Mary Wakefield Mary Wakefield

Great news for fatties: it’s really not your fault

The thin don’t have better morals or stronger willpower. Genetically, they don’t feel the same temptation

I’ve noticed for some time now that thin people, genuinely slim ones, have a secret loathing of fatties. Kindly though they may otherwise be, the sight of rolls and overhangs, jowls and bulges, makes them angry. One extremely thin woman I know finds it hard, she told me, even to have fat friends. Another shivers with horror if she catches some poor podge in the act of wolfing a treat. It’s not an aesthetic affront, she says, so much as a moral one. Where’s their willpower, where’s their grit?

It’s hard to argue with a censorious thinny. We all know, these days, that there’s no excuse for being a lardarse. Faulty glands, slow metabolism — all tripe. The brutal truth is that if you’re fat it’s because you eat too much. It’s a simple calculation. A very sad calculation for those of us fond of cake.

And something must be done about the extraordinary rise of fatties. In less than a decade’s time, according to a study in the Lancet, a fifth of all adults on the planet will be obese. A fifth! And rising. As a child I had a book, Fattypuffs and Thinifers, written in the 1930s by a Frenchman called Maurois. The book was set in a world inhabited by two warring tribes, the benign, obese Fattypuffs and the mean and angular Thinifers. I increasingly see this not as fantasy but prophecy — especially for the UK.

We may be sliding down the inter-national academic league tables, but in the Fatty-puff stakes we really shine. By 2025, a third of British adults will be Fattypuffs; the most obese nation in all of Europe, in or out of the EU.

I feel for the Fattypuffs. I’m a Fattypuff by disposition. I say yes to seconds.

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