May 26, 2010 4:59 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
It can be called a sign of the times. We as Americans are getting bigger and it's impacting businesses in unusual ways. As waist sizes expand--so too have caskets.
Typical caskets 24 inches wide are now being replaced with 32 inch caskets...in some cases even 40 to 52 inches across.
"We attribute it, as funeral directors, to lifestyle changes, eating habits," said Bob Walczyk, a funeral director.
Walczyk says the changes have transformed the entire funeral industry. They've even had to buy a wider cremation unit. "To date we've had a cremation for someone over 800 pounds already which we would have never been able to do in our previous unit."
The effect also trickles down to the cemetery. A larger casket means a larger underground vault. The extra room doesn't come free. A larger grave costs an extra $200.
The bigger casket costs more too--up to an additional $1,000-$2,000.