s blog

    Quote steve
    Nov 12th, 2007 at 6:40 pm
    Linda, people cannot control their skin color, they can control their weight. Linda, the law of physics applies to everyone. If you consume 2000 calories per day, but burn 2200 calories, you will lose weight, 200 calories worth of weight every day. Unless you’re somehow located in an area, such as a blackhole, where we don’t understand the physics, then one simply needs more exercise. I’m sorry if the truth isn’t pleasant. If you eat less, and exercise more, you lose weight.Unquote

    You are pontificating about Physics & black holes!? But you don’t know that friction depends on load NOT surface area. So, if you have to tax fat people on buses then you HAVE to tax them on trains too! The propulsion of a heavy train or bus or truck uses more fuel than a lighter one. Furthermore do trains propel themselves on thin air? They use diesel too! If they are electric then you have to go back to see how that electricity was generated! I did not become Caesar because of pregnant chads! In my galaxy a Caesar has to be…

    MaxMaxmilianMaximusI, Indian Caesar in, Singapore

  83. 83 Dennis
    May 11, 2008 at 18:09

    Yes if they need to have an extra seat!

    Dennis
    Madrid, United States of America

  84. 84 Bonnadee
    January 7, 2010 at 04:39

    Yes- fat people should pay more on all forms of public transportation. The heavier the cargo, the bigger the cost to transport it. Besides, there is a gross maximum weight load assigned to all vehicles–planes, boats, trains, and buses. When the weight load goes over the maximum, it puts the carrier at risk of mechanical failure.


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