This is Why You're Fat--and Why You're Thin


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

Have you seen these two websites?

This is Why You're Fat: Where dreams become heart attacks came first. It's a collection of the most over-the-top foods imaginable. The site is food porn, for sure!

From deep-fried Cadbury eggs and to White Castle casserole, this site is page after page of over-the-top, gut-busting, fat-laden foods. These foods make the bacon roll look like a healthy food. The photos are mostly of meat and dough concoctions held together by cheese or gravy. Vegetables appear only when they're deep-fried or serving as garnish. Some of these photos are so over the top that you can't imagine a human being actually eating these foods. They cross the line from appetizing to revolting.

Then along came This is Why You're Thin: Inspiring images of the things that make and keep us healthy. The antithesis of "This is Why You're Fat," this site is a collection of plant-based foods. There's no bacon in sight, and the photos are more colorful, thanks to the bounty of vegetables. These dishes look more like what we might eat every day.

The sites are entertaining, but they're also interesting social experiments.

Let's take a deeper look at This is Why You're Thin and Fat.

These sites, especially the "fat" one, have become pop culture phenomena. The "Fat" site has even landed its creators a book deal.

Superficially, they entertain via pictures of foods, but they each raise good questions. Is eating such a black and white issue? Does one site take Molière's "eat to live" philosophy to heart, while the other represents a lifestyle that flouts it? We know that one meal won't make you "fat," even when it's a bacon-cinnamon roll. The opposite also holds true: One meal of miso soup and brown rice won't make you "thin." A healthy lifestyle has room for all foods, even deep-fried cheesesteak and hot beef sundaes occasionally. (I'm not advocating eating those, but a few bites of anything won't undo all the good you've done. No one says you have to eat the whole thing!)

To me, the "Fat" site is amusing. The food doesn't appeal to me at all. The food looks so heavy that I can't imagine feeling good after eating it. I love to indulge, but these foods are so outrageous that they don't even seem like food.

Conversely, I think the "Thin" site is mildly inspiring. The dishes are healthful, even though they're not all that exciting. Frankly, if I weren't a vegetable fanatic, this site probably wouldn't convert me. I love photographing vegetables, but many of the dishes are just so-so. Still, I'd rather eat the "Thin" foods over the "Fat" ones.

Does the name of the "fat" site offend you? What emotions are evoked when you look at the photos of each site? Which foods would you rather eat? Which foods wouldn't you eat? Did the "fat" site whet your appetite or turn your stomach?

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  • 211
    This is Why You're Fat actually used to just be regular, well-made and well photographed foods. It was once a parody of deep fried, over-cheesed American food, but now it's become a parody of ITSELF. - 2/15/2017   11:45:53 PM
  • 210
    I am fat, so I don't get "offended" by the term since it is honest. - 1/15/2015   5:08:23 AM
  • 209
    that "fat" site made me sick. i can't even fathom eating any of that. it is so utterly gross, i can't figure out who would come up with those monstrosities. - 2/7/2012   3:38:58 PM
  • 208
    The "fat" site reminds me a bit of a (less hilarious) static version of the "Epic Meal Time" series on YouTube. Check it out if you haven't already, featuring such "extreme" recipes as "meat salad" and "TurBacon" (a bird, in a bird, in a bird, in a pig... garnished with baconators!) Hilarious to watch these creations being put together, but I always have to tune out before the guy actually starts eating the result. That actually pretty much sums up my feelings on the "fat" site - an interesting walk on the wild side, but not to be tried at home!

    As for the 'thin' site, although some of the fruit pics look good, fresh, and inspiring, there's a lot there that seems pretty out there to me - this coming from a former vegan and enthusiastic flexitarian! A better title might be "This is why you're santicmonious about your diet"? - 8/17/2011   12:20:20 PM
  • 207
    This is why you're fat makes me laugh! It's amazing! But really only as a curiosity, it's not really appetising to me. - 8/17/2011   3:50:58 AM
  • 206
    I have a lot of skinny friends who eat the first kind of food and would never touch those from that's why you're thin-except if those plant would go with a giga burger! in fact I can bet most overweight people would only eat the plants and never touch those greasy things. remember when paris hilton said diet cola was only for fat people? - 6/15/2011   5:26:31 PM
  • 205
    Oh, and the vegan blog of food looks like my idea of heaven!
    What lovely delicious food. Thanks for posting, some things here I want to make.

