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Fat To The Rescue?

Posted February 17, 2009 11:24 AM by Sharkles

Human Nature on Slate.com is running a piece about how 'fat' people may save the current economy. The article discusses how the industries involved with holding, transporting, and fitting humans now have to accommodate larger-sized people. The article specifically mentions toilet seats, aircrafts, and coffins.

As someone who has blogged about the fat epidemic multiple times (here and here), I am interested in following this theory to see how much of an impact fat really has.

  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree with Slate's article?
  • Can you think of any other industries that may be positively affected by increasing waistlines?

Resources:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/humannature/archive/2009/02/13/portly-johns.aspx

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#1

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/17/2009 11:33 AM

Well it seems a majority of efforts to decrease obesity have failed (tax on non-diet beverages... really NY?), so I guess the alternative solution is to accept the fat community and make changes accordingly.

I wouldn't mind having more spacious public facilities! I never use the handicap bathroom stall (unless the others are occupied and time is not on my side), but it would be great if that was the standard size for a stall! And the handicap stalls would be the equivalent of a half-bath?

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#2

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/17/2009 11:40 AM

Cardiologists.

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#3

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/17/2009 11:49 AM

I do not agree with the article. I mean, seriously, if you sit on the toilet and it breaks, you shouldn't be sitting down in the first place. You should be moving. There are many more worse aspects to being fat than there are good. First of all, all these fat people are going to need doctors. This may be good for the doctors paycheck, but it isn't good with regard to the wait that the patients may experience as there is a shortage of doctors.

Being fat doesn't solve problems, it's an indication of a BIG problem.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/17/2009 2:55 PM

I think I know where you're coming from, Jaxy. However, I personally don't think the article is saying that being fat is good for you. Rather, I read the article as saying that because so many people are overweight, there is a positive - in this instance, creating jobs in a struggling economy.

While I do agree with your notion that being overweight shouldn't be encouraged, some people may see the economic benefit as a sliver of light in a seemingly-endless tunnel. I do not believe that the author intended to say "being overweight is good because...", but rather wanted to point out that there is a need (larger people needing accommodations) that is being met by companies; thus, keeping people working.

Just my 2 cents. Thanks for the discussion.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/17/2009 3:05 PM

I agree. Create more jobs and make some fatties happy while we are at it.

Or will they be angry because we are now trying to accommodate for the "heavy set" group, and people not in that group will say "Hey, we did this for you, Fatty. I'm pissed off!"

Free Big Macs and Whoppers for our heavy-set customers! Because we understand. There's an idea. Maybe they will literally die off, but before they do they will stimulate the health sector, as well as the fast-food economy.

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#6

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/18/2009 7:42 AM

First of all, if they make toilet seats bigger, I will probably fall in.

On a more serious note, yes, the epidemic of fat people does give industrious people an outlet to create a market for such items. But didn't we see this coming?

The part the article didn't mention is who is going to pay for it. Should a restaurant owner be required to pay for larger toilets to accommodate bigger people? Handicap accessibility is required by law. When is there going to be a law that requires obesity accessibility? Can't you picture that coming, with the large percentage of Americans are obese (or that will be obese)?

Already the debate over whether the overweight/obese should have to pay for two plane tickets (when a person requires the space of two seats) is hotly contested. Will the airlines take up precious space on board to make the seats larger?

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#7
In reply to #1

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/18/2009 7:45 AM

The biggest joke of all, an overweight person on a "diet" ordering a mega meal at a fast food restaurant with an over-size diet soda. Guess they don't know much about artificial sweeteners, and apparently our state government doesn't either. I'd rather have one coke than 10 diet cokes - no headache, no hunger, no weight gain (although admittedly no soda at all is better).

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/18/2009 10:11 AM

GA, Savvy! Thank you.

In a previous blog, I found that researchers are predicting that 86% of Americans will be overweight by 2030 - and all Americans will be overweight by 2048. While I take these numbers with grain of salt (I mean, all Americans...really?), it shows how alarming the situation is.

When is there going to be a law that requires obesity accessibility? Can't you picture that coming, with the large percentage of Americans are obese (or that will be obese)?

This is a great question. Thoughts anyone?

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/18/2009 1:36 PM

That's an interesting question. I wonder if the prospect of a legal requirement on "obesity accessibility" would be viewed differently than say handicap accessibility because in almost all cases obesity is self induced.

This leads me to the question: are private or government benefits for smokers tobacco related health problems different from benefits to non smokers, because smoking causes self induced problems that others should not be responsible for. This may have a bearing on how obesity is viewed.

Here is another one to ponder. Should all people who get government benefits (our tax dollars) be required to pass drug tests or they no longer have benefits. I strongly suspect a significant number of the "recipients" are disabled or sick because of illegal drug use.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/18/2009 2:09 PM

Again, just like we should make it easy for fat people to eat food that will kill them faster, we should give cocaine to drug users so they die quicker. Win-win IMO

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#11

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

02/18/2009 3:17 PM

Well if the economy goes under so will most of the fat people. Won't be no fast food or diet soda. Be luck to find bread and water. My parents where children during the great depression their stories are pretty grim.

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#12

Re: Fat To The Rescue?

03/14/2009 2:08 PM

Keep tobacco legal to sell so the government can tax it, but make it illegal to smoke anywhere, then revenue from tobacco taxes goes down and find something else to tax.

Bring on taxes on food and beverages that are high in fats or calories and have the food police checking everyone's cupboards and refrigerators for "illegal" and untaxed homemade food. Stop people on the street for being overweight and fine them. The real hard-core cases could be sentenced to "Weight Control Camps" with barbed wire, guards and hard labor.

It seems laughable, but there are political control-freak nannies who want to make obesity illegal and they care nothing about individual rights and freedoms in their drive to force everyone to live as they think they should live.

I work with Social Security and I see people come in with degenerative disc disease, arthritus, COPD and many other painful conditions who have used illegal drugs, which have no connection with their condition, yet they are turned down for having used drugs. Often they use them as self medication because they cannot afford the medicines and doctors and treatment and the illegal drugs cost less.

I also see many come through whose condition can be related to the use of illegal drugs and they are and should be turned down.

The older I get the more I wonder what happened to common sense and logic and our respect for individual freedom.

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