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thewhyteboar

Weigh More, Pay More, editorial on obesity and airline ticket pricing

148 posts in this topic

Being obese isn't inherently immoral, but failure to act upon obesity is. Often times obese people have immense psychological issues to deal with (e.g. a dependence on food) that create/exacerbate their condition; some people literally cannot help themselves. Moreover, I don't think people realize how truly difficult it is to lose massive amounts of weight; I doubt I have the discipline and fortitude to lose 150 pounds (most people don't).

That said it is an abhorrent state of being, and being complacent (or even proud) of it is disgusting...But that doesn't mean obese people deserve to be vilified.

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you left leaning pc dudes are lame as hell.

restaurants charge more for more food.

if you need more fuel to fly....pay more.

not even close to discrimination.

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And the idea that only unhealthy food is cheap (patently false) is born from that sick, discredited liberal behavior of mind that says the bad decisions people make are principally influenced by negative environments. Bullshit. People are responsible for their own choices, and no group in America aside from illegal immigrants can claim that they are "forced" to eat anything.

Everybody has a choice in this country, and everybody, including private airlines, has the right to punish people for making stupid choices. This is about choice, not fatalistic biology or rights.

I think airlines should be able to enact policies they feel will keep them profitable. Any airline that's tired of being in business can throw scales in front of ticket kiosks and service counters; it's not just going to be fatties that balk at copping to their weight prior to boarding. I agree that calling this some kind of civil rights issue is dumb.

I don't recall anyone absolving people of personal responsibility in this thread (nor did anyone say that only unhealthy food is cheap), so I don't know where that little gem came from. But again, we collectively have made the choice that processed food, fast food and sweeteners should be as cheap as possible. Consequently we should not be surprised when individual people choose to consume those foods more than others. It doesn't make sense to absolve individuals from their choices, nor does it make sense to ignore the fact that the choices we've made regarding agricultural policies and crop subsidies have an effect on the options given to people when making their own decisions.

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I think the general idea of pricing weight makes sense when it comes to fuel consumption, and I'm a bigger guy (6'3", 225) who would probably pay more were such policies to be implemented. That being said, I'm glad to see some sensible posts (like Kal's) mentioning that a major part of our obesity epidemic stems not from people eating too much per se, but from the calorie counts in normal portioned meals rapidly increasing as the quality of cheaper food options has dropped.

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I think the general idea of pricing weight makes sense when it comes to fuel consumption, and I'm a bigger guy (6'3", 225) who would probably pay more were such policies to be implemented. That being said, I'm glad to see some sensible posts (like Kal's) mentioning that a major part of our obesity epidemic stems not from people eating too much per se, but from the calorie counts in normal portioned meals rapidly increasing as the quality of cheaper food options has dropped.

Honestly, this price should already be affected in the ticket price. They are just trying to find new ways to nickel and dime or break out their pricing methods more. When you buy a ticket, it should cover the service cost and the fuel cost plus other misc costs.

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I’m not sure if gamer.tv was joking or not but let’s assume he wasn’t. If the difference would really be below $5 dollars a ticket then should they really bother with this whole idea?

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Not buying the "It's disproportionally the poor people who are fat!" line...

Every year at Disney the wife and I marvel at the land whales waddling/scootering all over the damn parks...it's OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive to vaka at Disney, so these motherfuckers aren't poor, they're just pigs. Tons and tons of them, shoving the goddamn turkey legs and ice cream sandwiches down their gullets all day long.

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Yup ... and that anecdote of yours totally refutes the studies that support the aforementioned claim about poor people being disproportionally fat.

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I have tried to stay out of the fatty debate since I don't really think it's all that important here, but I just can't fathom how people can actually defend the idea of being poor being the reason for people being fat.

I am not exactly B_T or Joe over here, but if we can't play the "take responsibility for your actions" card for something as basic as determining what you ingest, and how actively you live your life.....then there literally is nothing that anyone can said to be in control over.

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BTW, I'm fat. Have been for a few years. I was once thin, but youth and PT covered a lot of dietary sins. Thanks to Dr. Atkins, I've had spots of thinness in the past 5 years, but always short lived. Travelling a lot has tempted me to eat a lot of shit. Stress is also a factor, but ultimately it's my doing. I've been seeing a dietician and slowly coming down the mountain.

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I have tried to stay out of the fatty debate since I don't really think it's all that important here, but I just can't fathom how people can actually defend the idea of being poor being the reason for people being fat.