    And, honestly, I'm not seeing terrible many processed things in the first couple pages. Just some seitan (which you can make at home with flour/water/spices) and tempeh (which is just fermented soybeans). The worst thing is what looks like Field Roast sausages and those are really not bad. They aren't just soy and soy isolates but rather lots of delicious whole foods/veggies/grains. Yum! - 6/21/2009   12:51:32 AM
  • 204
    "if you want to go vegan fine, but you can bet most (if not all) of those vegan substitutes are more processed than the food they are attempting to replace."

    And most, if not all, vegans don't give a flip. It's not a dead animal or tortured animal by-product. That puts it miles above the "real thing", IMO. I'd say 90% of vegans are doing it for the animals, not health. Health benefits are just a extra plus. I very rarely eat vegan cheese but when I do, I'm just happy I'm not supporting the dairy industry.

    For me, it's at treat and a rare one (the really good vegan cheese is $$$!). How many omnivores consider cow/goat/sheep cheese (usually full of hormones, rBGH, antibiotics, cholestrol and saturated fat) as a rare treat? Not many, I'd guess. Excluding, of course, the lactose allergic/intolerant.

    Just because something is "less processed" doesn't mean it's healthy.
    At least I'm not deluding myself into thinking my Scheese is a necessary, healthy part of my diet. - 6/21/2009   12:45:17 AM
    I had never heard of either of these sites. I found them both very interesting, however I didn't find much on the fat website that I actually ate (only the choco taco occassionally). The stuff on the fat website was pretty gross. The thin website gave me some good ideas to try. Thanks - 5/20/2009   10:21:31 AM
  • CAROL_
    Does the name of the "fat" site offend you? No

    What emotions are evoked when you look at the photos of each site?
    Both are appetite suppressants in media instead of pill form.

    Which foods would you rather eat?
    None of the above.

    Which foods wouldn't you eat?
    All of the above.

    Did the "fat" site whet your appetite or turn your stomach?
    Both sites turned my stomach with the exception of the fruit on the second site.
    - 5/18/2009   12:26:10 PM
  • 201
    Sadly, I have to be honest... the This is Why You're Fat site reminded me of the things I used to eat when I was over 300lbs. My boyfriend (at the time) and I would eat ridiculous amounts of horrible things and then find ways to combine said horrible things into making caloric monstrosities.

    I can't believe I used to eat like that... That site really hit home for me =(

    The This is Why You're Thin website was pretty cool. I often find myself perusing sites and blogs similar to that one to find healthy ideas for meals.

    I feel like I'm a completely different person now. - 5/5/2009   10:51:03 AM
  • 200
    I found the "fat" site funny - I can't believe the things that people throw together and call food. I mean who first came up with the idea of taking corn on the cob then surrounding it with 2 hot dogs, some cheese and then wrapping it all in ground meat???? How would you even eat something like that?

    I didn't find the site disgusting at all - maybe that is why I am on sparkpeople to lose weight:) If I found stuff like that disgusting I wouldn't be overwieght.

    The "thin" site didn't interest me at all. I thought that some of THAT food looked pretty disgusting - especially the raw pea soup and raw nachos! Yuuuuukkkkkk. - 5/2/2009   2:32:29 AM
    I first looked at the fat sight then the thin sight--the thin sight looked worse than the fat sight!! I would definitely look at the pictures of the thin sight to put me off food!! I love fruits and veggies, but not how those pictures make them look, except the pizzas looked wonderful!! - 4/30/2009   11:10:30 PM
  • 198
    Thanks but no thanks. I couldn't eat none of those! - 4/30/2009   12:07:05 AM
    I also have a blog about body image - what are your opinions on what I posted? Do you feel the same way I do?

    Blog me for women by women:
    - 4/29/2009   12:02:48 AM
    "This is Why You're Fat" made me ill. However, I am fat and I have never ate anything as gross as those "recipes". - 4/28/2009   12:03:50 PM
  • 195
    My 8 year old and i really like the fruit pizza.. the rest were okay.. the fat sight was just gross.. My 8 year old found some of the food on the fat site that she liked..
    But. I told her no way..It made me feel sick.. - 4/26/2009   12:53:50 PM
  • CMB2048
    The Fat site is disgusting. Next time I'm hungry I'm going to look at this site. The food is so disgusting it would cause me to lose my appetite--IMMEDIATELY. - 4/25/2009   11:31:35 PM
  • 193
    I have never seen some of these foods, but gosh they look disgusting I did eat the fried banana split twice I have not had it in over year, and am not! - 4/25/2009   5:43:31 PM
    I hate to say it, but I thought about how a couple might actually be tasty. The photos didn't look good, but some of the combination described sounded good. I'm a sucker for cheese and gravies, so the chicken fried steak omelet was one I actually thought would be good. I'd have to start and finish with a fruit salad to feel okay after eating any of it but I'd probably try it...

