Is Obesity Contagious? An Argument Why It May Be

by Matt Weik

I can see all of the doctors, scientists, and naysayers already yelling from their soapboxes that obesity isn’t contagious due to reasons X, Y, and Z. Well, I have a different perspective on the topic, and this all started when I made a post on social media (doesn’t every argument start on social media these days?) that touched on obesity.

On Facebook, I posted a screenshot of someone else’s posts that mentioned what would everyone think if the government mandated weight loss to relieve our healthcare system. 99% of the people understood the point that was being made through sharing the post, while a small percentage said it was a stupid comparison to the COVID mandates. One person, in particular, flat out said that obesity is not contagious, and I pushed back a little bit, and many people may have never looked at it the way I do — which is why I think it’s important to hear me out on this.

And in case you were wondering, the individual who challenged me never addressed my comment explaining why obesity is contagious (which I’ll touch on shortly).

Obesity Isn’t Contagious? I Beg to Differ

I agree that you cannot touch another person and instantly become infected and gain uncontrollable weight until you are obese. That’s just silly, right? Nor can someone sneeze in your face, and you instantly become infected “with obesity” (even though the thought of someone sneezing directly in your face is a disturbing enough image).

But instead, I actually see and look at obesity as being contagious in a completely different manner. Sure, I may be thinking outside the box here from the norm, but that’s how great discussions are formed.

Let me unpack this a little for you in the hope that my way of thinking makes perfect sense.

I want to share an interesting statistic with you from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. They published an eye-opening statistic that showed:

“A child with one obese parent has a 50 percent chance of being obese. When both parents are obese, their children have an 80 percent chance of obesity.”

Let’s think about that statistic for a minute. Sure, you could argue that the parents fed them junk, which eventually led to the child becoming obese. But what about when they leave the house and move out? Do they magically become lean and healthy again? No. They continue down the same unhealthy path they did while living under the roof of their parent’s house. It’s all they know, it’s all they’ve been surrounded with, and they look for and expect.

Essentially, by living with parents who don’t exercise, aren’t physically active, and have a poor diet, they’re infecting their children — they’re contagious and pass it down to their kids.

How so? It’s simple… Poor habits and environmental conditions are contagious. They say that if you surround yourself with five wealthy people, you’ll be the sixth. They also say that if you surround yourself with five people who make poor choices, you’ll be the sixth. Do you understand what I’m getting at? You are a product of your environment and the habits you form.

“Success breeds success, and losers breed losers. Both are contagious.” — Matt Weik

I’ll use myself as an example. The people I look up to are highly successful individuals. Watching them succeed and the amount of success they’ve attained (to me) is incredibly contagious. I want to feel that kind of success. It makes me work harder every day to climb that mountain. But I could just as easily hang around some of my old high school buddies and be losers who sit in front of the television all day watching cartoons, eating a bowl of cereal, and collecting unemployment checks every month.

Instead, I put myself into a very tight circle of friends that push each other and want to see everyone succeed in life and business. Surround yourself with people who are successful entrepreneurs. Surround yourself with people who are always active and love to work out. Surround yourself with people who have accumulated massive amounts of wealth. Surround yourself with intelligent people.

If you surround yourself with what you want to become, you are more willing to push yourself and see your dreams become a reality. Why? Because it’s contagious.

Why Do We Accept This?

The fact of the matter here is that we’ve accepted obesity as a norm. With more than 60% of American adults being overweight, and over 30% of those are classified as being obese. Why is this? Do people not understand how many premature deaths and diseases are brought on due to being overweight and obese? Look at COVID, what was one of the leading factors of those with severe cases? Those who were obese.

When are we going to stop accepting unhealthy behaviors? No one can talk about it anymore, or they risk getting canceled. Sometimes it’s the tough topics that no one wants to talk about that need the most attention.

Obesity is contagious. Stupidity is contagious. It’s time to take responsibility for your life and health and stop walking toward sickness and death with the rest of the sheep.