Sunday 6 May 2018

The Slim Chance of the Fat and Overweight

Obese passengers and seatbelts
I was thinking this morning... about how the chances of fat people are getting slimmer by the day. Recently, I boarded a small aircraft to Lagos. After taking my seat prior to take off, a friend of mine, a lady got in and took her seat just in front of mine. While I strapped my seatbelt awaiting the aircraft to taxi, I observed my friend struggling to strap herself because the seatbelt was too short to go round her waistline. She was embarrassed to ask for extension seatbelt, which is usually given to nursing mothers to strap their children. I felt her pain but could offer no help. I wondered why the safety of plus-sized people was not considered in designing the seatbelts.

Imagine then my horror when I read the headline, 'Thai Airways bans obese passengers from business class.' Like we say in Warri, fear grip me. It was reported that Thai Airways International plans to install new seatbelts with airbags in the business class cabins of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets. 'Great move,' you will say, but the low point is that the belts are not designed for overweight passengers, as they have a 142cm waistline limit. To me, this is discrimination.

Initially, I thought this disregard for the safety of the overweight is limited to adults only but was shocked when a recent study showed that over 250,000 US children aged 6 and under are too fat to use standard child safety seats. Haba!!!

But wait, why would an airline discriminate against passengers because of their size? They discriminated against potential air host and hostess that are obese and are now extending it to passengers. Why can't they just make provision for the obese? As I continued probing, I discovered that in year 2000, airlines spent $275 million on 350 million additional gallons of fuel to compensate for additional weight of passengers. Hmm!!! So the motive is to further their cost ambition and not safety after all. Na wa! World people!

I don't have a problem with the airline preventing obese people from flying business class, after all they will pay less for economy seat. My only worry is that if all the obese passengers are seated in economy class, usually at the tail end of the aircraft, all the weight will be at the back, presupposing that the plane will have its nose up. I have a feeling they will be headed for space.

But seriously, I really don't think plus-sized people are treated fairly. They are made to feel like something is wrong with them, when for many they were not fat by choice. I understand that it is good to stay in shape and be healthy, but it is fallacious to assume all slim people are healthy and all fat people are unhealthy. For those that put  premium on the size and weight of people to make a decision, always remember that if a rose smells better than water-leaf or ugwu leaf, it doesn't mean the rose can make a better edikang-ikong soup. We are all different and should be so respected.

However, as I comforted myself not to worry about how I am gaining weight in my abdomen (mid life pregnancy), I remembered Judges 3:17 that says, 'He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man.' But after reading what happened to Eglon because of his weight, I took an immediate decision to deliver my stomach from fat through exercise and diet.

Truth is, being overweight (fat) could make your chances with employment, health and now flying business class slimmer, so you must do all within your power to have a healthy weight.

Happy Sunday.

....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

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