By now we all know the story…Americans are fat. We are growing in record numbers and at this point Spanx can barely contain the excess pounds many of us are packing on. Dieting and weight loss are billion dollar industries with millions of people searching for ways to either lose or maintain their weight.

Recently I was out with a friend hanging out when a morbidly obese woman walked past us (she had to be at least 300lbs), my friend watched the woman pass in disgust and made the following remark “That woman is lazy. All fat people are lazy.”

Excuse me??

First of all her comment caught me off guard because, well, I’m not skinny … and neither is she. Neither of us are 300lbs, but umm, we could stand to drop a pants size or two (hell 3 sizes) ourselves. When I asked her why she assumed the woman’s weight was due to her laziness she explained that if the woman simply got up and exercised she wouldn’t be so big. When I mentioned a possible health issue, her answer was, “She’s probably sick because she’s fat and she’s fat because she’s lazy.” Lack of affordable, healthy food options? My friend decided that there are affordable and healthy options out there, they may not be where the woman lived, but if she wasn’t lazy, she would take a few extra minutes to travel out of her neighborhood to get the healthy food for the sake of her health.

Now while I don’t agree with her that the issue is so black and white (lack of affordable options is a serious issue in urban areas, especially in this economy. Also, if someone is stricken with an ailment that restricts their movement it’s easy to gain weight no matter how healthy you’re eating), it did get me to thinking. I can shamefully admit that I haven’t lost those 1, 2 or 3 pants sizes because well … I can be lazy.

Some days I’d rather sleep than go to the park and run and on weekends that Popeye’s calls my name something serious. And don’t get me started on my only sweet tooth weakness, two for $5 Edy’s Ice cream. I am guilty, guilty and more guilty. If I would ditch the Edy’s in favor of a run just twice a week I could be down at least one pants size by Thanksgiving easy. And if I wasn’t too lazy to carry groceries from the Whole Foods across the street from my job, home on the train, I probably would have better food to eat at home than my local Popeye’s.

Could my friend have a point? Are people overweight for no other reason than their own laziness? Could the health issues, lack of healthy options, etc really just be excuses for people to be lazy and not take control of their diets and health?

Personally, I don’t think every single person who is overweight is heavy because of laziness. Many people do have genetic issues that contribute to their weight issues and as I mentioned before socioeconomic issues are definitely at play when it comes to urban residents having access to healthy choices. But if I’m lazy even though I know I need to lose weight, I wonder how many other people out there are doing the same exact thing.


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  1. I’ve never met an overweight woman who ate right or exercised but they sure could talk some shit about skinny women and how they must be anorexic because they are not overweight.

  2. My experience as a Physician Assistant is that most people who are overweight are lazy primarily because their efforts to lose weight fail which gives them justification to believe the countless excuses that I hear them make to doctors for why they won’t or can’t exercise and/or eat better. And this economy doesn’t help. Not many people can afford organic food or a personal trainer to help them lose weight like Jessica Simpson. So, I’m not saying that fat people are inherently lazy but after repeated failure, laziness sets in and dooms most folks.

    • What you said has lit a fire under my azz. As soon as I type this I’m going to juice my Kale and walk 2 miles….like I used to.

      Boo Hoo me I never had to battle lbs until after I had a baby. And what seemed like a simple plan….exercise like crazy….pop fat burners… less….didn’t work @ all. For two years I’ve been trying to loose this weight to no avail. Now…..I’m struggling to get back to the gym after giving up and saying….f*ck it…I’ll just be a size 14.

      But I know better. I just have to keep trying. I’d rather get healthy or die trying than just giving up all together. One thing this has taught me is that it might piss me off to see black women in the hair salon, eating fried food or just not caring about their health but I only have enough energy to make sure my hefty ass in out there on the grind doing the best I can.

    • @Ty:

      While ragging on the thin CAN be lame, I hardly see how consuming nothing but cottage cheese, vodka and self-loathing (as is done by a goodly number of “thin” people) can be considered any more healthy than cloud cakes.

      • None of Your Business

        Thermodynamics > Fatty Excuses
        And being thin is about health secondarily, just like being jacked and built. The point is not looking like a disgusting troll. If you do, well, don’t be surprised when people treat you like one.

        Nobody has a ‘right’ to respect, esteem, friends, love, or anything else. If you’re too lazy to do what it takes to get these things you deserve none of them.

  3. I’m a frequent commenter on this site, which is why I’ve changed my name for this particular post, and I know this site caters to the bigger crowd, but I needed to say this w/o the fat acceptance peeps on my site. Fat people are lazy as it pertains to food, nutrition, and wellness. I can’t say they are lazy exercisers. Football lineman, weightlifters, sumo wrestlers disprove that but food is where their laziness is illuminated. I’m sorry but you can’t get fat w/o eating. People just don’t get fat. No one is born fat. You might be predisposed to fatness but you or parents helped that process along. It’s time to take responsibility for being overweight and stop the fat acceptance or ‘I can be fat and healthy’ disinformation campaigns.

