Tag Archives | Obesity

Director Kevin Smith Thrown Off Oakland Flight Over Weight

Kevin SmithReports CBS13:

OAKLAND, Calif. ― A cult-favorite movie director has claimed that he was thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight out of Oakland due to a dispute over his weight.

Kevin Smith, the creator of movies like Clerks, Dogma, and the upcoming Cop Out, posted a series of angry, sarcastic messages on his Twitter feed (@ThatKevinSmith) blasting Southwest Airlines for allegedly throwing him off a flight at Oakland International Airport after he had already been seated and buckled in.

According to Smith, a flight attendant told him the flight captain had deemed him a safety risk and requested that he leave the flight.

“I broke no regulation, offered no ‘safety risk,’ (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?),” he wrote. “I’m way fat … But I’m not THERE just yet.”

Smith’s followers (numbering more than 1.6 million) flooded Twitter with support for the filmmaker and insults for Southwest Airlines’ official Twitter page.

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Star Wars Teams Up With… Ugh… McDonalds

Killer At LargeGreat commentary by Killer At Large producer Bryan Young, in the Examiner:

Perhaps I have a different perspective on this than a lot of people, but I’ll explain it and hopefully you’re all with me on this.

Star Wars is doing a Happy Meal promotion with McDonald’s for their Clone Wars series starting Februrary 26th. (More information on that here).  The 8 year old in me jumps for joy. The parent in me is filled with disappointment and disgust.  My kids aren’t allowed to eat food of such poor quality and now I’m going to have to tell them they can’t have these Star Wars toys because I refuse to buy them junk food.

I understand that this makes sense from a marketing perspective, but the problem is that marketing junk food to kids with beloved characters and properties like Star Wars is morally reprehensible.  I spent two years making a documentary about the American obesity epidemic called Killer at Large, and one of the things we found responsible for the sharp rise in overweight and obesity in today’s children is marketing directly to them to get them to nag for food and products that aren’t good for them (like McDonalds Happy Meals).

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The Growing Price Of Obesity: Buy Two Seats To Fly Air France

 This picture, on the aviation news website Flightglobal, reignited debate about obese passengers on planes.  Photo: FLIGHTGLOBAL  Air France now requires that obese passengers must purchase two seats to fly on its airplanes. I once flew from Charlotte to New York with half of my upper body covered by just such a passenger, who couldn’t have been nicer and more apologetic, but I was still pretty upset by the experience, so personally I hope other airlines take note (United does have a similar policy). From the Telegraph:

From next month seriously overweight flyers will be asked to pay for two seats, or not be allowed on board for “safety reasons”, the airline announced yesterday.

“People who arrive at the check-in desk and are deemed too large to fit into a single seat will be asked to pay for and use a second seat,” said Monique Matze, an Air France spokesman.

“They will be charged 75 per cent of the cost of the second seat, which is the full price excluding tax and surcharges, on top of the full price for the first.

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Weight Watchers Clinic Floor Collapses Under Massive Weight Of Dieters

Weightwatchers logoOne more for the ever expanding list of hazards from over-eating (for more check out the classic doc Killer At Large), as the Telegraph reports that the floor of a Weight Watchers clinic in Sweden has collapsed beneath a group of 20 members of the weight loss program who were gathered for a meeting:

As the dieters queued to see how many pounds they had shed, the floor beneath them in the clinic in Växjö, in south-central Sweden, began to rumble, according to a report in The Local, Sweden’s English-language newspaper.

“We suddenly heard a huge thud; we almost thought it was an earthquake and everything flew up in the air.

“The floor collapsed in one corner of the room and along the walls,” one Weight Watchers participant told the Smålandsposten newspaper.

Soon, the fault lines spread around the room, and other sections of the floor gave way…

[continues in the Telegraph]

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Obesity Rates Hit Plateau in U.S.

So it is good news or bad news? The spin from the CDC, echoed in this New York Times report, is that it’s good news, but considering that former Surgeon General, Richard Carmona has stated that “obesity is a terror within. It is destroying our society from within and unless we do something about it, the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf 9/11 or any other terrorist event that you can point out…” (see the knockout disinformation documentary Killer At Large for much more on that), maintaining the status quo has to be bad news, doesn’t it?

Americans, at least as a group, may have reached their peak of obesity, according to data the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Wednesday.

The numbers indicate that obesity rates have remained constant for at least five years among men and for closer to 10 years among women and children — long enough for experts to say the percentage of very overweight people has leveled off.

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Watching TV Shortens Life Span

TVJeannine Stein reports on an Australian study finding that each hour a day spent in front of television is linked with an 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and an 11% greater risk of all causes of death, for the Los Angeles Times:

Watching television for hour upon hour obviously isn’t the best way to spend leisure time — inactivity has been linked to obesity and heart disease. But a new study quantifies TV viewing’s effect on risk of death.

Researchers found that each hour a day spent watching TV was linked with an 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, an 11% greater risk of all causes of death, and a 9% increased risk of death from cancer.

The study, released Monday in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Assn., looked at health data among 8,800 men and women older than 25 who were part of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study.

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Child Diabetes Tied to Food Sweetener Fructose

CerealsLois Rogers writes in the Times:

Scientists have proved for the first time that a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks can damage human metabolism and is fuelling the obesity crisis.

Fructose, a sweetener derived from corn, can cause dangerous growths of fat cells around vital organs and is able to trigger the early stages of diabetes and heart disease.

It has increasingly been used as a substitute for more expensive types of sugar in yoghurts, cakes, salad dressing and cereals. Even some fruit drinks that sound healthy contain fructose.

Experts believe that the sweetener — which is found naturally in small quantities in fruit — could be a factor in the emergence of diabetes among children. This week, a new report is expected to claim that about one in 10 children in England will be obese by 2015.

Previous studies of the potentially adverse impact of fructose have focused on rats, but the first experiment involving humans has now revealed serious health concerns.

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Who Killed Kenny? Ambulance Crew Drop Obese Man Who Then Dies

Here’s one more reason why obesity is extremely hazardous to your health, albeit one that hopefully won’t be repeated, as reported in the Telegraph:

A 30-stone [420 lb] man has died after the stretcher being used to load him into an ambulance tipped over, spilling him into the street.

Kenny Williams, from Newmarket, Suffolk, was being taken to hospital when the accident occurred outside his home. The East of England Ambulance Service has launched a review into its procedures for transporting obese patients following the accident.

But ambulance chiefs have warned that the movement of overweight patients is becoming increasingly problematic for paramedics who can sometimes risk their own safety.

Earlier this year it was revealed that medics were considering using a Chinook helicopter to take Britain’s heaviest man to hospital after ruling out conventional methods of transport. Paul Mason, who weighed in at 70 stone [980 lb], had to travel more than 150 miles to undergo life saving surgery.

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New Study Suggests Obesity Might Truly Be Caused By Genetic Mutation

No doubt those who claim obesity is a genetic fault rather than a compulsive eating disorder (see comments to this earlier post about the 900 lb man who had to be cut out of his chair) will jump on this story, as told in the Telegraph:

Childhood obesity could be caused by a genetic mutation, scientists at Cambridge University believe. Findings show for the first time that the condition can be a genetic one, rather than the result of over feeding.

The study could have a major impact on the decision of social services to take obese children into care where they believe they are being abused. Some of the children in the study had been on the at risk register because of fears they were being overfed. They have now been removed from the list.
Scientists at Cambridge University found that certain types of genetic mutation were present in those suffering from severe obesity.

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