Delta and KLM sued over 'too fat to fly' Vilma Soltesz
Delta Airlines says its staff spent an hour trying to get Mrs Soltesz on board
The husband of a US woman who was too big to be flown home from Europe - where she later died - is to sue the airlines involved for damages.
Vilma Soltesz, who weighed about 30st (193kg), was refused a place on two flights in October.
She died of kidney failure before a suitable flight could be found, after refusing treatment from local doctors.
Delta Airlines said every effort was made to accommodate her but it had been "physically unable" to get her aboard.
But Peter Ronai, the lawyer acting for her husband, Janos, told CBS: "They [the airlines] took on the responsibility to get her to Hungary, it's their responsibility to get her back."
Mrs Soltesz needed to return to New York from her holiday home in Hungary to resume medical treatment.
She suffered from kidney disease and diabetes and reportedly "did not trust" Hungarian doctors.
But the Dutch airline KLM was unable to get her on board a flight on which she had booked two seats to accommodate her.
She was then told to drive to Prague in the Czech Republic where she would be given seats on a larger Delta Airlines flight.
But, according to Mr Ronai, she was unable to be belted into that plane and "the captain came out of the cockpit and made her get off".
Mrs Soltesz died of kidney failure before an alternative flight could be found.
In a statement Delta Airlines and KLM said they had done everything possible to assist the family.
"Our records indicate Delta staff in Prague made repeated attempts for nearly an hour to board the customer, but they were unable to get her onboard the aircraft," Delta claimed.
Mr Soltesz is seeking $6m (£3.7m; 4.6m euros) in damages from Delta and KLM.
Obese who refuse to exercise 'could face benefits cut'
Under the proposals, overweight benefit claimants could have their money docked if they refuse exercise regimes
Overweight or unhealthy people who refuse to attend exercise sessions could have their benefits slashed, in a move proposed by Westminster Council.
GPs would also be allowed to prescribe leisure activities such as swimming and fitness classes under the idea.
The Tory-controlled council said the aim was to save £5bn from the NHS budget when local authorities take over public health provision from April.
BMA member and GP Dr Lawrence Buckman called the idea "draconian and silly".
The measures are contained in a report entitled A Dose of Localism: The Role of Council in Public Health, in a link-up between Westminster Council and the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU).
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Political Correspondent, BBC News
The idea of cutting someone's benefits if they don't swipe into a yoga, weights or Zumba class might seem absurd.
But the authors of this report insist this is a serious attempt to develop new policies and positive incentives to meet a huge public health challenge.
From April councils assume responsibility for a multi-billion pound public health budget. They also take control of administering council tax benefit (the reduction in council tax for those unable to pay the full amount).
These two developments are a huge challenge, but also an opportunity. In theory people making healthier choices (and saving their council money) could be given some money off their council tax bill.
Councils certainly have the power to design new council tax schemes. But there will be howls of protest from those appalled by the idea of a town hall computer monitoring our "healthy" choices.
Under the proposals, overweight benefit claimants could have their money docked if they refuse exercise regimes prescribed by doctors.
Smart cards would be brought in to monitor the use of leisure centres, meaning local authorities could reduce welfare payments for those who fail to follow their GP's advice.
Resident, housing and council tax benefit payments "could be varied to reward or incentivise residents", the report said.
It claims "early intervention techniques" could help save more lives and money.
These include linking welfare payments to healthy lifestyles and rewarding those who take responsibility for their own health, the report's authors claim.
Red tape would be cut for "non-alcoholic venues" to encourage a more responsible approach to drinking, which the report says was promised but never delivered by the change to 24-hour licensing laws.
British Medical Association GP committee chairman Dr Buckman, a GP in north London, called the proposals "some of the silliest things I've heard in a long time".
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A fast-food generation need support in the long term”
Spokeswoman, Big Matters
"When I was first told about this I thought it was a joke," he said.
He added: "The best way [councils] can intervene is to stop restaurants and fast-food chains providing the kind of food that make people put on weight, and interfere with the way foods are sold in shops."
Obesity support organisation Big Matters spokeswoman Susannah Gilbert said: "It would be fairer to use the money to support people rather than to penalise people.
"Any plans for health should be holistic," she added. "Some people have emotional issues to do with food.
"A fast-food generation need support in the long term."
But Jonathan Carr-West, acting chief executive of the LGiU, said the proposals offered "a win-win" solution.
He said the proposals were about "finding innovative ways to both improve people's lives so they don't suffer from these conditions, while also saving money for the public purse".
"We have to look at ways of managing demand, of helping people not to need such expensive health interventions," he said.
He said the proposals would "help people lead healthier, happier lives".
Westminster council leader Philippa Roe said: "This report contains exactly the sort of bright, forward-thinking and radical ideas that need to be looked at.
"The potential improvements to the nation's health and to the public purse could be significant."
But the change to local authority control over public health has led many councils to voice concerns about how much money they will get and the formula that central government will use to allocate funding.
