The FAA is suggesting airlines weigh passengers before they board a flight to make sure the plane isn’t overloaded. And yes, it's mainly due to the increase in obesity in America. We have been weighing luggage for years and especially on smaller planes it's important to get the total cargo weight correct so knowing the weight of the passengers is important.
The last data reported by the CDC says the obesity rate in the United States is roughly 42.4% - that was as of 2018...and the FAA says their weight estimates need to be updated every 3 years because American's are growing so quickly! The newest average weight estimates for passengers: broken down by gender for women are 179 pounds in the summer and 184 pounds in the winter, and 200 pounds in the summer, and 205 pounds in the winter for men.
That's an increase of 12% over the 2015 estimates, and the FAA says the airlines need to check their estimates at least every three years.
FAA regulations require 15% of passengers to be weighed at the gate
The good news? According to the guidelines, the scale needs to be hidden from public view and any passenger can decline to be weighed.
No word on when this could go into effect, but don’t be surprised to be asked to step on a scale while boarding a plane in the near future.