How the World Re-Framed Weight Loss as a Moral Issue Instead of a Financial One

Losing weight is not a privilege everyone can afford

Charlie Brown
6 min readJun 11, 2024
This mirror says “Excuses don’t burn calories” but neither does poverty. Image courtesy of author

Two hours.

That’s how long even a short gym session takes for me, from packing my bag, to walking there and back, exercising, and the much-needed post-gym shower.

The reason I can carve out time for gym sessions is not — as fitness fanatics might tell you — because I am motivated or because I have discipline. I am not a morally superior person because I do it.

It’s because I am privileged.

I’m a white middle-class, childless woman who works for themselves in a Western country.

If I worked two jobs, had children, and only possessed enough time in the evening to whack ramen noodles on the table and call it dinner, I would find it hard to focus on my weight goals too.

This is something I’ve thought about a lot during my treadmill and kettlebell sessions. That, despite what the world tells you, your ability to lose weight is not based on how excellent you and your discipline levels are.

It’s more about how privileged you are.

And if weight is a wealth issue, why do we continue to treat it as a moral one?



Charlie Brown

Writer of opinions. Wine & food pro. Editor of Rooted, a boostable Medium food & drink pub. Niche-avoidant. Also at