The Skinny on N.Y. Subway Delays: Fainting Dieters, MTA Says

Passengers who faint because they are dieting too much are among the top causes of subway delays, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

After track work and signal problems, ill passengers were among the main reasons for subway disruptions between October 2005 and October 2006, according to an analysis of MTA statistics, the AM New York newspaper reported Tuesday.

Fainting dieters topped the "sick customer" list, said Asim Nelson, a transit emergency medical technician.

"Not eating for three or four days, you are going to go down," Nelson said. "If you don't eat for 12 hours, you are going to get weak."

The agency does not keep an official record of the nature of each rider's illness, but the paper said an average of 395 delays each month are caused by sick customers.

Other causes include flu symptoms, anxiety attacks, hangovers and heat exhaustion, Nelson said.