Why are Fat People Fat?

fat man

Yesterday, I traveled in a public transport bus. There were a few seats available. Three vacant seats, one in a two-seat and one each in the other two three-seat, were available to me. They were not bucket seats. The two persons in the three-seat were sitting at the extreme seats comfortably. They never bothered me. When I approached, they offered me the middle seat. But it was quite difficult to get into the middle seat. I had to physically disturb them to get into the middle seat. They were not ready to get up and ease my going to the middle seat.

They were ready to get disturbed. However, I decided not to disturb them. Instead, I opted to take the one in the two-seat. In that case, I don’t need to disturb anybody. But the person in the two-seat was really a big fat boy. He was keeping his two legs so wide that only 20% of seating area was available to me. I decided to take that seat. The boy did not bother to adjust for my comfort. He was playing with his cell-phone. He bought only one ticket. I also bought one ticket. However, he boarded the bus before I.

Bus fare is not charged according to a person’s weight. Why? I was thinking to find a solution for this problem while traveling the rest of my journey. Finally, I realized that this problem is a complexity. If a rule comes into force that bus fare should be collected according to the weight of a person, then that rule will benefit only the bus owners because the thin and lean persons will be charged the same fare while the fat persons will be charged more and that extra amount goes straight into bus owners’ pocket. Therefore, people don’t raise this issue. Instead, the thin and lean continue to suffer. It’s at the sacrifice of the thin and lean that the fat is enjoying.

Why is the problem a complexity? There are practical problems. How do you weigh a person before they board the bus? Even if a weighing machine is available, it will take extra time to weigh a person and a calculator to calculate a fare proportion to their weight. Busy buses cannot do this.  Assuming that this is done, how do you seat them so that all passengers are seated proportionate to their fare and weight? Ultimately, the bus needs AI to allocate seats to optimize maximum number of persons in order to get maximum profit. Execution of this rule involves a cost. That will be again collected from the passengers. One simple solution, though not perfect, is to have bucket seats for all buses. But again you have to pay more for this comfort and this will be collected equally from all passengers fat or thin. In any case the thin and lean is not benefited financially.

A similar situation exists in middle class restaurants. A complete meal is priced at a fixed cost. Whatever quantity you eat you pay the same price. The fat eats more but pays the same price. The fat eats more at the cost of the thin and lean. Why does it happen perpetually? Why is the check not proportionate to quantity you eat? The lean becomes leaner and the fat becomes fatter. It seems it’s good to be fat.

In upper class restaurants you pay according to what you order but you pay more in such restaurants. The thin and lean have no choice but pay more. The restaurants are deliberately doing this in order to get more fat customers. If they increase the price the fat customers are not happy and the restaurants will lose many customers. In order to satisfy the fat customers they take something from the thin and lean and give it to fat. There is no other choice for the thin. The restaurants don’t lose the thin customers. The restaurants optimize their profit at the cost of the thin and lean. It’s taxing the thin and lean.


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