Shame. Having fat friends makes you greedy.


The word Shame is mine, the ‘Having fat friends makes you greedy” was the Daily Express’s ‘catchy’ little headline.


Sitting next to overweight people makes you more likely to gorge on unhealthy food.” – Daily Express.

A small scale study, published in the peer reviewed science journal Appetite looked at how a group of 82 college students were influenced by the presence of a fat-suited actress near them at the buffet (as in this photo from the film”Shallow Hal”.)

The results suggest that we eat more, and not necessarily more healthily, when we observe a fat person.

Professor Mitsuru Shimizu of Southern Illinois University in the US said the findings showed the ‘larger your friends, the larger your appetite’ because the body type of a dining partner, or those nearby, influence choice.”


  1. There were only  two food choices: salad or pasta – and when did pasta become ‘bad’ if you eat a bit more of it?
  2. Who is going to ‘gorge’ on salad?
  3. Was it raining? Cold? I know what I and most people would eat, especially in this English climate…..
  4.  Only young college students participated in this study. Results could have been very different, again, with older adults, children and other cultures.
  5.  Any vegetarians?  They wouldn’t eat meat sauce…

In addition, the research team claim that more pasta was eaten by the study participants “because the health commitment goal was less activated”. In Plain English, we don’t care quite as much when we are with fat people, the implication being we are already ‘healthier’ by virtue of our smaller size.

I am left wondering just why this research was carried out? What does it add to the many acres of writing over the ‘obesity epidemic’? What can we do with this research ‘knowledge’?

I suspect that it will be used (as The Daily Express has) to further stigmatise and isolate overweight people. On top of everything else we can now blame ‘them’ for making us greedy – and, by implication, fat.

It’s a shame.

Just my opinion.



1 comment to Shame. Having fat friends makes you greedy.

  • This is utterly flawed logic! Ridiculous. This would suggest that fat people possess some kind of mind control power to “make” someone do something against their nature. All this “study” indicates is that under certain situations, people will be more willing to do what they would otherwise restrict themselves from doing. In this case, they do not believe they will be judged by a fat person for what they want to eat.

    I just read in a business journal that restaurant customers place larger average orders when using an app. The theory is that they feel less inhibition when they don’t have to talk to a person and will order what they really want.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>