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Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty 
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Post Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
I was part of a discussion on another forum that quickly turned into a flame war. Here I think we do a very good job of self moderation, generally speaking to each other more like if you were in the same room rather than the hundreds or thousands of miles away that we are.

The discussion was whether charging a obese individual for two seats on a plane was discrimination or good business practice.

My view was to see the flier and his luggage as a single package and that total weight should be taken into consideration. There should be a sliding scale of cost based on total weight.

My observations (I travel quite frequently for work) is that many times the plane is overweight, even when it is not overbooked, and that people and/or luggage must be removed before the plane can take off. My frustration to this is when I pay a substantial amount for my extra luggage (surveying equipment) and I see people who's combined weight, luggage and person, is vastly greater than what I am bringing.

Now this does not directly address the problem of overweight passengers, but does address the problem of overall weight. I do not have a good solution to large individuals overflowing onto neighboring seats, other than what many airlines are doing;charging for an additional seat.

At this point I was told I was discriminating against people with low incomes. The reason given was that people with low incomes can only afford to purchase fast food. My comeback to this was that purchasing unprepared foods from a grocery store is almost always going to be far cheaper than purchasing fast food. The reply, from an individual in Chicago, was that grocery stores are not available in the cities and that there groceries cost far more than fast food. Since I have never lived long term in a major US city (I did live in Bhubaneswar, India for a while) I did a quick, 2 minute, google search and found multiple (24 throughout the city) food co-ops who stated that they sell vegetables for drastically reduced prices because they otherwise end up in the compost. The reply to this was that I an *expletive deleted*.

Well, I apologize for the long windedness. I would like to here your views on any of these subjects.


Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:43 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
How can anyone claim fast foot costs more than shopping at a grocery store? When I'm short on cash (a lot in these times) fast food is one of the first things I cut. Hell, last time I went to Burger King it set me back $8. How many cups of Ramen is that?

As for overweight flyers....I'm sorry but if you take up more than one seat then you need to pay for the other. This issue came up the other day on the news and my dad mentioned that he's been on a few flights next to overweight persons where extra body mass was spilling over into his space. Why should other passangers be forced to fly in discomfort. If you're overweight to the point where you need more than a seat you need to pay...or better yet lose the weight and do yourself a huge favor in the health department.


Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:57 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
Bondurant,
What you say about cost is my thoughts exactly. But as I have not lived in Chicago I had no reference to go by so did not argue directly on that point.

I have been lucky to never have to sit next to someone that overweight on any flight. I did have a trans-Atlantic flight next to a person with very bad body odor. Luckily for me a stewardess was very nice and gave me a kit from the first class section. I sprayed the person with the spritzer of perfume while they slept.

Edit: spelling


Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:06 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
Like any big city in the country it may be difficult to find a proper grocery store but they are there. There's a Jewel right down the street from the Music Box Theater not too far from Wrigley Field for example. But there's plenty of corner stores and let me also point out that if they can afford rent in Chicago then they can afford to eat.


Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:12 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
first of all, unprepared food ingredients cannot cost more than prepared food. its just illogical. sure there is a thing called demand and supply, and its effects are huge, but still, i just dont see it happening.

now, the fat dude travel thing. fortunately, ive never have the privilege to sit next to a big fat dude. so...i cant really comment on the discomfort they cause.
before i say anything, does the person paying for 2 seats actually get 2 adjacent seats to sit in? or is it just 2 seats according to the weight?


Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:46 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
It is two adjacent seats with the center arm rest either raised or removed. I think the main issue with the seats is volume displaced rather than weight.


Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:56 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
jsutter wrote:
It is two adjacent seats with the center arm rest either raised or removed. I think the main issue with the seats is volume displaced rather than weight.

in that case, i think its completely fair, charging for 2 seats. the guy's sitting in 2 seats, he has more weight, sometimes equivalent to 2 people, so...he should pay for 2 seats. i don't see what people complain about. if i were, i'd pay.

as far as the poor people can only afford fast food.....a guy can only buy a burger. ok. he gets fat. ok. now to satisfy his hunger, he eats 2 burgers. fatter. soon, its 5. now tell me this, if he affords 5 burgers, why not the initial price for some wheat, rice and vegetables equivalent to 1 burger(in hunger satisfaction). and if he doesn't afford 5 burgers, only 1, he wouldn't be that fat, especially not in the 2 seats category, thus eliminating the hefty(not fat, not fit) out of this conversation.
take a look at poor people, homeless ones, not one is called Micheal Moore. takes money to be that fat. you cant say "im fat cuz im poor" - that's just stupid.


Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:30 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
aameen wrote:
takes money to be that fat. you cant say "im fat cuz im poor" - that's just stupid.

It's not stupid, it's just not a direct correlation.

Those who are poor are often uneducated and don't know a lot about nutrition.
They also might work two jobs and not have time to cook (or at least feel like they don't).
I know some people who didn't own a working refrigerator or stove and so they ate fast food all the time.

I would say the education thing is the big one though--people don't really know how to feed their family healthily and cheaply and they are bombarded with advertising telling them that fast food is a good way to do that.


Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:38 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
Trevor wrote:
aameen wrote:
takes money to be that fat. you cant say "im fat cuz im poor" - that's just stupid.

It's not stupid, it's just not a direct correlation.

Those who are poor are often uneducated and don't know a lot about nutrition.
They also might work two jobs and not have time to cook (or at least feel like they don't).
I know some people who didn't own a working refrigerator or stove and so they ate fast food all the time.

I would say the education thing is the big one though--people don't really know how to feed their family healthily and cheaply and they are bombarded with advertising telling them that fast food is a good way to do that.

well, you do point out some good points. i was only considering the reasoning already offered. which doesn't hold. should have thought more. my bad. stupid on my part actually. :lol:


Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:43 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
aameen wrote:
Trevor wrote:
aameen wrote:
takes money to be that fat. you cant say "im fat cuz im poor" - that's just stupid.

It's not stupid, it's just not a direct correlation.

Those who are poor are often uneducated and don't know a lot about nutrition.
They also might work two jobs and not have time to cook (or at least feel like they don't).
I know some people who didn't own a working refrigerator or stove and so they ate fast food all the time.

I would say the education thing is the big one though--people don't really know how to feed their family healthily and cheaply and they are bombarded with advertising telling them that fast food is a good way to do that.

well, you do point out some good points. i was only considering the reasoning already offered. which doesn't hold. should have thought more. my bad. stupid on my part actually. :lol:

no problem--I usually end up arguing what you were saying when talking to people who eat lots of fast food.


Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:53 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
Trevor wrote:
no problem--I usually end up arguing what you were saying when talking to people who eat lots of fast food.

i eat lots of fast food.
im not fat though. seriously, im not. not micheal moore fat. im big, broad shouldered. tall. it helps. like travolta in pulp fiction. what you dont believe me? i keep telling you, im not fat. here, ill prove it.


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Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:17 am
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
It is ludicrous to assume that fast food is cheaper than cooking meals yourself. The fact that many poor people still primarily eat fast food is mostly a result of a lack of education, as Trevor has pointed out.

My wife used to work as a social worker. One of the families she looked after send their children to the fish & chips shop for their meals every single day. When my wife pointed out that the children didn't eat any vegetables whatsoever, they replied that the chips were made from potatoes! My wife actually had to show them how to cook meals for themselves. And her effort was appreciated by the family.

Regarding airplane travel, it is only fair to charge a person for two seats if the person occupies two seats. However, seats on airplanes are rather small, in my opinion. I am relatively tall (194 cm) and regularly suffer from a lack of leg space.


Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:46 am
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
I don't buy the uneducated people don't know better argument. We have also been bombarded with the food pyramid, nutrition facts on boxes, and ads for companies like subway. People choose to ignore their health. The same thing happens in college students(the other end of the education scale), many only have a hot plate and coffee maker (I was one). You can definitely chose to make something better for yourself. Unfortunately, many don't.

