Pudgy Passengers Prompts State Ferries Capacity Change

Source: Doug Esser / MSNBC

SEATTLE — The Washington state ferry service isn’t going to start turning away hefty passengers, but it has had to reduce the capacity of the nation’s largest ferry system because people have been packing on the pounds.

Coast Guard vessel stability rules that took effect nationwide Dec. 1 raised the estimated weight of the average adult passenger to 185 pounds (84 kilograms) from the previous 160 pounds (73 kilograms), based on population information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and about one-third of American adults are now considered obese, the CDC says on its website.

The state ferry system has complied with the new stability rules by simply reducing the listed capacity of its vessels, Coast Guard Lt. Eric Young said Wednesday.

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