Brazil introduces obese seats

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Getty Images
Getty Images

The underground train system in Brazil has introduced new, large blue seats on trains and platforms for the more generously sized customer.

The seats are almost twice the size of a regular chair and can hold roughly 250kg without breaking, the UK's Daily Telegraph reported. Above the chair is a picture of a rotund person with a caption reading, "Priority chair for obese people."

Brazil has a large obesity problem and the underground system is believed to have introduced the chairs to encourage larger people to use public transport.

However, the chairs have not been a great success, with transport managers claiming obese travellers are too embarrassed to use them.

"It may be that they don't want to think of themselves as fat or they resent being put in with pensioners and the disabled," said one manager.

The Sao Paulo underground system may be doing its best to help tackle the problem of space for larger customers, however not all transportation company's share the same view. America's United Airlines has implemented a so called "fat tax"; charging overweight passengers for the extra space they require if they don't fit into a regular economy seat.

According to the National Health Survey of 2007-08 conducted by the Australian Government, 68 percent of adult men and 55 percent of adult women are overweight or obese.

A person is considered overweight if they have a BMI between 25 and 30. A BMI of more than 30 is considered obese.

Your say: Do you think this will encourage obese people to use public transport? Should Australia follow suit and install larger seats on trains and buses? Tell us what you think.

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