    The "thin" site had pizzas up, so, hey, I'm game! Again, I like fruit so I was won over by the first photo of a fruit torte that really looked like a pizza!

    My carb, cheese, and gravy cravings are ones I still deal with keeping in check which is part of why I'm still not at my goal weight. - 4/25/2009   12:53:00 PM
  • 191
    I would have to say that most of the foods on the "this why your fat" site look revolting. Do people actually eat that stuff? I am as much a fan of junk food and bacon as the next person but those pictures made me stomach turn! The "this is why you are thin" food definitely looked more appealing and normal....I think I would puke f I even looked at a hot dog pizza! Lol - 4/25/2009   9:56:46 AM
  • 190
    The only thing that even looked good was the country fried steak and gravy. You just can't go wrong with that!!!! I treat myself about once a year, just like Dairy Queen....and then I work my butt off. The rest of the stuff just looked gross. I love food....healthy or junk, and none of the rest was even remotely appetizing. I wonder if crazy pregnant women came up with them?!?!?! - 4/25/2009   9:11:22 AM
  • 189
    The fat food made me feel sick. it was revolting. Hard to believe anyone would eat it. The 'thin' piza didn't look that good. But the green salad did! - 4/25/2009   6:10:49 AM
  • SUSANGO123
    I almost yakked looking at that food. I can honestly say before I started my weight loss journey I had a bad diet of eating a lot of fast food. But, I never seen such concoctions; my God! People that eat that will surely head into an early grave! - 4/24/2009   10:58:20 PM
  • 187
    Disgusted. 'Nough said. - 4/24/2009   6:26:43 PM
  • 186
    Some of the "you're fat" foods look fine to me - I love (but rarely eat) burgers, and occasionally we'll have Toad in the Hole. So no, I wouldn't say I thought it was all dreadful (though the Thin site had WAY more food I'd be inclined to try)... and the idea of deep fried confectionary is probably nicer than the reality. - 4/24/2009   3:07:47 PM
    LOL I have been laughing at the fat website for weeks now... it IS totally disgusting, I seriously cannot believe all the junk people put into their bodies! Although I am tempted by the deep fried Cadbury eggs (and honestly, any other deep fried confection, I am a sugar monster!), just about everything else on that site makes me wanna yak and I am a huge red meat fan! - 4/24/2009   11:44:55 AM
  • 184
    Food visuals are huge triggers for me. I can't even watch TV commercials without being tempted altho I don't often cave. Seeing the fat site was over-the-top and gross, but STILL was a trigger for snacking. So I regret looking at it and wish the link were not working. for most people I think the two sites would underline extreme behaviors and make them unappealing, which would be helpful. For the obsessive food disorders types, I hope it doesn't present new ideas for abusing food. - 4/24/2009   10:40:18 AM
  • 183
    The description of the foods on the "Fat" site sound absolutely disgusting. No way I'm going to go look at those. And I doubt seeing the healthy dishes on the "Thin" site will be inspiring. Just seeing food doesn't usually make me crave it. Now, if we could *smell* the dishes, it might be a different story. - 4/24/2009   2:57:05 AM
  • 182
    When I saw the `why you you are fat` I was so grossed out I could have gotten sick. However some of the sweets I could go for. - 4/23/2009   8:36:24 PM
    Okay, the bacon wrapped french toast stonehenge sounds yummy. And I could go for a bite of fried cheesecake, but I can feel my booty getting bigger just looking at the site, so I'll avoid temptation and have a yogurt - 4/23/2009   7:07:43 PM
  • 180
    Yuck. The "fat" site is disgusting. I will give creativity points for the Bacon Stonehenge, though.

    I bookmarked the "thin" site. Worth browsing. Pretty pizzas. - 4/23/2009   5:30:28 PM
    am i the only person who thought the fat site looked good?
    ofc healthy food is appealing. but the fatty foods were so ridiculous they made you feel hungry. i personally do not eat meat but i wanted a bacon sarnie after looking through those pictures! - 4/23/2009   4:21:32 PM
  • 178
    that really was disgusting! I've eaten some crazy stuff in my day but all of that made me want to vomit! - 4/23/2009   3:59:44 PM
  • 177
    Oddly its similar to a lot of things in my past life of cognitive studies. Very effective means of helping to curb a specific behavior using things like low resolution or dramatic examples versus glamore shots.

