Apparently everyone who flies commercially in America these days is either a supermodel, an elf, or a child under the age of nine.
I say this because, without fail, when I finally plop down into my seat on the plane and fish out the seatbelt buckle halves from under my butt, I need to significantly adjust out the seatbelt straps. My God, what stick figure could have used this seat on the incoming flight? I always end up feeling a surge of shame that my middle-aged spread is grossly out of step with the rest of the country.
Interestingly, visual observation of American airports does not indicate that most air travelers are members of the fairy kingdom or just returning from the photo shoot for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. No, the people hitting the Sbarro and TCBY stands with such gusto seem to be about as beefy as your standard American.
That means there may be another, more nefarious explanation. Perhaps American exercise clubs, diet food manufacturers, and weight-loss supplement suppliers pay the crews that clean planes between flights to tighten every seat belt to 28-inch waist size, to encourage Americans to vow to lose some weight and use their products?