Can't get a seat on the bus? Blame the fat people.

Katherine - posted on 03/25/2011 ( 29 moms have responded )

65,420

232

5195

Cafemom

If Americans won't get fit, let's just make the world fit their fat. That seems to be the general approach in our nation as meals are super-sized, clothes are vanity-sized, and now traditional transportation must be altered to accommodate our growing heft.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is considering upping its average size for a passenger when it comes to safety calculations. According to AOL, they want to change the average passenger weight from 150 to 175 pounds and the floor space occupied per standing passenger from 1.5 to 1.75 square feet. The result of such a move: Fewer seats on buses.

They're doing it not to give people more room on said buses, which would actually be nice so the sweaty guy next to you doesn't overlap onto your lap, but instead so that buses don't get broken. That's right, America's weight problem is so out of control, we're in danger of breaking buses.

A representative from Metropolitan Development in Chicago told USA Today:

This change is really just a bow to reality. With no small number of bus passengers tipping the scale at 200 pounds or more, this is much more realistic.

The problem with all this fat accommodation is the fear that it will never stop. Remember those huge floating blobs of people in the movie WALL-E? Well, we're going to start seeing them everywhere if we don't stop.

I understand the many complicated reasons losing weight is difficult, but we also just can't continue to embrace it as our reality. A message from their physical environment that they're too big -- like, God forbid, making them buy two seats on a bus or airplane if they take up two seats -- may be hard for them to handle, but it's true. Changing the world to accommodate them isn't kind, and it's not helping them.

Another recent study says we don't even know that we're fat in many cases. It focused in particular on mothers and children, and found that many greatly underestimate their weight. Why? "A lot of their misperception has to do with the fact that overweight and obesity is becoming the norm," the study's lead author, Nicole E. Dumas, M.D., told CNN. My point exactly.

Yes, buses need to be safe, and I don't know that charging overweight people more money to ride the bus is necessarily the answer either. I do think we as a society need to find more ways to help people lose weight rather than to continue to lose our perspective.

Do you think the world should expand to accommodate fat people?


This is a toughie. If it's going to leave less seats.......what are they to do?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Cherish - posted on 03/26/2011

74

16

3

wow thats rude.janessa..not everyone is fat because they at too much..there are several disease and things that make some people like that. And no skinny people should not get discounts. There not special. There no better than overweight people. All people are equal..omg like you stupidly and like a snobby stuck up bitch

Kate CP - posted on 03/25/2011

8,942

36

758

I'm fat and so is my husband. We're both trying to lose weight currently. I have to say that if America is SO fat that we're breaking shit then it's time to do something about it.

When my husband sat on the toilet seat and broke it (no, it wasn't old) he realized it was time to do something about it.

Kate CP - posted on 03/26/2011

8,942

36

758

Yep. Thyroid disease, metabolic disorders, and a slew of other complications can make it damn near impossible to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

So Jenessa I have to say that your idea of rewarding people for being skinny is just moronic. That's how you encourage eating disorders. Obviously you have an issue with peoples' appearances. It's a shame that you find people who are over weight gross. Were you aware that a majority of the people you converse with on the internet are over weight? Would you still talk to us if you knew that before hand? Are we still "gross"?

I admit it: your post really fucking insulted me. And I'm the first person to admit that I made myself fat. It's no one else's fault (although the recent pregnancy didn't help) and I'm currently trying to get healthy. But your post just hit a nerve, Janessa. It was rude.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/27/2011

2,448

17

91

I think there should be a limited number of fat people seats and once they are used up, you can stand or wait for the next bus. I have little sympathy being a stroller-bus person. I can't get on if there are more than two other strollers or wheelchairs. If the disabled people have to wait an extra bus to get a seat, surely the really overweight people can too.

[deleted account]

I think you all have been Punk'd. :-) I think Janessa was saying that tongue in cheek. Well, at least I hope that was in jest.

But really, while what she said is offensive it's not an uncommon thought amongst people. The number of people affected by some disorder causing them to be overweight is small compared to the number who (like me) have fork-in-mouth disease. And sometimes I think those of us with this disease need to hear the cold, hard truth instead of having everything placating our sensitivities (like making sizes bigger instead of just making bigger clothes and leaving sizing alone)

I'm fat and I know it. I've been slogging it out trying to get back to my pre-baby weight. Sometimes I need a whack over the head to get back on track. It's not nice to hear, I feel insulted, but that's a good thing because it motivates me back into action.

I think this is why I like Jillian Michaels on Biggest Loser.

29 Comments

View replies by

Rosie - posted on 03/31/2011

8,657

30

321

this is a toughie. i like heathers idea of having a limited number of seats designed for overweight people. everybody's happy then, lol!