I don't think anyone has said that. There's a difference between pointing out the correlation between poverty and obesity and absolving people of individual responsibility.

I am not exactly B_T or Joe over here, but if we can't play the "take responsibility for your actions" card for something as basic as determining what you ingest, and how actively you live your life.....then there literally is nothing that anyone can said to be in control over.

Likewise.

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For the most part, I don't think a lot of people even know what responsibility is when it comes to effective weight management. A lot I would predict become overweight without even realizing it, and then at some point kind of give in to it because it gradually happened. I see this ALL THE TIME with young college girls, and they've even named it "The Freshman 15", which is probably more appropriately the Freshman 50 sometimes. I've seen very in shape young people go to balloons in less than a semester. And sometimes, they don't lose hardly any of it for the rest of their college careers.

There's all sorts of condemnation that can be made about this, but for me I think it's pretty simple where it all comes from: The Freedom to Choose. A lot of these people are free for the first time, and they don't have anyone telling them what they have to do and not have to do, so they figure it's not going to hurt to have some ice cream instead of work out. And that starts to add up to the point where they are so out of control that they effectively give up.

I work in a health care environment where there is TONS of information about maintaining good health. Walk down to the cafeteria (where there are all sorts of healthy choices available) and you see the elephants walking around who are your fellow employees. You'll also see some prime examles of people in GREAT physical shape, but you're going to see a whole bunch of really obese people, too. And these are the people who HAVE to do know better. But in the end, they don't care.

You can chalk it up to laziness, bone density, lack of attention, or even HFCS. But they're all excuses that so many people tend to use because simply just doing something about it is a lot harder to them than figuring you'll do it later.

But calling them names doesn't get them off the couch and into the gym. Shaming people rarely works either, as psychology has shown us that shaming an overweight person tends to cut that person off from others to where he or she gorges himself/herself alone as a coping mechanism. I'm sure there are answers to what can solve this problem, but the smart people aren't making those choices. Instead, they're made by rude, mean people who think charging for fat people seats on airplanes will somehow solve things. Or shaming kids in schools will get them to somehow want to work out. Even in the service they used to do one of the stupidest things I've ever seen and that's put fat soldiers into "special" training where they are humiliated by some over-exercising NCO who thinks calling them "fatties" is going to get them to feel good enough about themselves that they'll do something about it. What they discovered INSTEAD was that these problems resulted in a mass amount of soldiers being processed out of the service for being overweight (because they were too humiliated to actually seek out assistance in getting back into real shape), whereas setting up overweight soldiers with nutritionists who actually followed up on progress would have done something, not a weekly weigh-in where they were further humiliated by people who had no positive stake in the outcome.

A lot of the obesity problem can be solved by actually attacking the foundation of the problem, which is self-esteem. Instead, ALMOST ALWAYS we treat the overweight problem as the problem and further ridicule their self-esteem, making it so that we create a self-perpetuating situation that will rarely, if ever, solve itself. And then we point fingers at the person who failed and then blame him/her.

That's why we're not solving the problem. And to prove it, someone will most likely post after this about how it's all the fault of the fat people and the dialogue will continue as it was.

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I have tried to stay out of the fatty debate since I don't really think it's all that important here, but I just can't fathom how people can actually defend the idea of being poor being the reason for people being fat.

They are two separate issues. There is definitely a strong correlation between obesity and poverty, but it's not really relevant to what we're discussing. Poor people are disproportionately fat than the rest of the population. Doesn't have much to do with taking plane rides.

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Yup ... and that anecdote of yours totally refutes the studies that support the aforementioned claim about poor people being disproportionally fat.

Thank you for seeing the truth, my friend. You shall be set free.

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A lot of the obesity problem can be solved by actually attacking the foundation of the problem, which is self-esteem. Instead, ALMOST ALWAYS we treat the overweight problem as the problem and further ridicule their self-esteem, making it so that we create a self-perpetuating situation that will rarely, if ever, solve itself. And then we point fingers at the person who failed and then blame him/her.

That's why we're not solving the problem. And to prove it, someone will most likely post after this about how it's all the fault of the fat people and the dialogue will continue as it was.

Please. We've been coddling these people for years, and we're fatter than ever. My mother in law's family isn't obese over generations due to low self esteem. It's because all they eat is shit, they never exercise, and they blame doctors for their health problems. When my wife and I show up, they say we look sickly, and need to eat more. They're all type-2 diabetics.

