Supersizing is hitting Americans in many ways. Last week fast food giant Carl’s Jr. announced the company is testing a foot long cheeseburger – 12 inches of meat, 850 calories and 20 grams of saturated fat. The company wants to tap into the success of foot long sandwiches at Subway, and the foot long hotdogs at Sonic and other chains.
The fashion industry has been quietly modifying clothing to make it bigger while leaving sizing tags the same. Airplane seats have been slowly growing wider. A new white paper from Theatre Projects Consultants says Americans are getting fatter and theatre seats are expanding too. The theatre development firm found that the average standard width of seats in performing-arts theaters expanded from 21 to 22 inches over the last two decades, mainly to the concurrent rise in obesity. “It's about weight,” one of the authors, John Coyne, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “Americans have gotten taller and heavier, and as expectations for accessibility, comfort, and amenities have changed, seat spacing and auditorium size has increased.”
Expanding bodies have also created demand in another industry. Supersized caskets used to be a rare, special need for funeral homes, but the number of overweight people who can’t fit into a standard size casket is growing too.
Most caskets are close to the following sizes: about 84 inches long, 28 inches wide and 23 inches tall. The 28-inch width has held since the 19th century, and has worked for must burials. Many in the casket industry feel the time has come to make the standard size larger, but in the meantime the option available for the larger person is typically 52 inches wide. The wider width, however, is just the start of meeting special needs for the person’s funeral service and burial.
A family-owned business in Lynn, Indiana has specialized in oversize caskets for more than 25 years. The Goliath Casket Company brochure says they work with the family’s local funeral home and are “committed to serving the oversize casket needs of the bigger people.”
The company offers the following advice to those planning arrangements for larger people: