By Christy Strawser, digital director
Thinking about going to the World Cup in Brazil? Might want to grab a Big Mac on the way — because if you can prove you qualify for seats meant for the obese, the seats are half price.

A journalist touring the facility for the World Cup discovered some different-looking seats in the mix and reportedly learned there are extra wide seats for the use of anyone with a body mass index of 30 or greater — clinically obese — and a note from their doctor.

Brazilian law requires that at least 1 percent of World Cup capacity be devoted to seats for fans with disabilities, including obesity. And those fans get seats for half-price.

About 36 percent of Americans over the age of 20 are obese — more than any other large country in the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control. About two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight. By comparison, European obesity rates range from 8 to 25 percent.

A 5-foot-4-inch woman becomes obese at 173 pounds; a 6-foot-tall man hits obesity at 220 pounds.

About 600,000 foreign visitors — presumably plenty of them Americans — are expected when the World Cup kicks off June 12 in São Paulo and ends with the final on 13 July in Rio de Janeiro.

Looks like, they’ll have a comfy place to sit.

But note that not all Brazilians are supermodels like Gisele Bundchen; the BBC reported from 2006 to 2011, the number of overweight Brazilians spiked from 42.7 percent to 48.5 percent.


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