Fitness gurus rock boat with claim overweight just lazy

THEY may be health fanatics with the credentials to match, but don't expect any sympathy from Sharny and Julius Kieser if you are unapologetically overweight.

The Sunshine Coast couple made headlines around Australia when they compared overweight people with welfare bludgers.

Appearing on a number of television shows following the launch of their latest book FITlosophy last year, they defended their controversial outlook on the country's obesity epidemic.

With 63% of Australians considered overweight or obese, Julius said there was only a small percentage in that position "for reasons out of their control" and "90% of them are just lazy."

"If you look at people on the dole, the reason they get that is so that they can make that fresh start in life. A small percentage of people legitimately need that to get ahead in life, that's the Australian way," he said.

"But what we see is a massive proportion of people who don't need to be on the dole, they don't need any help, they don't need any pity, they just need to get off their asses and do some work and that's what we feel when we look at the obesity epidemic."

"There's a small percentage of people who are legitimately obese but bandied around them is this massive number of people who are just sucking the life out of the resources that are meant to be used for the people who have that unfortunate medical condition.

"The only difference is that these people around them are just lazy. We know what they need to do, get off your ass, go and do some exercise and eat properly."

The Kiesers have already sold more than 40,000 copies of the controversial book, which Sharny described as a motivational tool that would change attitudes around health and fitness.

"I think there's a lot of sensitivity around weight loss and the obesity epidemic and it's not getting any better," she said.

"Sensitivity's not working and people need to get honest with the people around them ."

Sharny said while they had expected some backlash to their views, they had received hundreds of emails of support from people around the country who had "started to fight for themselves".

Although she has made her impact on the health industry through a positive, self-loving approach, Coast author Kim Morrison said we should applaud the Kiesers for their fresh means of motivation.

"We are most often motivated by pleasure or pain," she said.

"We need to embrace (the Kiesers) for getting out there and being brave enough to tell it like it is.

"They are trying to knock people into reality. Sometimes the truth hurts. If you're told you're fat, it's pretty confronting."

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