Is being Fat considered gluttonous?

It is sin to be gluttonous by eating too much, but is being Fat gluttonous?

No. I suppose there may be and often is gluttony involved, but not necessarily.


Probably as it is indicative of habitually consuming more than you need.

But in western society where highly caloric food is cheap and easily available, we don’t like to talk about gluttony.

(Coming from someone who has a few lbs to lose himself)


True medical conditions aside…

I think it is. Its a sensitive subject but the fact is God has clear comandments 2 of them could be the sin where obesity falls under.

  1. Sloth
  2. Gluttony

The fact is (again besides TRUE medical issues) if your “fat” you either eat way too much or move way too little.

Honestly skinny “fat” people fall into this too.

Being “fat” isn’t gluttonous. Just because somebody has a large fat content doesn’t necessarily mean it’s because they eat excessively. Sometimes it’s due to genetics making the metabolism slower, some medications and surgeries cause it, et cetera.

I would argue that it is a sin to allow yourself to become very overweight if you’re able to control it with exercise and a good diet. Someone gaining weight for reasons they can’t help? Not sinful. Someone gaining weight because of their controllable lifestyle? Disrespectful to the body, which is disrespectful to God’s creation. I’d put it about on par with litter, but maybe a little worse because the dignity of each human person supersedes that of the planet, geologically speaking.

Plus, it’s just not healthy. Heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in America, is often caused by being overweight. If someone can help their weight, why don’t they? It’s like lots of people just don’t care.


An unfortunate generalization.

People living in poverty are often “fat” not because they consume more than they need, but because their income is not sufficient to buy items needed in a balanced diet…beans, rice, tortillas may be inexpensive and filling, but the nutritional balance is not good.


As far as my medieval studies went, gluttony was used in overindulgence in a lot more than food or drink. Specifically when one’s consumption made others go without.

Likewise sloth was was more seen as an intellectual and spiritual laziness, not necessarily a physical laziness.

So I mean, maybe one is overweight because of those things. But it certainly isn’t necessary. I personally know plenty of people who are overweight but are also industrious and work hard.

And I know lazy pigs who are skinny as a rail.

As a former fatty, I can tell you that fat people who are quite overweight are often that way because they are living in some sort of emotional pain and are trying to relieve it by the comfort derived from eating. It is s psychological condition, and often times one they can’t help until they gain a true understanding of why they do what they do.

I don’t think it is really charitable to add another layer of shame for them by discussing whether or not they are glutton.

Of course, there are sometimes medical conditions that cause obesity. Another point is that the cheaper the food, the more carby it usually is. People in poverty can’t always make the healthy choices those who are better off financially can when it comes to diet.


Not all fat people are gluttonous, but some are.

How many are gluttons is hard to say, but I would tend to think a majority are.

The rest just have bad genetics, slow metabolism, or other health issues.

I’ve known plenty of very annoying people who eat loads and stay slim, I even married one.

1 Like

Gluttony can cause a person to become fat, but being fat isn’t always due to gluttony. The idea that people could just bring it down to two sodas a week and they’d be skinny is complete BS. Losing and maintaining weight is really difficult for a lot of people and especially women. There are so many whose metabolism is so low that unless they devote hours a day to exercise, they can’t limit their caloric intake enough to lose weight without sacrificing the nutrition they need to be alert mentally and keep their immune system running properly. And very few of such people can reasonably be charged with “sloth” as they often can’t time to jog five miles a day after working 8 plus hours, raising a family, keeping their home and other obligations, and trying to get enough sleep.

1 Like

It is a tough question and to the degree it were taken to is a question of well. We do have to remember that we re told our body is a temple of the spirit. So by all means we should take care of it and eat healthy and exercise. We should view it as a way that we give glory to God. In a general sense for most of us we are better able to serve God with a healthy body (some saints obviously were ill and some even took it upon themselves to suffer as our Lord suffered, but this would be more of an exception rather than the rule.). We can also look at it that if we are ill we put more stress and financial strain on ourselves and family.

Everyone has something they struggle with, anger, lust, drugs, alcohol, food, , pride, gossip, etc. Some individuals are very disciplined with food with others it is a great burden. I think we need to recognize that too much food can be a sin but let us have compassion on others who struggle with this problem as we do with those who struggle with other kinds of sin,


Is this a particularly useful assessment, even if true?

I might consider whether my own weight or appearance indicates sinful habits, but I’m not sure it’s virtuous to apply it to others.


Not always, some people have a thyroid issue that causes them to be obese.


St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about several forms of the sin Gluttony:

  1. Eating too soon/before a set mealtime
  2. Eating too expensively
  3. Eating too much/more than the body needs
  4. Eating too eagerly/too focused on food
  5. Eating only dainty foods/a picky eater
  6. Eating too wildly/too fast

Fat storage is known to be caused by an individual’s body production of the hormone called Insulin. This is good, everyone needs some fat stored on their bodies; however, people who are Fat or Obese have bodies that over produce that hormone, Insulin, causing too much fat storage & low energy. The solution is either frequent water-only Fasting &/or a Ketogenic diet as both work in the same way: they reduce (or temporarily eliminate) the consumption of Carbohydrates (complex & simple) taken into the body. Carbohydrate (complex & simple) intake raises the hormone insulin at a much greater rate than Protein intake and Fat intake doesn’t raise insulin levels at all. Both water-only Fasting & Ketogenic diet lower insulin (& blood sugar) levels and allows the body to burn primarily ketones (via burning Fats eaten and via burning existing stored excess body fat) rather than burning primarily glucose. Not everyone who over eats gets Fat or Obese, because not everyone has an issue with over production of insulin. The burning of ketones primarily via Fasting & Ketogenic diets has been studied in various medical studies and found to reduce/eliminate seizures in epileptics and reverse mild dementia symptoms and eliminate diabetes & high blood pressure.

1 Like

I’m not saying it as a rule, but just in my experience from people who I have known. Those who are overweight because of health issues tend to be the exception. I’ve seen many people transform through healthy habits, diet and exercise, so it clearly is connected to gluttony on the diet side, and perhaps laziness on the exercise side.

I’ve also gained weight and lost it, and know that when I was taking care of myself, I didn’t grow a belly and get fat etc.

You’re right, it wouldn’t be right to just assess people only on their appearance, but it is an undeniable factor along with their words and actions.

1 Like

I hope not because I am quite fat.


Excellent observation about the role of poverty related to health conditions of the body.

I would add, gluttony as a sin is not restricted to persons who may carry more weight. I experience discomfort if I see a “food eating contest” as I find myself judging the activity as sinful.


:clap::rofl: Good for you that you admit it, it’s not always easy to.

1 Like

No, obesity is not itself a sin, even though it may have been caused by our bad habits, gluttony or sloth.

1 Like
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit