Butt Tally

Your Wide Behind May
Weight on Commuting

Planes, trains and automobiles. Subways and ferry boats. Pretty much all forms of transportation these days are going through a gradual but inexorable change: all are widening their seats to accommodate our enlarging girths.
In other words, either transit authorities accept our outsized behinds or they’ll be the ones to be kicked in you-know-where. It’s a costly change, to be sure. But there’s something else, besides concerns about bottom line costs, or comfort, at play: safety.
It’s a bit ironic then that some of New York City subway trains are manufactured by Kawasaki, a Japanese company. And that it comes from there too the latest innovation in car seats: the butt-recognition system.
It’s ironic for two factors. As the U.S. population, as most industrialized nations, is getting alarmingly fatter, Japan has the lowest obesity rate in the developed world: 3%, compared to the whooping 32% for Americans.
The other factor is that in the 1980s, another Japanese company, Hino Motors, got a contract to build NYC buses and failed miserably. The reason: the seats were too tight. Something you can still see it Continue reading