This is Thin Privilege

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Reasons why people are basically never 100% responsible for being overweight


I wrote this in response to a post about people having “100% responsibility” for being fat, but I figured it would do well as its own list.

  • Food deserts.
  • School lunch programs which rely on fatty proteins and simple carbs.
  • Lack of funding for social programs in poor, person of color communities.
  • Historical trend in which black slaves were given the fatty, not as lean leftovers of the master’s food and forced to make use of it.
  • Urban development and bad community planning which makes it impossible to live without using cars, buses, or other forms of transportation, and very difficult to be physically active.
  • White sugars and high fructose corn syrup in processed foods instead of other sugars which the body metabolizes more efficiently (brown, beet, etc).
  • Budget cuts for school health/nutrition programs.
  • Inherited genetic traits which predispose some people to being overweight rather than others.
  • Government subsidizing of meat over vegetables.
  • Agricultural revolution/enclosure movement removing individual ownership of land for small farms.
  • Suburban beauty codes which prevent homeowners from planting gardens.
  • Edward Bernays’ ad campaign to popularize eggs, meat, and other heavy foods for American breakfast.
  • Regional weather differences which make some vegetables and fruits more expensive in some places than others.
  • Increased use of growth hormones in food.
  • Increase in portion sizes in restaurants and at home— larger plates, bowls, cups, etc.
  • Lack of clean drinking water in some communities (yes, here in the United States), leading people to purchase soda (or bottled water, which is a whole other problem) instead.

You can find all of these things on your own just by doing some research. Look it up. It’s all there.


  • Low calories diets that wreck metabolism and cause weight gain when the diet is stopped.
  • Socio-economic trends in which poor people are forced to make use of leftovers and less healthy parts of food by using nutritionless additives.
  • Post-WW2 campaigns to fatten up the populace after mass government rationing caused illness and other issues. government subsidies of milk and cheese are a big part of this.
  • Pricing between sizes also plays a large part in portions by casting larger sizes as “bargains”
  • 8-hour work days expanding, with parents being forced to take a second and third shift to take care of kids, therefore having no time to cook and instead resorting to fast food.
  • Childhood hunger becoming epidemic as worldwide poverty grows. Metabolism cycles are altered when food access is unstable.
  • Disabilities, injuries, and illnesses which either cause weight gain/retention or prevent exercise (often both) going untreated or undertreated thanks to our astronomically expensive for-profit medical system (in the U.S.).
  • Medications prescribed to prevent and treat those disabilities, injuries and illness when proper medical care is accessible.
  • Inherited genetic traits should be number one. Twin studies have shown weight is as heritable as height — 80% — i.e. 80% of weight variation is determined by your genes.These can be genes for things like:
    • how your body processes fat/carbs/protein
    • the speed/efficiency of your metabolism
    • how easily you store fat
    • how easily you convert it back to energy when required
    • and about a thousand other things that affect how you gain, store and lose weight.

Almost every message to TITP recieved in refutation is made on the basis of fat people being in the moral wrong because “just lose weight”.

Obviously this list is not exhaustive. The second half was added by me on the basis of commentary made in replies and reblogs to the original post



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