Has anyone else done coffee pot spaghetti? Or making a bag of trail mix to skip on the expensive fast food.

I paved asphalt for half a decade and it was very very rare to see one of those guys eating fast food. Not only was it too expensive but the person would generally be half worthless soon after eating it.

The people don't know better argument is used like a crutch. Ten or twenty years ago OK. Now, NO. The same thing goes for smoking, to say that you don't know today is ridiculous. Even the anti-smoking ads are using smoking company quotes from 20-30 years ago, because they are not said now.


Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:02 am
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
aameen wrote:
Trevor wrote:
no problem--I usually end up arguing what you were saying when talking to people who eat lots of fast food.

i eat lots of fast food.
im not fat though. seriously, im not. not micheal moore fat. im big, broad shouldered. tall. it helps. like travolta in pulp fiction. what you dont believe me? i keep telling you, im not fat. here, ill prove it.


That proves nothing, it could be Bigfoot in a running suit jogging for all we see. Post something less blurry, I demand it!


Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:43 am
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
Patrick wrote:
aameen wrote:
Trevor wrote:
no problem--I usually end up arguing what you were saying when talking to people who eat lots of fast food.

i eat lots of fast food.
im not fat though. seriously, im not. not micheal moore fat. im big, broad shouldered. tall. it helps. like travolta in pulp fiction. what you dont believe me? i keep telling you, im not fat. here, ill prove it.


That proves nothing, it could be Bigfoot in a running suit jogging for all we see. Post something less blurry, I demand it!

im very reluctant posting a face, this was the only pic from the back i could find at the moment. as to why i wont post a face, well, i dont wanna put a face to the posts, i always prefer text. same reason i don't have an avatar.

but goddammit, the saint has demanded. it may take some time, but ill see if i can find something clearer. :) trouble is, all the pictures are on another computer and the network isn't configured right now(Slackware).

PS- i really hardy eat any fast food. that was just something that came to me. :)

PPS-not jogging, just walking with a killin' swagger. 8-)

PPPS-running suit? are you seeing the right thing? jeans and a jacket mate.


Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:14 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
jsutter wrote:
I don't buy the uneducated people don't know better argument. We have also been bombarded with the food pyramid, nutrition facts on boxes, and ads for companies like subway. People choose to ignore their health. The same thing happens in college students(the other end of the education scale), many only have a hot plate and coffee maker (I was one). You can definitely chose to make something better for yourself. Unfortunately, many don't.

Has anyone else done coffee pot spaghetti? Or making a bag of trail mix to skip on the expensive fast food.

I paved asphalt for half a decade and it was very very rare to see one of those guys eating fast food. Not only was it too expensive but the person would generally be half worthless soon after eating it.

The people don't know better argument is used like a crutch. Ten or twenty years ago OK. Now, NO. The same thing goes for smoking, to say that you don't know today is ridiculous. Even the anti-smoking ads are using smoking company quotes from 20-30 years ago, because they are not said now.


I completely agree that everybody could know about the effect of eating too much fast food, but, as you have pointed out correctly, a lot of people choose to ignore this information. Maybe "lack of education" (regarding nutrition) isn't the correct way to describe it, plain (willful) ignorance might be more appropriate


Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:38 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
aameen wrote:
Patrick wrote:
aameen wrote:
i eat lots of fast food.
im not fat though. seriously, im not. not micheal moore fat. im big, broad shouldered. tall. it helps. like travolta in pulp fiction. what you dont believe me? i keep telling you, im not fat. here, ill prove it.


That proves nothing, it could be Bigfoot in a running suit jogging for all we see. Post something less blurry, I demand it!

im very reluctant posting a face, this was the only pic from the back i could find at the moment. as to why i wont post a face, well, i dont wanna put a face to the posts, i always prefer text. same reason i don't have an avatar.

but goddammit, the saint has demanded. it may take some time, but ill see if i can find something clearer. :) trouble is, all the pictures are on another computer and the network isn't configured right now(Slackware).