Shame might not work, but taxes will.

We need to heavily tax and punish obesity, and reward health. The dollar is the only law we'll ever obey, and it'll work for this too. Now that the feds have asked us all to shoulder more of everyone else's healthcare burden, I see no reason why we can't impose fat taxes.

BTW, resting metabolic rate for a 6-foot, 400lb man is approximately 3300 calories. That dude has to eat over 3000 calories a day just to stay that weight. Even if you're only eating poor people food, you have to TRY to be fat. You eat every cookie in the office, view salads as girly, think egg whites are for fags.

Also, yes, poor are disproportionately fat, but that's because they're disproportionately uneducated. They can eat all the fatty food they want, but obesity is simple math: calories in, calories out. If all you can afford is bad food, it's your responsibility to be informed and eat LESS OF IT.

Plus, working out is CHEAP. It's FREE. You can run for FREE. You can lift weights at home for almost nothing. You can use resistance bands for even less. I haven't been to a gym in almost two years, and I'm in the best shape of my life.

There is absolutely no excuse for obesity. Being out of shape? Sure, whatever. People have kids, jobs.

There is no excuse for alcoholism, there is none for obesity.

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Yup ... and that anecdote of yours totally refutes the studies that support the aforementioned claim about poor people being disproportionally fat.

Tough love and education is what they need.

They are fat because they are uneducated idiots.

They are poor because they are uneducated idiots.

They are not fat because they are poor, and they are not poor because they are fat.

And none of this has anything to do with getting your ass on a jet to go some place.

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I'm overweight myself and I fully believe fat people should be shamed. Being fat is not attractive or healthy.

Calories in and calories out is only part of the puzzle. The entire science of dietary health is littered with bad science. There are a lot of examples of obese cultures who ate few calories. Calories in and calories out also assumes there is a see saw of thermodynamic balance that must be achieved. That doesn't account for habits that increase the desire to eat (such as excessive carbs/sugar)

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Sounds reasonable to a degree. But would children get some serious discounts then?

Demut, that makes sense to me. I mean, if they're gonna charge fat people more, then let's let the "lighter" crowd pay less, if they're basing it on weight...

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What the fuck does it even matter if it's harder for poor people to lose weight when poor people mostly don't fucking fly? Why do we have this liberal fairness crusade for airline prices when working at Mcdonalds doesn't require getting on a plane? The only time BOSS' janitor is getting on a plane is if she nominates herself for an award that includes a trip to Hawaii. Any job that requires you getting on a plane for regular business trips doesn't pay minimum wage. Plane flights are something poor people can't afford to begin with, so what the fuck does it matter if they have to pay an extra $20 the one time in their lives they manage to get on a plane?

What they should do is charge you by total weight you are bringing on the plane, including luggage. If it costs them more to fly 400 pounds over 350 why shouldn't you pay the difference? You think the physics suddenly change just because you are 7 feet tall? It stops being discrimination when we do it to everybody btw.

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There is no way this actually goes into effect. Maybe that crazy Ryan Air in europe, but there is no way it happens here in the US. It would just be too much effort, slow everybody down, and push people to airlines that didn't do this.

Really, the only situation that I think is reasonable is if you are so large one seat isn't enough. In those cases, mandating that the passenger pay for an extra seat is necessary.

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Please. We've been coddling these people for years, and we're fatter than ever. My mother in law's family isn't obese over generations due to low self esteem. It's because all they eat is shit, they never exercise, and they blame doctors for their health problems. When my wife and I show up, they say we look sickly, and need to eat more. They're all type-2 diabetics.

Shame might not work, but taxes will.

We need to heavily tax and punish obesity, and reward health. The dollar is the only law we'll ever obey, and it'll work for this too. Now that the feds have asked us all to shoulder more of everyone else's healthcare burden, I see no reason why we can't impose fat taxes.

BTW, resting metabolic rate for a 6-foot, 400lb man is approximately 3300 calories. That dude has to eat over 3000 calories a day just to stay that weight. Even if you're only eating poor people food, you have to TRY to be fat. You eat every cookie in the office, view salads as girly, think egg whites are for fags.

Also, yes, poor are disproportionately fat, but that's because they're disproportionately uneducated. They can eat all the fatty food they want, but obesity is simple math: calories in, calories out. If all you can afford is bad food, it's your responsibility to be informed and eat LESS OF IT.

