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I hope they weight-tested the life boats

Evidently several of my obese compatriots have broken seats on the Queen Mary II cruise ship. (Full story after the jump) Makes you wonder how many fat Americans can fit in a life boat before we sink it.

But seriously, designers and engineers need to start taking into account that the population is getting fatter. I once dropped a college class because it was moved to a classroom with seats that were basically impossible for me to sit in. And that was when I was at least 100 pounds lighter than I am today. For better or worse (well, really just worse), our asses are getting larger and our seats need to do so as well.

Obese passengers break seats on cruise liner

Report: Plus-size Americans collapse chairs on Queen Mary II

Overweight American passengers have broken dozens of seats on the Queen Mary II, the world’s biggest and most luxurious cruise liner, according to Britain’s The Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

The French company that supplied chairs on the cruise liner told the newspaper it is repairing and replacing them as quickly as they collapse under plus-sized passengers.

A spokesman for the company Alstom Chantiers told the newspaper that some of the passengers, mostly those from the United States, were heavier than expected.

Many of the broken seats were in the bar and restaurant areas, according to the British paper.

There has been a rise in the number of obese and overweight people going on cruise holidays because of cramped seating on airplanes and trains, an obesity expert explained to the Telegraph.

The Queen Mary II, which set sail on her maiden voyage in January this year, is more than twice as long as the Washington Monument. It carries 2,620 passengers and 1,250 crew, and cost an estimated $800 million to build.

© 2004 MSNBC Interactive

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melanie • May 10, 2006 at 2:23 pm

lol you would think they would have considered that in the design of the ship.

speaking of weight limits, i took my client to an amusement park a couple of weeks ago, and i squeezed my butt into the swing ride (i’m 228lbs ish and five feet tall). as the ride started up and i was flying surreally over the rest of the patrons, i started to wonder if there was a weight limit on the swings. then in that surreal, serene state my mind was in, i wondered if this was how it feels just before you die… just before the chains snap and you plummet 100ft to your death and the death or injury of several others.

yeah, i’m a little odd.


Brandi • May 14, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Late again, but Melanie, you aren’t odd. It’s actually that thought (and ones inspired by this post) that have kept me from riding things like the swings with my daughter. Sad, I know …


interesting • June 2, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Interesting. I remember in the ’90s reading an article about a football stadium having something like 7500 fewer seats after a remodel, and the architects and owners couldn’t figure out what happened, until they realized that the new seats were several inches wider than the old ones to accomodate our wider butts. I googled for it, but couldn’t find it; but did find several articles about the exact same phenomenon:

The new Yankee’s stadium has about 4000 fewer seats even though it is more than 60 percent bigger than the old stadium, not because they wanted fewer seats, but the new stadium seats are substantially wider (as are the aisles). Stanford University reduced the capacity of its new stadium by 35,000 (!!!) seats, from 85,500 to 50,500 in the exact same footprint (601,000 square feet) to increase the seat size by three inches and to increase leg room.



The Mets, same deal–12,000 fewer seats. http://neverforget69.metsblog.com/blog/_archives/2008/10/19/3937059.html


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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