PS- i really hardy eat any fast food. that was just something that came to me. :)

PPS-not jogging, just walking with a killin' swagger. 8-)

PPPS-running suit? are you seeing the right thing? jeans and a jacket mate.


Slackware? Seriously...Slackware????? Holy shit man, I dabble with the tux, but slack is way beyond my knowledge. Props man, that's really cool.


Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:29 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
Agree w/the others - if you either physically take up 2 seats or are disproportionate in terms of weight/plane capacity, you should pay more. Whether you're "only one" doesn't matter in that regard.

In terms of food/poverty ... It's not cheaper to eat fast food here but it's still relatively cheap, in a per-pound concept, if you're menu-selective (these days particularly, w/produce & all meat going sky-high...where I live anyway).
And (to some) it sure does taste better than Ramen/ungarnished potatoes/rice/eggs/peanut butter/day-old bread/cabbage and beans etc. I think that's part of the habit...the tastebud factor, if you will...as well as the no-time or just-lazy factor. Not to mention which, a lot of the cheapest grocery goods (ramen...) are nearly as bad for you health-wise as any fast food.

@aameen - there's a difference between "not looking fat" and actually being healthy/in good shape. There are a lot of thin seeming people out there who couldn't run half a mile or whose actual organs are probably almost completely surrounded by fat, which can lead to chronic renal failure and heart disease etc. Weight by pounds is a good indicator but doesn't always tell the whole story.

That said, I won't protest if you want to post a pic of your manly chest to show us that you're not fat. *smiley whistling*


Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:23 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
MsHarlaus wrote:
@aameen - there's a difference between "not looking fat" and actually being healthy/in good shape. There are a lot of thin seeming people out there who couldn't run half a mile or whose actual organs are probably almost completely surrounded by fat, which can lead to chronic renal failure and heart disease etc. Weight by pounds is a good indicator but doesn't always tell the whole story.

That said, I won't protest if you want to post a pic of your manly chest to show us that you're not fat. *smiley whistling*


oh im healthy. all that is being debated here is if i look it. as for running, well, i was a lot more active when the gym was involved, but i'll run 3-4 kms easy. so what were debating here is weather i *look* it. so chronic renal failure? not exactly a worry,whatever that is. :) i find people only get to know about diseases when they're pervious to em. a 60 year old knows so much more about hip replacements than i do.

PS-decided against the pic. only did the original post as comedy(somehow, it got morphed into my nonexistent insecurity) dont wanna put a face to it. blurry bigfoot picture is all you get.

PPS-dont exactly have the manly chest. give me 3-4 years. im 19. :)


Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:08 pm
Post Re: Weight, Air Travel, and Poverty
aameen wrote:
MsHarlaus wrote:
@aameen - there's a difference between "not looking fat" and actually being healthy/in good shape. There are a lot of thin seeming people out there who couldn't run half a mile or whose actual organs are probably almost completely surrounded by fat, which can lead to chronic renal failure and heart disease etc. Weight by pounds is a good indicator but doesn't always tell the whole story.

That said, I won't protest if you want to post a pic of your manly chest to show us that you're not fat. *smiley whistling*


oh im healthy. all that is being debated here is if i look it. as for running, well, i was a lot more active when the gym was involved, but i'll run 3-4 kms easy. so what were debating here is weather i *look* it. so chronic renal failure? not exactly a worry,whatever that is. :) i find people only get to know about diseases when they're pervious to em. a 60 year old knows so much more about hip replacements than i do.

PS-decided against the pic. only did the original post as comedy(somehow, it got morphed into my nonexistent insecurity) dont wanna put a face to it. blurry bigfoot picture is all you get.

PPS-dont exactly have the manly chest. give me 3-4 years. im 19. :)


Aameen...if you don't post a picture(manly chest optional) than I will blow up all your tiny posts into the biggest font there is. Then you'll be quite the April Fool. :lol:

But seriously, stop posting microscopic text.


Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:37 pm
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