January is a time for the dreaded dance of the New Year’s resolution. Gyms are packed, nicotine patches in short supply, folks are scrimping and saving and many look to their waistlines for resolution inspiration. For many, the battle of the bulge still reigns supreme on 2009 to do lists. There is no better time to re-evaluate your diet and exercise routine.

So, I read with interest, a buried article on the MSNBC site, with the headline entitled: Indian airline fires 9 overweight crew members. It is no surprise to me that India is catching up on the obesity epidemic as many Indians have moved into the middle class. In general, weight in India is often a sign of prosperity. In fact, diabetes is a huge concern in a country, once known for famine, where now 35 million people and counting are suffering from the preventable disease. Interestingly, all the attendants fired were women and even though India has laws aimed to protect against discrimination based on factors including caste, gender, and religion, there are no specific ones about weight. Food for thought.

The weighty subject of obesity and all the inherent social problems is vast. We have all sat next to an obese person on a flight, crammed into the ever diminishing seats. It is unpleasant for all parties concerned. Many weight challenged folks often purchase two seats, just to be more comfortable.  Others say the extremely overweight should be mandated to do so. Parents are obliged to buy a separate seat for young children and all passengers have to pay a surcharge for overweight baggage. Is it different though if a passenger is extra large? This is certainly a dicey topic and one that deserves more scrutiny as fattism has sparked many a controversy in recent years.

Meanwhile, eat right, get on your workout clothes and plan an active vacation for 2009 because I don’t think the seats are getting any bigger!

Filed Under Air Travel, Culture, Food, India, Overweight travelers, Travel


Leave a Reply