Katie Hopkins: to be, or not to be, obese

Most of us love to hate Katie Hopkins the apprentice star turned outspoken celebrity, who continues to cause uproar among the general public with her opinions and in some cases downright rude and inappropriate remarks about very sensitive issues.

The list of topics that Katie has commented on ranges from the working class, to the Ebola virus, right through to the obese. And it’s the latest weight gain/loss regime that she’s put herself through that I’d like to talk about and to try and tackle the question that’s on everybody’s lips – is she right?

Well, first of all let’s go back a little and take a look at why Katie ended up making a documentary about gaining and losing weight, and why she initially thought it would be easy!

This Morning

It was back on This Morning when she first entered into the debate on whether or not it’s harder for obese people to get a job. One of the comments she made was “if you are obese you look lazy”. She obviously took the opinion that obese people will be at a disadvantage in an interview, and that the potential employer will judge them to be lazy and unorganised. Here’s the vid:

I don’t want to get into this debate too much as I am keen to tackle the obesity issue rather than the employment sector, but I must admit that I completely agree with the statement that overweight people will struggle to get a job when facing competition from fit and healthy looking people.

Now you can shout at the screen and send me some strongly worded e-mails if you disagree with this, but the fact of the matter is that it is true – employers will more often than not hire someone who isn’t overweight, and will overlook someone who looks unhealthy and unfit due to the extra pounds they carry.

It’s not just Katie Hopkins saying it, either. Dr Christian showed that people have some major preconceptions about fat people in his Channel 4 show ‘Weighing up the Enemy’.


In one show, the team made one woman look overweight and then asked passers by what they thought she did. Then they removed the ‘weight’ and asked again. Those who saw the woman in her overweight state thought that she did a low paid, admin type role of little importance. Those who saw the woman without the weight thought she was in a successful high paid role.

So what I’m really trying to say is that it isn’t necessarily my opinion that overweight people shouldn’t be hired because they will be lazy, it’s just a fact that in today’s society employers are naturally looking for dynamic, focused, organised and hard working people to join their company, and unfortunately someone who is overweight can give off the impression that they are none of these things.

You can’t get a job if you’re fat!

Jay Cole on this morningOn This Morning, Katie was sat next to someone who had struggled to find work for a long time because they are extremely overweight. Although Katie was very harsh and direct with how she put her opinion across, I found myself actually agreeing with her. Especially with the excuses the overweight lady came out with at the time.

I can understand if someone suffered with depression, or something traumatic had happened in their life that lead them to obesity, but this particular lady basically said that she liked being fat and wanted to be fat, and that she shouldn’t have to change just because employers may see her as lazy and won’t hire her.

I feel that this kind of thinking is extremely selfish, and although it’s easy to say that she can do what the hell she likes and that if she wants to eat then let her, the problem is that overweight people are a strain on the NHS.

Again, I appreciate that there are lots of different and complicated reasons as to why people end up overweight, but for those of you who are extremely obese because of your own greed and self indulgence, then I would call you selfish and thoughtless.

Obesity is a greater burden on the UK’s economy than armed violence, war and terrorism, costing the country nearly £47bn a year, a report has found. The study, commissioned by consultancy firm McKinsey and Company, reveals obesity has the second-largest economic impact on the UK behind smoking, generating an annual loss equivalent to 3% of GDP (Source: The Guardian, November 2014)

Not only are these people costing the NHS millions of pounds per year, but they are also hurting themselves and their families and close friends. As a father, I feel that I have a duty to keep myself relatively fit and healthy for the rest of my life, so that I can be around as long as possible to help raise, nurture, and be there to support my family.

So for those of you who think it’s OK to be fat and are happy with being fat, then I would question your reasons and motives and ask you to take a good look at the friends and family around you and ask yourself if it’s fair on them in the long term…?

Katie Hopkins – losing weight is easy!