Plus, working out is CHEAP. It's FREE. You can run for FREE. You can lift weights at home for almost nothing. You can use resistance bands for even less. I haven't been to a gym in almost two years, and I'm in the best shape of my life.

There is absolutely no excuse for obesity. Being out of shape? Sure, whatever. People have kids, jobs.

There is no excuse for alcoholism, there is none for obesity.

First of all, OLO at people trying to be fat. These allegedly undisciplined, fat slobs are lazy in every way... except food intake where they're all iron-willed. Logic!

Secondly, and for the umpteenth time, it is ridiculous to go harp on individual choice (which is absolutely important and should be neither dismissed nor glossed over) while ignoring the cultural choices we've made and financed through subsidies that flood the market with cheap, nutrition-free calories.

Thirdly, you're ignoring the fact that there is TONS of bullshit, garbage information our there that deliberately prevents people from making decent decisions. There is plenty of "health" food that is bad for you, tons of unsubstantiated claims about fat burners or targeted weight loss. Fad diets, gizmos and workout plans are legion. Plenty of stuff is labeled in such a way as to suggest that something isn't bad for you, until you read the label twice and figure out that the serving sizes in plenty of food packaging is bullshit.

Edit - and OLO at the whole, "oh, it's reasonable to be out of shape, I mean life happens amirite? But the line between that and being fat is so clear cut that it's one is totally understandable and the other is completely inexcusable!" Classic.

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I’m not sure if gamer.tv was joking or not but let’s assume he wasn’t. If the difference would really be below $5 dollars a ticket then should they really bother with this whole idea?

My overall guess was a stab in the dark but taking a Boeing 747;

If they fly 3 times a day with 500 people on board, 365 days a year that's 547500 people flown a year. Take the statistic that 36% of Americans are obese, then of that share 361350 should pay more. Divide the excess fuel charge of a million a year and the "fat tax" on flying would be $2.77 to make up the million on that one plane. It doesn't really sound worth it.

Also in answer to a few things in this thread, I'm overweight but active (I walk about 20 miles a week, run 3 times a week for 45 minutes and play rugby). I get let down by what I eat, but eating healthily at the moment bankrupts me, I tried a week of living on eggs, protein shakes, lean meat, vegetables, fish, green tea etc but at uni, on £70 a week I've got to spend money on more things than just food which makes keeping a decent diet pretty hard.

On the flip side, when I go home for the summer I'll lose about 20lbs and look fabulous again.

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Came in to the thread to read the umpteenth rant about the morality of obesity in America that ignores the fact that healthy foods are becoming more and more expensive while income distribution becomes worse and worse. Only in nations with American-style diets do people with the least money carry the most weight, surely this is solely about individual food choice and not what foods that we, collectively, have already chosen to make the least expensive.

I leave satisfied.

But I digress. To the topic at hand air travel prices don't make already, might as well nickel and dime people some more.

That's choice, and laziness. "Oh, I'm too tired to do anything after working my dead end job... let's go to McDonalds." Never mind the fact that you can still order healthily at McDonalds, or control your portions, or cook healthy meals that take but twenty minutes of your life.

Or how about the fact that you can fill up an entire shopping cart at Trader Joe's for a whole hell of a lot less than you can at a Walmart.

It all comes down to the basics of humanity--will power. Some people have it, some people don't. It's not a conspiracy to make all the poor people fat.

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Or how about the fact that you can fill up an entire shopping cart at Trader Joe's for a whole hell of a lot less than you can at a Walmart.

Lol wut?

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Lol wut?

Have you not ever been to a Trader Joe's? The foods there are a hell of a lot healthier and a good amount cheaper than any grocery store, including Walmart.

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Have you not ever been to a Trader Joe's? The foods there are a hell of a lot healthier and a good amount cheaper than any grocery store, including Walmart.

I shop at TJ's fairly often, as well as conventional grocery stores. Their food prices are pretty inconsistent, as is the healthiness of a lot of what they sell. In fact, i would say that the percentage of processed/non processed food is better at a conventional grocery store than it is at TJs.

But if you're looking at pre-prepared or pre-packaged stuff, TJ's gets expensive pretty fucking fast.

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I would say that it's not true that you can fill up a shopping cart for a hell of a lot cheaper at Trader Joe's than at Wal-Mart.

I would also say that Trader Joe's are conveniently placed in neighborhoods with families that can afford to shop there in the first place.

Not that this has anything to do with airline tickets.

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Why would anyone mention Trader Joe's when talking about food poor people need to buy?

That's simply lunacy.

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