Ali Vincent, 34-year-old winner of The Biggest Loser in 2008 and author of Believe It, Be It, weighs in on the too fat to fly controversy sparked by filmmaker Kevin Smith.
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Discussion on Obesity Policy of Airlines Dr. Travis Stork: Here to help us discuss this topic is the author of Believe It Be It and you know, she’s the first female winner of The Biggest Looser, please welcome Ali Vincent. So Ali you’ve seen our hot topics like this so let’s just jump in and talk about this because it is so controversial. We’ve mentioned it on the show before, where a passenger is deemed too large to sit in one seat literally kicked off the airplane and it creates such a difficult moment for everyone involved. What is your take on this because you said you’ve had experiences before -- Ali Vincent: I understand that airlines have to have policies. But why not even just like on our carryon luggage, they make us check before there but to let someone on in the aircraft and if you think that they're not going to fit and then to -- it’s just humiliating. People that deal with weight we already want to hide ourselves. That’s why we’re so heavy, with the so many emotions behind that and so I understand having to have regulations but let’s figure out a way so that we don’t you know punish the people that are already dealing with their own battles. Dr. Jim Sears: Yeah, make the decision before they get on the plane. Yes. Dr. Drew Ordon: Having been bigger on one point and then how would you feel if somebody ask you, “Well, sit in this chair right here, I want to make sure that you fit in it.” Ali Vincent: Well I think that you know it is a touchy subject because we were talking about it. We even want seatbelt extenders you know. I often -- and like, my mom’s have to had them right when we’re going to the shows she had to put it and she made up a whole light everybody her -- on her row that she was going to a spa to lose weight, because she was so very embarrassed to having to ask for that seatbelt extender. So I always like but why doesn’t the flight attendant just be like here but then it’s a double edge sword. Dr. Travis Stork: So let me read Southwest statement and then I want you to comment non as well as you docs. So, “Many Americans are overweight or clinically obese. A number of overweight or obese people occupy only one seat. In fact, many customers may use a seatbelt extension but occupy only one seat, and these customers would not be asked to reserve a second seat. If a customer cannot lower the armrest and is unable to comfortably travel with it in the down position, he or she is required to pay the additional seat occupied. Again, we will offer a refund if the flight does not oversell.” And I have to confess I understand as an airline why you have to have a position statement like that and why you have to as a business. And this is where you're tired it’s different having a policy like that when it actually comes down to that individual, that moment like it did with Kevin because-- Dr. Jim Sears: He had two seats on one flight but I think he had to standby last minute on another flight. There’s is only one seat available. Dr. Travis Stork: So the ultimate question right here that I have for everyone is, okay what would be the solution now? I don’t think we-- we haven’t answered the tough question which is what really is the solution here? Ali Vincent: Well, I think a solution is where are we going for America to really promote wellness, to find out what it means, to get healthier, so that -- but I mean we still -- we are an overweight society. Dr. Drew Ordon: And this again it comes up again and again. You're going to have certain passengers, they're going to make a big squawk and you know maybe rightfully so they wanted their own space, they want to get something done on the plane and they're going to complain and then it’s going to create a whole situation they're going to have to deal with and it may even get worst. Again I think you have to set certain criteria, everybody has the same regulations, so I think the best way to go is figure it out before yo
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