America, we understand that Michelle Obama might be a socialist trying to take away your God-given right to eat cake and Fritos for breakfast, but could you maybe hit the gym? Because when the country's weight starts affecting federal regulations, it really is a problem. The Federal Transit Authority has recently proposed changing bus testing regulation to "more accurately reflect average passenger weights." According to the proposal, "FTA is proposing to change the average passenger weight from 150 lbs to 175 lbs. In addition, FTA is proposing to change the floor space occupied per standing passenger from 1.5 to 1.75 square feet, and updating the Structural Strength and Distortion test procedures."
Recently in the FTA's Bus Testing Center, buses, "had not been tested in their fully loaded condition (i.e., with all seats and standee positions occupied) because doing so would have caused their actual weight to exceed either their gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) or a front or rear gross axle weight rating (GAWR)." In 2008, the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics calculated [pdf] the mean weight of an American adult male as 194.7 pounds, and the mean weight of an American adult female as 164.7 pounds.
Bus manufacturers may choose to upgrade things like tires and suspensions to hold more weight, changes which could cost up to $25,000 per vehicle. And this wouldn't even be taking into account people who bring their fat pets on the bus with them.