    • @Anonymous:

      I had a hysterectomy and the steroids, hormones, and physical issues helped me put on a ton of weight before the surgery. After the surgery I tried diets, excercise, and meditation religiously. No wieght lose and serious issues on sanity lose. Doctors ran test, not the right thyroid test, and I was getting desperate not lazy. Finaly I had a Doctor diagnose me with hyperthyroidism. It took 15 months to get the dosage right because they can only adjust it every three months for your body to adapt to it and some people can’t. These people literally have no choice on the wieght. I finaly started losing but now I am wating on hip surgery (waiting as in money) and can’t exercise as well as I want. Slow and painfull process.
      Now a second point. When you are poor and have limited resources to feed yourself or yourself and family and you eat lots of top ramen and mac&chees. Diets are expensive. Eating healthy to lose wieght costs money. If you’re poor and unemployed chances are you are also depressed so you eat more. Top Ramen is more feeling and cheaper than celery and lettuce.

    • I don’t see why you couldn’t use your name. Your tone was considerate and well thought of. You have to stand by what you believe and not be afraid to speak your mind. This is the problem with our communities.. black or whatever…people need to hear the truth. And what u said is the truth. Not hateful.

  4. I don’t agree that all obesity can be attributed to laziness. There can be medical issues like thyroid which would have an adverse effect on weight loss (regardless of your best efforts). What about considering emotional issues?

    Now, this is in no way implying that sometimes, putting down the cake and picking up a carrot wouldn’t do a world of good but I don’t think it’s feasible or fair to lump the motivations of an entire population into one category.

    • @Tai Nycole @ StrandedHHJ: I agree there is no reason to lump all fats in the same category. I’m overweight and I just lack the wherewithal to eat right but I’m not lazy

    • @Tai Nycole @ StrandedHHJ: I beg to differ. My thyroid is dead ass dead and has been since 2006 but it didn’t stop me from losing 90 pounds in 2009 by changing my diet and exercising. Mind you I was a student with NO healthcare, no doctor, and little money for anything. Most of my income went towards food and I downloaded exercise DVDs to use for exercise.

      Fat people are lazy, if not in body then in mind, and oftentimes in BOTH body and mind. It’s impossible to not be lazy if you are overweight and eating food that does not support your physiology. How I do know? I WAS THERE. So before you try to tell me anything about being 300 pounds and hopeless, know that I know what its like to be 300 pounds and hopeless. I worked hard to get where I am so I’m telling you all it’s not easy but it can be done, but you have to get off your fat asses and shop the produce section for new things to eat.

      Do your research and remember that you are what you eat. No, you won’t be running marathons with a beffed

      • @Dee Z. Nutz: up hip, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Celery and lettuce might not be filling if you wat only a few pieces, but if you eat more you will become full, and that’s the same for all plant foods. It can be done, but yes it does take work.

  5. calling fat people lazy is the same sh*t that has been sad for years, and guess what? There’s only been an increase in overweight and obese people not only in this country but around the world. So are the billions of overweight people who get up and go to work, raising and taking care of families lazy? And what about those people who don’t workout and don’t eat right but are still relatively thing? Are they not lazy bc they’re not overweight. Yes, i’m overweight, but i workout often and have for years. My eating habits definitely need improving, but people do not overeat to the point of obesity out of laziness. This is what the diet and food industry is trying to puh on us because it diverts our attention away from REAL problem. Food deserts are real and if someone does go out of their neighborhood to the other grocery store how much more are they paying for the groceries? Whole Foods does not have the nickname “Whole Paycheck” for nothing. Meanwhile all the processed junk is 99 cents. Come on making the obesity epidemic an individual’s accusation of laziness is actually lazy thinking in and of itself because it does not get to the heart of the matter and gives other people the sense they can judge someone just by looking at them, which is LAZY. End scene.

    • @Tiffany: and they’re all fat lazy mofos with brain fog because they eat cheap ass pizza and cakes and are pumped full of drugs for hypertension and diabetes that they have to pay for instead of going to “whole paycheck” and stocking up on leafy greens. Gosh those poor fat people being exploited by the society they live in and not being able to rebel and eat food that will actually ensure that they don’t die prematurely from obesity-related diseases.

      Do yourself a favor and buy vegetable and not fancy shoes, clothing, or make up. You might look a hot mess but at least you won’t die a hot mess.

  6. Psychiatric drugs, like Prozac and Abilify, can cause substantial weight gain that’s nearly impossible to lose unless you stop the meds. If a Physician Assistant doesn’t know that, I question his/her medical knowledge. I sure wouldn’t want that person working with me. Go kill someone else.

  7. Extra weight due to medical illness accounts for less than 1% of cause of obesity. It isnt really a strong argument to use when making excuses for people being overweight.. I am an overweight person in the process of losing weight and it is going very well. I dont consider myself lazy because I am a hard worker, but as the person above stated, I was lazy when it came to food and food preparation. It is always more convenient to go to a fast food restaurant rather than take time to prepare healthy meals. It is possible, but it takes mental work, which is much more taxing than physical work.