So what point was Katie trying to make when she put all that weight on? Well, it was quite simply this – “losing weight is easy, and all you have to do is eat less and move around more”. This was pretty much what it was all about, and Katie wanted to put on a few stone to then lose it all quickly to show all the obese people out there how easy it was to lose weight.


However, although she succeeded in losing the weight quickly and relatively easily, I don’t think we can really compare this experiment to how it works in the real world.

Most people take a lot longer to pile on the pounds, and don’t start off thin and then end up fat in just a few months like Katie. Weight gain is usually very gradual, and getting to the point of extreme obesity takes a lot longer than a few months, and may also continue for years.

Unhealthy eating habits can develop over many years and can be extremely difficult to break.
Unhealthy eating habits can develop over many years and can be extremely difficult to break.

The only way Katie Hopkins can truly know what it’s like to be obese is to gradually put on weight over the space of a few years, then live like that for a few more years, and then try to lose the weight. Anyone who is already thin and lives their life eating healthily every day will always find it much easier to get back into that routine. Eating crap for a few months is not going to change your view on how you want to eat for the rest of your life.

I appreciate it was still difficult for Katie to lose the weight and the whole process wouldn’t have been a walk in the park, but it’s important to realise that obese people spend a large proportion of their life getting into the habit of eating unhealthily, so would always find it much harder to lose the weight than Katie did.

So was it a waste of time?

I don’t think so…

Although I don’t believe what Katie Hopkins did could be compared to how it happens in the real world, I do think it opened up a few peoples eyes to what can be achieved, and the importance of eating healthily not just for oneself but for your loved ones.

‘Eat less and move around more’. That is the message that Katie is trying to put out there, and in all fairness, it’s true. You can’t really argue with this statement, but I think what a lot of people find hard to deal with is the way she goes about it.

Nobody likes a cocky, arrogant person who tells them what they should be doing, even if they are right. If Katie approached these subjects in a more constructive positive way, then more people might actually listen to her, whether she’s right or wrong.

Anyone can point the finger of blame and criticise other people for their failings, but the hard part is approaching it with a positive frame of mind. Searching for solutions and providing support would always yield more success.

I don’t personally agree with everything she says, but when it comes to obesity I must admit that she has a point. Again, I don’t think everything she says is on the money, and a lot of the time she skips over some of the more complicated situations that people have to deal with in their lives.

Personal circumstances play a huge part in weight gain, and it isn’t fair to assume everyone is in the same boat and can easily change their lifestyle at the drop of a hat.

But at what point does someone who is obese make that change before it’s too late?

Excuses, excuses, excuses…

There has been an increase in pressure to accept people as beautiful, regardless of their shape. This masks the health risks of being overweight or, indeed, underweight.

I think the problem for me when it comes to obesity is with two things. The first being that you often hear people say, ‘I love who I am and I am happy being fat’. That might be all well and good, but what about the health problems that could come with it, and the strain on the NHS. As long as the NHS continues to be funded by the public, then it isn’t fair for someone to become fat and assume that it’s ok to go to the doctors if heart disease comes knocking.

The second reason is that there are far too many obese people out there making excuses for their weight gain. Taking away the very small minority of people whose extreme circumstances find themselves piling on the pounds, nobody has an excuse to be overweight.

Look at it from this perspective – imagine you lived in a country stricken with poverty, and you didn’t know where your next meal was going to come from, and when. How do you think you’d feel if you knew there were people in the world who are overweight because they eat too much food, and can do so whenever they want?

There are far too many people in this world that blame everything and everybody else for being fat, when the truth of the matter is that they are fortunate enough in the first place to be able to afford a beer and a burger whenever they want!

So the next time you’re feeling down because you eat too much and are overweight, try to think about the millions of people who are starving in the world who’d give anything to be in your shoes, and who would probably be happy to live the rest of their lives without alcohol and takeaways…

Image source for Katie Hopkins’ before and after photo: http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/katie-hopkins-looks-slimmer-ever-4920112

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