The public health funding announcement was originally expected on 19 December.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... ds-newsxmlDreading your diet? Don't worry... plump people live LONGER than their skinnier counterparts (but only if they're a few pounds overweight)
People who are overweight may actually outlive their thinner counterparts, a landmark study has suggested.
Men and women who are slightly plump - essentially carrying a few extra pounds - have longer lives than those of a normal weight, according to a study of more than three million people.
The research flies in the face of conventional thinking that being a normal weight is a barometer for good health.
South African chef 'too fat' to live in New Zealand
Nearly 30% of adults are overweight in New Zealand
Authorities in New Zealand have told a South African chef he is too fat to be allowed to live in the country.
Immigration officials said Albert Buitenhuis, who weighs 130kg (286 pounds), did not have "an acceptable standard of health".
He now faces expulsion despite shedding 30kg since he moved to the city of Christchurch six years ago
New Zealand has one of the highest obesity rates in the developed world, with nearly 30% of people overweight.
Mr Buitenhuis and his wife, Marthie, moved from South Africa to Christchurch in 2007. At the time, the chef weighed 160kg.
Until now, their annual work visas had been renewed with "very little problem", his wife said.
"We applied year after year and there were no issues," she said.
"They never mentioned Albert's weight or his health once and he was a lot heavier then."
But in early May, the couple was told their work visas had been declined because of Mr Buitenhuis's weight.
"The irony is that at the moment he weighs less than when we first arrived in New Zealand and also less than in his first medical, which was accepted by [immigration authorities]," his wife said.
The couple has appealed to New Zealand's immigration minister, citing the chef's recent weight loss.
An immigration spokesman said Mr Buitenhuis's application had been rejected because his obesity put him at "significant risk" of complications including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
"It is important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimise costs and demands on New Zealand's health services," he said.
'World's fattest man' Paul Mason to marry after TV proposal
Suze Orman, Barbara Walters, Paul Mason and Rebecca Mountain on The View
Rebecca Mountain (right) proposed to Paul Mason during filming for The View
A man once known as fattest in the world has accepted a marriage proposal during a television show in the United States.
Mr Mason, 53, from Ipswich, was recording an episode of The View alongside US resident Rebecca Mountain, who he had met online.
He said yes and has vowed to lose enough weight to allow him to walk down the aisle.
"I don't want to go down that aisle in a wheelchair," Mr Mason said.
Mr Mason, who at his heaviest weighed 70 stone (440kg), flew to the United States in December to spend Christmas with Ms Mountain and to see a consultant about surgery to remove excess skin.
He got his weight down to 22 stone (140kg) with the help of gastric band surgery but said his life is on hold until the excess skin was removed.
Mr Mason went to New York to meet with Dr Jennifer Capla, who has agreed to donate her time to perform the operations.
"What she's going to do is my tummy and my arms, both at the same time," Mr Mason said.
"I thought just the tummy would be major surgery on its own, but she feels confident that because my health is good, she could do the arms at the same time.
Barbara Walters and Paul Mason on The View
Barbara Walters asked Paul Mason about his excess skin
Mr Mason said he received a second surprise on The View, saying the programme has offered to pay the $17,000 (£10,341) he had been fundraising for the cost of the first operation.
"We've still got to fundraise to pay for the aftercare," Mr Mason said, adding that he hoped Friday's broadcast of the show in the United States would prompt people to add to the $1,170 (£711) already raised.
"I'm excited, all I've got to do is go back to the UK, get a medical visa, and then come back."
The couple said they had not set a date for the wedding.
Ms Mountain said: "There's so many things we need to do to take care of Paul first.
"There will be another surgery for his legs, but not for another six to eight months."
500-lb. body causes fire at Virginia crematory
?The cremation of a body weighing at least 500 pounds was the likely cause of a fire that broke out at a Virginia crematory on Wednesday. Authorities said the “rather large” cadaver caused excessive heat and oil during cremation. The fire at Southside Cremation Services in Henrico County, Virginia was likely caused when the cremation furnace overheated, according to fire officials.
“The Henrico Fire Marshal’s office has determined the cause of the fire to have been accidental in nature,” Henrico Fire spokesman Capt. Daniel Rosenbaum told WTVR. “The rubber roofing near the smoke stack was ignited by the heat of the stack.”
Three people inside the building were able to flee without harm, as fire crews were able extinguish the blaze in short order, WTVR reported. Only the roof of the building was damaged, according to reports. Southside Cremation Services is known for its ability to handle large cadavers for cremation, according to manager Jerry L. Hendrix Sr.
“There was no damage to the body that would not be normal; it remained within the retort and we are about to proceed with the remainder of the cremation,”Hendrix said. Hendrix verified that the body weighed at least 500 pounds. “The man was a little larger than what we had done in the past,” said Hendrix.
The family of the deceased man was not in the facility during the cremation, Hendrix said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. ...