Believe it or not, the weight of your average American is dependent upon the mode of transportation, whether flying, boating or bussing. What’s that I hear you say?
In the strange but true department, if you want to lose weight you should bus your 150lbs. Travelling by boat bumps you up to 185lbs and flying adds another 195 lbs (in winter clothing). That’s right; flying increases average poundage by almost 25%. It must be a combination of bad airline food, walk-on pizzas, pressurized cabins, excessive hand-luggage or something.
It’s quite incredible isn’t it? There is a very serious aspect to this since unforeseen weight can have lethal consequences. The US Coast Guard increased the average weight (from a skinny 140 lbs) as outdated weight estimates were contributing factors in two deadly boats capsizing. Due to the effect on aircraft stability, excess weight in small planes can lead to errors when calculating the plane’s center of gravity. But despite these differing averages there will be no consistency over the new figures. For example, the Federal Transit Administration will increase the average weight of bus passengers to 175 lbs, despite the fact that according to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics (and this is publicly available information), Mr. and Mrs. America tip the scales at 195lbs and 165lbs respectively.
That means the airlines have got it right, which is a relief as I can hop on and off buses, swim, but cannot yet flap my wings. Despite, according to my wife, being an angel (thank you).