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August 29, 2016 3:24 pm
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Fat Drivers Need Not Apply, Says Israeli Bus Company Want-Ad

avatar by Ruthie Blum

An Egged bus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

An Egged bus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli job-seekers who encountered a want-ad published by the country’s largest public bus company were outraged that it required applicants not to be overweight, Israel’s Channel 10 reported on Monday.

According to the report, which appeared on the network’s “Orly and Guy Morning Show,” the ad specified that “no drivers with a 30-35 Body Mass Index will be accepted.” This means that nobody considered fat is eligible to become a driver for Egged.

Ayelet Kalter, an expert in the treatment of obesity and eating disorders in Israel, expressed ire over the ad. “We are a very fat-phobic society,” she told Orly and Guy. “If a fat person walks down the street, 85 percent of the public thinks terrible things about him.”

“We have to remember that weight doesn’t define a person, whether he is healthy or not,” she said. “To my pleasant surprise, no one has agreed to claim responsibility for the formulation of the ad, which indicates that there is some change happening in the discussion.”

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BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height. According to the World Health Organization, a BMI equal to or greater than 25 is considered overweight; above 30 is considered obese.

Egged — or, the Israel Transport Cooperative Society Ltd. — is a bus cooperative owned by its members.

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