    Well done use here helps to make "health food" far more appealing to the general public thats for sure. - 4/23/2009   3:00:35 PM
  • 176
    I don't think I would eat anything on either site (though some of the fat foods did appeal somewhat). I prefer cooking from scratch and using fresh foods. Neither corn dogs nor "vegan mozzarella" fit that profile. I'm all for increasing veggie use and if you want to go vegan fine, but you can bet most (if not all) of those vegan substitutes are more processed than the food they are attempting to replace. - 4/23/2009   2:03:57 PM
  • 175
    I am not offended by the 'fat' website and I find the pictures unappealing. And to be quite honest, I would not have found any of the food attractive before I changed my eating habits. - 4/23/2009   1:22:04 PM
  • 174
    Oh, gross. The "fat" site's foods are nauseating to look at and the descriptions make it even worse. Yuck! - 4/23/2009   12:56:57 PM
    i have to say i went mmm cracklins, and DH wants me to make the bacon roll. i probably will and even eat a slice myself. then do a good workout. :) but all the stuff on the thin side made my tastebuds water and i started smiling as i put my garden in last week, so this summer will be a meal reality for me. and for pert near free to boot. - 4/23/2009   12:54:12 PM
    I don't know who came up with some of those ideas, but ugh!!! I could feel the fat clamping on to my butt and just about felt the arteries hardening just by looking at that stuff! - 4/23/2009   12:38:13 PM
  • 171
    All they had were pics of pizza....they looked very good, but I'm just not a pizza person. I got burned out on it in high school. - 4/23/2009   11:45:18 AM
  • 170
    the pizzas on the "thin" site made me hungry!
    Know what's missing from the fat site? Garbage plates from Nick Tahou's in Rochester NY!! those were tasty when we were in college - a full plate of mac salad and home fries, topped with either 2 hot dogs (my choice) or 2 burgers (most people's choice) - and don't forget the "special sauce" from the grill!!!
    i don't think i could stomach it now!! but it would make a good picture! - 4/23/2009   11:32:56 AM
  • 169
    I wasn't offended by the name. I thought the "fat" site was funny. People will deep fry ANYTHING! Alot of them looked disgusting, others I thought wouldn't be too bad and could possibly be altered to be healthy. The thin site to me was much less inspiring. Where the fat site went overboard on...well....fat, the other went overboard with veganism. Honestly, yeast-free pizza and vegan mozzarella??? - 4/23/2009   11:01:49 AM
    Neither site had food that I found appetizing. I am fond of bacon, ham and sausages, but one at a time is enough for me. I am not fond of vegetables and that is my biggest weight loss struggle, but the overloaded pizza did more to make me not want to eat them. - 4/23/2009   10:55:37 AM
    Those sites are great fro entertainment but seriously, losing fat is simple logic. Fat makes us fat. Cut the fat out and exercise and get thin. There's no 'magic' formula. - 4/23/2009   10:46:01 AM
  • JOI3540
    The thunderdome is the grossest thing and the 2lb burger yuck, but I must say I wish I hadn't looked at this while I was hungry. Some of it made my mouth water, but I would never...they just add unnecessary calories. At some point the goal of attaining maximum satisfaction is lost with all those flavors. I can't imagine how someone would feel after eating a thunderdome. - 4/23/2009   10:45:34 AM
    Okay at first when I read the comments about the fat site being nauseous I was thinking how could it be that bad. Wow it was that bad, that stuff was not the reason your fat thats the reason you have a heart attack. The thin site really was a little over the top as well. You dont have to just eat veggies to be thin. - 4/23/2009   10:23:49 AM
  • 164
    Ok- I feel ashamed to admit this, but some of those things on the "fat" site looked REALLY good. That's probably why I'm here. :) I am a bit offended by the Thin site insinuating that you're thin because you don't eat meat. There are plenty of healthy weight people out there who eat animals, but they eat healthier parts and moderate portions. I know plenty of over-weight vegetarians too. - 4/23/2009   9:27:27 AM
  • 163
    I really was nauseated, looking at the Why You're Fat website. Ugh! I do think that some of the submissions were people really trying to go over the top with some of the foods. Some, though, I could imagine that people would actually make in a restaurant and try to sell.

    The Why You're Thin website was okay. I don't think I need to go to the extreme (gluten-free, yeast-free) with my food, either. I would be happy eating a pizza with a whole wheat crust, with a few veggies. But I wouldn't have to put every veggie available on my pizza. I would just eat a salad! And what's the point in eating a kale pizza? Ugh! I just think that's too extreme. Stick to "moderation," please! - 4/23/2009   9:23:30 AM
    My co-workers and I often laugh at the fat sight. I find it to be much more entertaining than appetizing. I will admit though that I want to taste a few of the creations! - 4/23/2009   9:22:29 AM

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