Most obese people glad they’re not obese, survey finds

A study of British attitudes has found that over 90% of obese people are happy with not being obese. The study, conducted exclusively among people who fit the medical definition of “obese”, found that the majority of those surveyed were delighted not to be obese and somewhat afraid of ever becoming obese.

Rhys Jones, 6’ 3” and 18st 3lb, explains: “Yes, I know the CBI thingy says I’m technically obese. But that’s ignoring the fact that I play rugby, so most of this weight is actually muscle. Also, that MFI thing doesn’t work properly for tall people. Basically, I’m really lucky to have a large frame, and I keep myself fit. I can’t imagine being obese and not being able to walk down the road any more.”

The Attitudes to Obesity research, conducted by a middle-ranking university desperate to be featured in the Metro, also revealed negative attitudes to obesity and a strong sense that personal responsibility is key.

Sarah Taylor, 5’ 4” and 13st 10lb, gave a common view when she said: “I eat healthy food. I did the Race for Life last year. And I don’t see why all these obese people can’t just get off their lazy arses and lose some weight. If I can do it, why can’t they?”

When challenged about their own weight, 95% of those surveyed gave an explanation as to why they should not be categorised as obese, despite possessing a body mass index of 30 or more. The most popular reasons included “muscle”, “tallness” and “definitely not looking like those fat fuckers they show on the news”.

Respondents also tended to feel that action must be taken to halt the obesity epidemic. Heather McTavish, 5’ 7” and 15st, said: “Make them go to the gym before they can get their benefits – that’s a great idea. I go swimming when I can, and I reckon it makes me more energetic as well as stopping me getting obese. I’ve never claimed a penny in public money and I don’t see why I should pay for these obese people to be lifted out of their houses with a crane.”

The Attitudes to Obesity researchers believe that their findings have policy implications. Project leader Adey Pose said: “Here we have people demonstrating negative, punitive attitudes towards a group to which they themselves belong. There’s huge potential here to use misleading visuals as a tool for ‘othering’ and generally harness fat hatred as a distraction from less important issues such as cycling provision, nutrition and the ongoing privatisation of the health service.

“You might find it depressing that the people surveyed were so willing to throw their own kind to the wolves. But that’s fatties for you. They’re nothing like the rest of us.”

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