Stifler's - posted on 03/31/2011

15,141

154

604

I'm technically "morbidly obese" and I can fit in a normal seat. I am in no way thin or healthy. I wonder how large people are that they can't fit in a bus seat.

[deleted account]

I agree with you, Heather. It's impossible to accommodate everyone. Also, when you take public transport you are expecting some inconvenience in terms of possibly being squished, smells and so on. I think you had a good idea about having a specific number of seats allocated to those extra sized people, just as there are wheel chair spaces.

There is no good term for it, because someone will always be offended no matter what you come up with.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/31/2011

2,448

17

91

I don't think the BMI is perfect either. And hey - if you fit in the seat, then you fit in the seat. Who cares at that point? But apparently there are people who do not and I don't think the world should go out of it's way to make everybody change for them. The majority of people shouldn't have to not get a seat on the bus because there needed to be a seat reduction to accomodate a few people. That's like me saying every seat on the bus should have space for a stroller so that I have the option of sitting in any seat I want. Obviously that makes no sense.

As for the morbidly obese thing, what other term do we have to use? That's all I've got to describe a person who might be big enough for two seats. Extra wide? None of these things sounds good.

[deleted account]

Laverne, I agree with those articles on BMI. I don't actually think that the BMI is an accurate measure for an individual's healthy weight range if not coupled with a body fat analysis. At my fittest, I had a BMI right on the line between normal and overweight, but most of my weight was in muscle, I wore a US size six and ran marathons. However, in general I think the BMI is a much fairer way to generalise about weight, like when trying to make decisions about public transport.



Not many women, if any, who find themselves in the obese or morbidly obese category are of a healthy weight and body fat range. And sometimes hearing those words can be enough to motivate one into getting back to better health. I'm so not about being skinny, but it is important for us mums to be healthy.

Happy - posted on 03/30/2011

341

0

44

A few post, on this thread and others like it, have stated the term "morbidly obese" in a light that would make you think that people who are in that BMI range or insanely HUGE. One statement read, "And being morbidly obese.....well they would HAVE to have two seats." I am in the morbidly obese BMI range and fit very well in one seat. It really depends on where your, eh, proportioned, if you get me! LOL
I have read several articles lately questioning the reality of BMI scales and the obese terms that go with the scale, as being inaccurate because of fat less than muscle and are therefore giving inaccurate descriptions of certain people. Not that I am saying that I am not overweight, but I wouldn't consider myself on death's doorstep by any stretch of the imagination.

Stifler's - posted on 03/26/2011

15,141

154

604

We don't have town buses here either. Lame. It's not really worth it when there is at least one shop within walking distance of most people's house and most people here have brand new cars anyway. I don't think I've even seen an old car around unless it was a done up old car.

Jenn - posted on 03/26/2011

2,683

36

96

I can't get a seat on the bus, because we don't even have public transportation around here.

Bianca - posted on 03/26/2011

5

0

1

I think that you are being insensitive. Whether or not they are "fat", they are still people. My advise would be to get a life so you stop stressing over others.

Bonnie - posted on 03/26/2011

4,813

22

262

Cherish, I was just going to say the same thing about Janessa's comment. Not all overweight people are overweight because they eat too much. Some have diseases, some have a thyroid problem. I don't think you would like it if you had this problem and people were saying that about you.

Janessa - posted on 03/26/2011

444

38

28

I do not think overweight people should complain or be accommodated at all they did this to themselves no one else. Why shouldn't thin people complain? and I think they should pay extra for there clothes because it takes more engery and fabric to make them. Skinny people shoudl get discounts :) I mean come on stop make excuses for fat people stop eating bad food. Fat peopel are gross omg that is why the rest of the world dislike westerns because majority of people do not take responsiblity for themselves its always someone elses fault.

Bonnie - posted on 03/26/2011

4,813

22

262

No I don't think overweight people should be accommodated. I also don't think thin people should complain about it. If people don't like it than they should find another form of transportation, like their own vehicle. People that take public transportation know that they are around many people and they have to deal with weight, noise, children, inappropriate smells. That's just the way it is.

Mel - posted on 03/26/2011

5,539

58

228

no definately not I cant say Ive been in the situation but I dont think they should change things to accomodate overwieght people. Im pretty untoned myself but have always stuck at the same weight except while pregnant, so I probably shoudlnt comment because I havent been in the situation myself

Stifler's - posted on 03/26/2011

15,141

154

604

I'm a fat person currently. I'm 33 weeks pregnant and tipping the scales at 95kg. I was like 76 at 10 weeks. Holy crap have I gained weight. Thank you, Colonel Sanders. Anywho... When will the expansions stop? Didn't they just expand seats a few years ago? So they expand seats now. Then in 10 years the "average" size is 10kg heavier. They expand again? Just how heavy is going to be acceptable in the future? Expanding seats and reviewing clothing sizes to make people feel better about their weight because being labeled fat at size AU 14 waist measurement 84cm is "mean" isn't going to help the issue.