  8. I was born and raised a skinny kid and young adult. After 2 pregnancies I was obese (265 pounds) and kept the weight on for a few years. It took me 2 years to lose 120 pounds (on my own with diet and exercise).

    Since I’ve lived both ways I can say, for me, it was not about laziness, but a shitload of other factors. The one factor in my favor in losing weight was that I was a homemaker and had a huge amount of time (and enough money) to devote to exercise and managing a strict calorie regime.

    Today I am 50 years old and a therapist. The main question I want to ask is: Why does anyone care about the weight/size of another? Some obese people may me lazy, others not one bit. But why spend your time thinking so much about other’ people’s weight and declaring your judgement and criticism?

    This is such a non issue and strikes me as just another way to engage in negativity. Not healthy, just a sad waste of brain power.

  9. As a skinny kid that grew into a fat adult, I’ll admit there was some laziness at play but there was also medical and situational components to my weight gain. I think it’s not a cut-and-dry “fat=lazy” equation. I will also say that for the most part in my experience, just like fat people, skinny people are skinny because they’re just made that way. Not to say that eating right and exercise don’t play into it too. But most of the skinny people I know are just naturally slim. If they were metabolically-disadvantanged (I made that term up) like I believe the majority of fat people are, this whole debate would sound a lot different. Most skinny people I’ve seen that work out do it to maintain a particular level of “thinness”. They’re not working out to be thin. For all the naturally plump people that I know keeping the weight gain at bay for years on end is a real challenge. It’s a constant struggle and like Oprah, they have their good years and their bad years. That is just not the case for the naturally skinny people I know. “Skinny” people remain skinny pretty effortlessly and “Fat” people stay fat with very little effort on their part and as well. At least in my experience. It’s sad that we can’t just acknowledge that some people are thin and some people aren’t- without attaching judgement.

  10. “Fat” people are not lazy. The American diet is a HUGE contributor to the obesity problem. I am not an overweight woman, yet I do excerise and I do eat healthy. However, there are plenty of skinny people who don’t excerise and eat whatever they want yet there bodies on the outside does not show the damage they are doing. Its hurts me that “FAT” people are treated like aliens or disgusting people and thought of as lazy. Losing weight is not any easy thing.

  11. Well…I’ll chime in and say this. We don’t know what they hell they are putting in foods and if you are not growing your own garden or just juicing Kale……..our health is impacted by the environment.

  12. I consider myself a health nut and a fitness freak, working out is my hobby and I don’t play when it comes to how my body looks. That being said I was a little overweight for a couple of years after gaining weight during my pregnancy with multiples. I was frustrated as all get out with the weight, but with multiples to care for and a full time job I was too tired, too sleep deprived, too time deprived to do anything about it until my circumstances changed. AND I assure you that anyone looking at me during that time and claiming I was lazy was doing nothing more then using their imagination because there is a 99.9% chance I was working 10 times harder from wake to sleep in one day then they were in an entire week of their lives. People should worry about themselves they don’t know what others are dealing with emotionally, physically or in their lives. FYI I’m FIT NOW!

  13. Ohhhh…. I’m pissed reading this.

    First, I believe one of the main issues for people who struggle with obesity on a chronic level is because they lack healthy coping skills. I’d say 90% tend to use food as an emotional coping mechanism. We all do this. Who hasn’t had some ice cream when they were upset or some chocolate to reward themselves? However, add that in with the American diet, lack of fresh foods, easy access to crap food, the changing of the American family/habits, bad habits learned in childhood, health problems, stress and the heavy marketing of many corporate food giants, and for some people – they have a hard time keeping up. Obese people can be successful and accomplished in many other areas of life that require a lot of work, but just have a hard time figuring out how to make long lasting weight loss work for them.

    Now, lets talk about those fabulous coping skills and the other things we use to cope. Anger, alcohol, gambling, shopping, anxiety, depression, sex, meth, prescription pills, weed, sleeping, video games, shoplifting, getting lost on the internet, manipulating others, EATING, not eating, being obsessive about eating, being obsessive about working out, being a workaholic… shall I go on? Please let me know if you do not have any unhealthy coping mechanisms, because I’d like to ask you how you do it.

    The ONLY M.F. difference between my unhealthy coping skills and yours? Mine have the consequence of changing my outward appearance in ways that are socially unacceptable. Yours do not. Please get off your high horse. Lazy has nothing to do with it. I worked full-time and went to school full-time while getting my degree and juggling other commitments. I work 60-80 hours a week, run a non-profit for kids, love my family and friends and am a joy to everyone I know. I have faults, and so do you. Before you start taking my personal inventory, please be prepared to tell me all the unhealthy habits/coping skills you have and how successful you’ve been at managing them. Be prepared to be as harshly judged as you have judged others. Still feeling self-righteous and judgmental?

    I have another option. How about not needing to be critical of others in order to make yourself feel better? How about just wishing another person well and hoping that they find happiness and good health for themselves in their own time and their own way?

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