Getting fatter. What does it matter?
That's it, America, time to go on a diet. In yet another bit of evidence documenting the growing girths here in the Land of the Fries and Home of the Braise. The Coast Guard is looking to sort of let out the standard commercial boat owners use to figure how many passengers they can safely carry.
This is from Cindy Skrzycki of Bloomberg News:
The agency, trying to protect more than 6,000 sightseeing, water taxis and ferries from being overloaded, proposes increasing the assumed weight of adult passengers to 185 pounds, from the 1960s-era standard of 160 pounds. The action was spurred by boats sinking in Baltimore and New York in 2004 and 2005 that killed 25 persons.
As a practical matter, this probably won't affect the cruise industry much but it might force smaller tour boats to rethink how many they carry. Here's a copy of the proposed rules.
And lest you think this is only an issue on the high seas. It turns out the airline industry was way ahead on this weighty issues. It turns out that the FAA told carriers back in 2003 that they should assume adults weigh an average of 190 pounds in summer and 195 in winter, thereby adding 10 pounds to the calculation.
It's interesting that ship regulators think we only weigh 185 while the flyboys think we look heavier -- and especially in winter. We must wear more black on cruises.