[deleted account]

If they change it to accommodate the "pleasingly plump", then they will have to put more buses on the road to accommodate the current numbers.



I'm a fatty. I've lost 14 kg since Dec and have another 10-14 to go. While I don't like the term "fat", it is the truth. Using euphemisms to placate my sensitivities doesn't help me realise that maybe I need to shift the girth.



This is how out of whack it's becoming. Clothes sizes are so different between the US and Australia. I used to love buying clothes in the states, because I was a size SIX there. At home, I was a size 12. I had never been in single digit clothes in my entire adult life, so I totally loved being a size six, but it wasn't really reality. That was almost ten years ago now. At present time, I'm wearing an AU size 18, but it's a US size 14. See? I don't have a problem, because I'm still a healthy size 14! :-/

Mrs. - posted on 03/25/2011

1,767

6

30

Well, almost everyone has had that experience of sitting next to an obese person on a flight or bus who is striding that Kevin Smith fence of maybe not large enough to buy that extra seat. Personally, I always feel sorry for the person. It has to be uncomfortable to be the person who has their fat roll sitting on your thigh.

I actually notice that many overweight women like to stand on the subway. I don't think it's because they love to stand. I think it's because they don't want to bug their neighbours or have to face being told they don't quite fit in the tiny butt seats.

That being said, I'm not sure just "letting it go" with those seats is the best way to address the problem. I'm not saying I have the solution, I just don't know if that's it.

There is something seriously wrong with the fact that they are considering it. I'm not happy that so many people have to face the problems of eating crap food, using food as something other than just fuel and being inactive. It's the mark of a society that is suffering and unhappy despite all the excess.

Happy - posted on 03/25/2011

341

0

44

Like others, I am a self proclaimed fat person. I do not have a poor self image, I have a realistic one. I am comfortable is stating who I am but also stating that I want better for myself. Someone mentioned not using the word fat because it is mean, but, as a fat person, I just am that. I don't see it as mean, just as fact. Maybe that is because I have not had a lifetime struggle with my weight. I was always in the (realistic not imagined) healthy weight range for a 5'6" woman, at least that is what I was always told be health care professionals. But when I turned 28 and experienced my third miscarriage, I fell into a deep depression and used food to cure it. Plain and simple. I stopped excercise and ate anything and everything I could get my hands on, especially the oh-so-bad but oh-so-yummy comfort food. Now I am 35 and on the morbidly obese range. In the last year I have lost 45 pounds and am slowly trying to make small changes to better my health, not my figure. I have 3 beautiful children and an amazing husband that I want to be around for. With that being said, I agree 100% with your line of thinking. The sooner that people who choose to live unhealthy are no longer coddled in their dream world, the sooner that all fat people will wake up and demand to of themselves to be healthier! Fat people untie! :D

Kate CP - posted on 03/25/2011

8,942

36

758

Well, there's no point in getting all whiny about my fat ass. I'm the one who made it so damn fat. :P

Sarah - posted on 03/25/2011

183

49

4

I love your sense of humor Kate! and good luck w/losing...it's a hard battle!

Sarah - posted on 03/25/2011

183

49

4

I'm overweight...but active and eating healthy...BUT, I do not appreciate all the judgment being passed on 'fat' or 'obese' people. I do agree that the world as a whole has been adapting to the overweight people and trying to accomidate them....and that now more than ever, the line between overweight and obese is drawing very thin...it truly is becoming the new normal. I am not perfect and neither is anyone on this planet. We all have only oursleves to blame for our being overweight. It's become rediculous at how much we 'super-size' our food and now we are super sizing our lifestyles....bigger seats, clothes, etc. I am NOT taking up for the obese or overweight, but I am NOT judging them or putting them down either. It just goes both ways in my opinion. Your question about the world accommodating fat people...well, actually, we have already started. I think society as a whole shouldn't adapt to it, they should find better ways to help others get out and get active. There already are a lot of things out there to help....but our laziness and addiction to food is a habit that has to be broken first. I guess you could say I'm on the fence about this one....yes, it is indeed a toughie!

Katherine - posted on 03/25/2011

65,420

232

5195

I actually prefer the term "over weight", fat just seems so harsh. Maybe they should change their weight restrictions as mentioned.
And being morbidly obese.....well they would HAVE to have two seats.

[deleted account]

Drive? Just a thought.
However, accommodating fat people is NOT going to encourage them to get fit. I say keep doing what we are doing and even go so far as to charge fat people for the bigger seats, more seats needed, etc. if it is going to cause damage to public transit. (fat person talking so can't go there either.....HA!)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms