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Hefty Problem

Recorded on December 21, 2011

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

America is the land of the free and the home of the overweight—and that's a problem.

Some governments play nanny and try to tell us what we can and cannot eat. Even worse is Japan, which punishes people if their waistlines are too big.

But there's one response that seems justified. The Coast Guard sets weight limits for commercial boats, like ferries, and calculates the maximum number of passengers permitted. Since 1960, they've used 160 pounds as the weight of an average person. But now they've raised it to 185 pounds. So vessels are being told to carry fewer passengers. That might mean fares would go up, but at least it's a safety rule that makes sense.

Maybe next, unless we all lose weight, we could get the airlines to make those middle seats a little bit bigger.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.