The Washington State ferry system has had concerns of overloading weight capacities of many of its ferries due to the obesity epidemic.
Komo News 4 reports that the Coast Guard has lowered the maximum capacity of passengers on certain vessels due to the fact that Americans have continuously gotten heavier. Coast Guard statistics now estimate that the average U.S. adult weight 185 pounds, an increase from the previously assumed weight of 140-160 pounds.
Despite the cutbacks allowed on board, state officials say that it will have little impact on the current number of riders since the ferries are rarely filled to capacity.
Coast Guard Lt. Kirk Beckman stated:
"It's about safety. We don't want to have vessels that are overloaded and cause a vessel to capsize or anything."
Similar measures have recently been taken in Georgia, where Coast Guard regulations have also lowered the maximum capacity on board its vessels due to rising obesity rates.