Mind If I Lift The Armrest?

Other Diseases , , 0 Comments

© Jacquelyn Johnston, Diabesity Coach

Ever been asked this question on a plane? I have, and it was a full plane, so I couldn’t even have changed seats. The asker was clearly obese, maybe twice my size, and asked the question while lifting the armrest.

Did you hear the TV host’s question today—should obese people have to purchase an extra seat? He asked for interactive responses, and they came flying in via social networking, e-mail and phone. I e-mailed him with my opinion, saying, among other things, that it was time we called the diabesity epidemic by its name and dealt with it.

It really wasn’t a question that could have been answered with a simple yes or no: a part of it was, but there were side issues to deal with.

One TV commentator said the airline industry should recognize that it’s a service provider; they should offer accommodations for different-sized passengers. She also noted that seats had been reduced to two-thirds their original size, so many people were having trouble fitting themselves into seats in general. She added that if obesity were legally declared a disability, an accommodation would have to be made. But how to deal with the fact that two-thirds of the population is obese, with a further percentage morbidly so?

If obese passengers were to pay for two seats, how would they fasten the seat belt? How could airlines anticipate the number of obese passengers to expect on any flight? Apparently, lawsuits have been looming large (no pun intended). The obese have rights!

That’s fine, but how about people who maintain a healthy body mass index, and who have to endure the girth of a seat-mate expanding to touch them: arm to arm, thigh to thigh, for hours on end? They too have paid for a seat, not two-thirds of one. Rights? Hel-loooooo!

The diabesity epidemic is raising many issues: can it really be said that it’s none of anyone’s business how much they weigh? Is that not like the issue smokers raise about it being none of anyone’s business if they smoke?

Let me know what you think by placing a comment in the section below. If you know anyone who needs to lose twenty pounds (or more) do send them to my downloadable report on the right of this page.


Jacquelyn Johnston M.Ed.
Professional Health Coach and Educator,
Solutions and Support for Optimal Health

Whether you need to lose those pesky 20 pounds,
work on prevention or regain health, I can help.