General Question

Jam_'s avatar

Just how overweight does someone have to be for you to call them overweight?

Asked by Jam_ (86points) September 14th, 2010

Does it change if you’re describing someone you like vs. someone you don’t like? Do you find that it changes depending on your own weight?

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23 Answers

Pandora's avatar

I don’t necessarily go around calling people names but we all have internal dialoge. I ususally split it up into unhealthy weight and healthy weight. Not everyone in the healthy weight has a lean body. Some people are heavier than others and yet look quite healthy. I know people who may be 20 to 30 lbs over the recommended weight who seem quite healthy because of their build and activity level.
And I know some people who are lean and are weak and lack energy and seem undernourished.
My weight may have something to do with it. I know what is a healthy weight for me and what isn’t. Healthy for me is 5— 10 lbs over the recommended weight.
I generally will say, if your out of breath most of the time it may be time to lose some weight.

So over or under, they both can fall into the unhealthy weight.
If I don’t like a person than I just don’t like them. Weight has nothing to do with it.

cockswain's avatar

Good question. Some honest observations of my own behavior: I am way more likely to describe someone I don’t like as fat vs a fat friend. I guess it’s a respect thing. I’ve gone up and down in weight, from thin to slightly overweight. When thin, people looked fatter. When slightly overweight, people looked less fat.

Interesting observations, glad you made me think about it.

Nially_Bob's avatar

Admittedly it’s uncreative but generally I would judge it by a person’s BMI, if it’s between 25 and 29.9 they’re overweight. If I don’t have access to this information then I go on my gut instinct and judge it on how much fat the person appears to have relative to how tall and large they naturally appear to be. Regardless, it’s of little bother to me.

asmonet's avatar

I just call people fluffy, chub wubs and chunky.
I’m overweight, whatever. If I dislike someone I’ll call them fat, as a fact when I’m describing them. I try not to call people fatass, pigs, etc. If they’re 30–40 lbs ish overweight they’re overweight and I’d say so. But I like my words better until then. Besides, how accurate do I really have to be in a casual conversation?

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

You need to calculate BMI. Here’s a way to do it:


cockswain's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus I have no clue how many stone I weigh

Zaku's avatar

If their size seems visibly unhealthy to me. I don’t think it varies by my dislike for them. It probably is influenced by the amount of overweight I have been.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar


Here are inches and pounds BMI calculator…sorry about that


Jam_'s avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus But that’s how the medical community measures if you’re overweight. How do you? If someone in the grocery store wearing a red sweater has a BMI of 25.1, do you say “Hey, look at that guy over there – no, the overweight one” or “Hey, look at that guy over there – no, the one in the red sweater”? At what point do you start referring to their weight as a characteristic? Maybe if they’re 840 lbs?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

If they’re about my size then they’re “somewhat overweight”. If they’re any bigger, they’re fucking grotesque.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t know – does it matter?

cockswain's avatar

well he did ask the question

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@cockswain No, I mean does it matter in general to anything in life? Like how often do people make that decision ‘oh that one’s definitely overweight’ – what kind of conclusions follow from that anyway?

cockswain's avatar

Well, and I could start some flaming for sure (being honest and all), but one could argue it says a bit about that person’s lifestyle, how they care for themselves, and if they may not live as long or get to enjoy some of the more vigorous, physical aspects of life.

I don’t know if that’s the sort of thing you’re driving at.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

In my eyes then when a person has flub sticking over their pants or squooshing out from bras.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@cockswain It is and it’s the kind of stuff I wouldn’t be thinking.

cockswain's avatar

I can’t help when I see someone morbidly obese that they’ve handcuffed themselves, or they were handcuffed by irresponsible parents. I saw a 12 year old girl that was maybe 300 lbs recently. That seemed like a tragedy, as she’ll likely not live to be 40. So many fun things she won’t get to do. It is predicted this upcoming generation will have a lower life expectancy than mine because of obesity. Plus I think of the burden on our health care system too. And how bad nutrition is. All sorts of stuff pops in my head, not even really centered on the personality of the overweight person at all.

Ben_Dover's avatar

It depends on the person’s bone structure.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think someone is overweight when they would have a hard time running around the block or doing physical labor or exercise. I personally feel better when I am light so I must admit when I see others I wonder if they are ill and can’t help it, if they just don’t care, if they tried to lose weight and had problems. I always want to tell them about the Food Tree and how easy it is to lose and maintain healthy weight if you eat that way.

delirium's avatar

According to my BMI I am going to drop dead any second now.

I don’t take much stock in it.

Monica987's avatar

Above a BMI of 25. I am 22 at the moment, at my lowest I was 18 but, that only lasted 6 months. It’s hard to be skinny. Icecream is my weakness.

NaturallyMe's avatar

When any part of their body is flabby or overly wobbly, or their stomach starts to hang over their pants. I don’t know, something like that. I prefer someone in good shape (not athletic or anything, but with not much extra fat on them).

Myette's avatar

10 to 12 pounds bepending how it effects your BMI

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