Illustration By: Mark Matcho

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Despite dire warnings from public-health officials, Americans keep packing on the pounds. Bad news for our hearts and kidneys, but
good news for the marketplace, which can now sell us Atkins shakes and supersize
showers. Entrepreneur.com sees the hefty (along with metrosexuals and Hispanics) as one
of 2004’s six hottest markets. “Plus-size is morphing into regular size,” gushes an analyst.
“There are no boundaries.” Indeed:

Whole Girth Catalog: Amplestuff.com offers airline seatbelt
extenders, scales that go up to 1,000 pounds, “extra-large fanny packs,” “big bibs”
and wearable napkins, and, for those who can no longer bend over, sock installers, lotion
appliers, leg lifters, and (depressingly) porta-bidets.

No Butts About It: Theaters and stadiums are widening most seats by four inches and instituting
“persons-of-size sections.”

Mile Wide Club: After “overloading” was suspected in a small plane crash last year, the
FAA upped its estimate of the average passenger’s weight from 180 to 195 pounds.

An Apple Pie a Day: In part to accommodate the boom in gastric bypasses, hospitals are
rolling out bigger, sturdier gurneys, operating tables, ambulances, wheelchairs, walkers,
and, of course, gowns.

Lazy Boys & Girls: Berkline’s new “XL-Series” motorized recliners can bear 600 pounds.
“There seems to be an insatiable appetite for these products,” says a company V.P.

Hippo-crisy: In February 2003, McDonald’s quietly dropped plans to use healthier oil.
Six months later, it released “Happy Meals for Adults,” which include a salad, an exercise booklet,
and a pedometer.

Speaks Volumes: What Are You Looking At?, “the first fat fiction anthology,” was published
last fall by Harvest Books.

Very Big Adventures: The staff of Freedom Paradise, “the first and only size-friendly
resort in the world,” reportedly watches Beauty and the Beast as sensitivity training.

This End Up: The 44-inch “triple wide” wasn’t big enough, so Goliath Casket just introduced
the B-52, designed to hold a 1,100-pound corpse. The company reports its sales are swelling
20 percent annually.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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