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Scottish People Are Getting Too Fat to Be Cremated

According to the National Association of Funeral Directors, their coffins are getting to be too big for the furnace doors.
We're not sure if this person is Scottish but they are large. Photo via Flickr user Tony Alter.

READ: Is Obesity a Psychological or Physical Problem?

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

Funeral directors in Scotland have warned that obese people may have to be buried, rather than cremated, because their caskets are getting too big for the furnace doors.

According to government reports, obesity costs Scotland up to £4.6 billion [$7.2 billion] a year and an increasing number of Scots are needing US-style caskets, which can be almost a meter wide and look more like a deluxe double bed than a coffin.

Some Scottish councils are upgrading their crematoriums with larger furnaces and refrigeration units to cope with the size of the caskets, but these will not always be located close to the bereaved. As a result, families are having to choose between driving miles to hold funerals at larger crematoriums, or burying their relatives, against their stated desire to be cremated.

The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) said that some cemeteries are charging extra for the burial of larger coffins because cemetery space is in such short supply. There may also be additional costs for using a hoist to lower the coffin if it is too heavy for relatives to lower using chords.

A spokesperson told the Sunday Times: "They are all finding that they need to order increasing numbers of larger coffins each year as the number of obese people passing away continues to increase." Current projections by the Health and Social Care Info Center estimate that 65 percent of Scottish adults are overweight, compared to 62 percent in England and 58 percent in Wales.