americans too fat for bus, gay news, gay blog, gay health

Are Americans Too Fat For The Bus?

americans too fat for bus, gay news, gay blog, gay health
"The people on the bus go munch, munch munch..."

Federal bus safety rules are being rewritten for the first time since 1962. Why? Because our country has gotten F-A-T. Obesity is straight up out of control in our country, and overweight bus riders are putting everyone on the road at risk. Say what?

USA Today reports:

The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) proposes raising the assumed average weight per bus passenger from 150 pounds to 175 pounds, which could mean that across the country, fewer people will be allowed on a city transit bus.

The transit authority, which regulates how much weight a bus can carry, also proposes adding an additional quarter of a square foot of floor space per passenger. The changes are being sought “to acknowledge the expanding girth of the average passenger,” the agency says.

Current federal guidelines on average passenger weight are based on surveys in 1960-62 of what Americans weighed then. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, the average weight is 194.7 pounds for men 20 and older and 164.7 pounds for women that age range. “FTA believes that 175 pounds is an appropriate average weight to assume for testing buses,” the agency says.

Even with the changes, bus riders would be “lighter” than other passengers — at least by federal standards. The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees airline travel, gauges average passenger weight at 190 pounds in the summer and 195 pounds in the winter. The Coast Guard’s assumed average weight is 185 pounds for boats and ferries.

Hmm. If safety is the motivating concern here, we’re not sure that slimming these numbers down is doing anyone any favors. If the average American weighs 194 pounds, then policies should be crafted with that number in mind.

America’s switch from skinny jeans to sweatpants influences gay men and lesbians in dramatically differing ways. Gay men are 50% less likely to be obese than their straight counterparts, while lesbians tend to be heavier than heterosexual women.

South Florida Gay News reports:

After scrutinizing a health survey of more than 67,000 Massachusetts residents between the ages of 18 and 64, the researchers found that 14 percent of gay men were obese versus 21 percent of straight men. On the flip side, 26 percent were found to be obese, compared with 17 percent of the straight women.

Dr. Gregg Pizzi agrees with the study’s findings. “It makes sense that people, men or women, who are in relationships with men would generally take better care of their bodies, since men tend to be more visual in their attractions and make it pretty clear that they are looking for a partner who looks good. Women, on the other hand, do value looks—however, they frequently place security, intelligence, humor, and other non-physical characteristics at the top of their list.”

Women reportedly feel more pressure to be thin when they are with a male partner than another female, which makes a certain amount of sense to us. But ladies, let’s get it together here. The future of American transportation safety may depend on it!

Are you surprised about the correlations between sexuality, weight, and transportation safety?

  • Anonymous

    The bus situation doesn’t surprise me, but the whole sexuality/weight thing does. Curse those men! 😛

  • Anonymous

    I ride the bus as much as possible- even though I own a truck. I find it very easy to get around my town (Virginia Beach, VA). It lowers my carbon footprint, and also keeps me from spending 2/3 of my paycheck for gas. Plus, it’s also nice to be chauffeured around town.

    I also happen to be a big guy. My body’s frame is rather broad, and I would be considered to be “beefy” by most peoples’ standards (linebacker build.) When I ride the bus, I notice that my shoulders are 1.5 times as wide as a single seat. Seats are only about 14″ wide. Every time I find myself riding the bus, I notice that I am not a minority in that I am a large person. There are many overweight and/or large people who ride public transportation, and there are often cramped, uncomfortable situations on the bus. Even “Average”-size people who ride the bus seem to look cramped when there is a fellow passenger that sits next to him/her.

    I am also a designer (by education.) It is rather disheartening to hear that bus seats are being designed to fit such small standards. People are way bigger than the humans of the 1800’s, 1960’s, and even the 1990’s. Although I don’t think that we should encourage overweight/obese people to think that it’s healthy to be large, I think it’s a disservice to the people who use public transit when we make seats that are too small.

  • TC Wilson

    I, sometimes, think that heavier lesbians are that way in an effort to not look so fem-curvy. I know that’s a bad assumption. Actually, it may have to do with hormones associated with polycystic ovarian disorder. I know that is a huge reason why I weigh almost 220 (down from 230 due to diet and activity changes–I am celebrating my exit from plus size pants!).

    Irony has it that the ad on the side of the screen is for enemas.