WSJ Overeard On The Street Oct 13-14...

Americans' expanding waistlines are more than an issue of health or vanity-- they hit business bottom lines too.

Airlines have estimated they spend $275 million more on jet fuel annually due to the extra weight. Cornell University's John Cawley said in April that obesity adds $190 billion annually to health costs. Even restaurants don't always benefit. Those that emphasize
quantity watch food costs closely.

The recent boom in bariatric surgery is a mixed bag for restaurants, which risk losing key customers. But, in a potential win-win, patients having the procedure are, according to a report by National Public Radio, receiving discount cards from physicians.

These are acceptable at eateries such as Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. Other chains such as Olive Garden, operated by Darden Restaurants, Inc., also are accepting them on an individual basis. Further proof less can be more.