Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Mental Health

Get Email Updates

Mental Health Guide

Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Airline Fat Tax: Could This Promote Eating Disorders?

By Rheyanne Weaver HERWriter
 
Rate This
Airline Fat Tax: Could This Promote Eating Disorders? 3 5 13
could airline fat tax end up promoting eating disorders?
Davoust Laurent/PhotoSpin

For years, airlines have made headlines for their policies regarding obese and overweight passengers. Besides potentially having to buy a second seat, larger passengers could now be taxed for their weight.

Dr. Bharat P. Bhatta, associate professor of economics at Sogn og Fjordane University College, Norway suggested airlines charge a tax based on weight, referred to unofficially as a “fat tax.” The proposal’s aim is to help airlines reduce fuel costs, according to various sources like The Telegraph and CNN.

There are three proposed tax methods: total weight, base fare +/- extra, and high/average/low, according to CNN.

In the first method, the total weight of the passenger and the luggage is calculated, and a certain amount is charged per kilo.

In the second method, passengers are charged a base fare, and anyone overweight or underweight is charged extra or given a discount per kilo compared to the base.

The third method has a base fare and a planned discount or surcharge is given (not per kilo) based on passenger weight.

If one of these methods is approved by airlines, you might be required to arrive even earlier to “weigh in.”

Some are also concerned about what a “fat tax” could mean for the mental health and body image of passengers.

Lynn Grefe, the president and CEO of National Eating Disorders Association, said in a press release that an airline tax could increase stigma against overweight and obese people.

“This is a misguided policy suggestion that attempts to account for fuel cost, but completely fails to account for the human cost of stigmatizing people with larger bodies,” Grefe said.

She added that these methods could trigger eating disorders, and is concerned that discounts would potentially encourage people already struggling with anorexia, while healthy people who also happen to be larger would be taxed unfairly.

“Body shaming and weight discrimination are already too common and, sadly, not being addressed in a society obsessed with body image,” Grefe said.

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi! http://www.zuup.com/what-is-zuup here. You have a great blog here. I will keep on visiting your site and be updated with our latest post. Have a great day!!

April 11, 2013 - 7:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Personally as someone with an eating disorder I think that this can cause increase in symptoms for someone with an eating disorder already or might even create more stigma in with EDS. honestly it is very hard lose weight..

April 9, 2013 - 4:48pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

I can sympathize about size making a flight uncomfortable. My husband has to travel in coach for domestic flights (for work) and is 6'5". That's pretty miserable. He doesn't ask for seating to be changed to accommodate him though.

People in America simply don't fly enough for this to cause an "eating disorder". Tens of millions have never even been on a plane. We all put up with discomfort on a plane; they are not a luxury for most, they are a necessity for work or to take children to see family.

People tend to always assume "eating disorders" to be anorexia or bulimia. But over-eating (not medical issues) is the cause of the majority of cases where people are obese. Over-eating is also an eating disorder.

For someone to become so addicted to eating that moving is hard and vigorous exercise is impossible, then this is surely a disorder because who would want to do that to themselves and live like that? About one third of people who have handicapped parking cards get them due to obesity related conditions.

Completely changing the way planes are built isn't going to happen. When I fly, most people fit into chairs fine. Some don't but they are not the majority. The minority who simply can't fit into standard chairs need to buy two or find another mode of transportation. The minority should not get to rule the majority, especially when the issues with the minority are mostly avoidable.

That's how democracy works!

Susan

April 3, 2013 - 2:07pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

As a body builder I guess I have to pay more. The good news I don't have to fly. The airlines keep giving me reasons not to fly. This would be the last reason they would give. I guess they could afford to lose many of their passengers.

Stoker

April 2, 2013 - 6:17pm
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1764 Health

Changed

667 Lives

Saved

529 Lives
8 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Have you experienced postpartum depression?:
View Results