"Cheers for Chubby"

Now Showing:"Cheers For Chubby"
A 50s Film About the Dangers of Being Overweight

Originally presented by The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company with the cooperation of the Public Health Service, Federal Security Agency and the American Medical Association in the early 1950s, “Cheers For Chubby” was shown in American movie theaters on a 16mm reel, then later adapted for TV. After years of searching I acquired a vintage copy on 16 mm and had it digitized.

Presenting: "Cheers For Chubby!”

After you've watched the short film, think about how different the message is from today. Do you think this film is "fat shaming," or was it lighthearted and sensitive to the people it intended to reach? Do you think the solution is oversimplified or spot on and still relevant? I welcome your thoughts in the comments below!


  1. The following comments were carried over from my other blog which has merged with this one:
    Anonymous January 24, 2014 at 5:13 PM
    Haha. I love this! Just what I needed to watch today! Thank you SO much, Averyl, for sharing this with us.

    Anonymous January 25, 2014 at 11:57 AM
    Thank You! So cute and simple as can be. Love it!

    Dr. J January 25, 2014 at 3:46 PM
    Why has it become so complicated now??
    I'm okay with most of it. I like that the basic reasoning was and is still very valid. Some of the devil stuff could be toned down and the point would still be made. Of course, there are many trained health professionals now that have the knowledge to help people besides doctors. After watching then movie, I'm starting to feel that all the criticism of doctors not knowing how to help with obesity is just another rationalization from people that don't want to accept their personal responsibility for their situation.
    Thanks for making this available, Averyl!

    Tina January 25, 2014 at 4:57 PM
    Loved this. Also nice to see that it's a married couple having to diet together rather than just the woman. And it doesn't minimize the work or willpower needed to lose weight. However, it's all presented in a cute and lighthearted way, which is more motivating to me than something grim.

    Anonymous January 25, 2014 at 5:05 PM
    I had forgotten maintaining your twenty year old weight is what is recommended. I was shaking my head because I had had that "you deserve that sweet" voice in my ear the other day. Nooooo, I deserve the pant size for all that hard work!

    I liked the movie. It puts in personal responsibility. Quite shocking! Even though it puts the blame on the Chubbies it give hope that they can reach their goal and maintain it. So much of dieting advice today says if you eat less you won't lose weight, or they cut out whole food groups. It really ties up people's mental hands.

    As far as going to the Dr for advice, would they even know what to do if you really did? In the 90s they sent me to a dietician to slow down pregnancy weight gain when I asked, but I haven't had medical advice since. My vitals have all been good, and they've never said that I was overweight or suggested I lose weight even though I was.

    I've actually had a fear of getting down to the weight I should be thinking it was too thin. How crazy is that!

  2. Beal January 25, 2014 at 5:37 PM
    This was awesome! (I wanted to post it with dramatic punctuation, like: This. Is. Awesome.)
    As your book also says, Averyl (hope I'm not mis-synthesizing), modern body-weight advice often leads straight to the conclusion that it's hopeless. That food calories in vs. exercise calories out is not what works. That anyone who diets repeatedly is waging a losing battle. That's why I like the 1950s advice so much -- it sounded helpful! Realistic! And fraught with possibility, as if what calories enter and exit one's body is under one's control!
    So, in short: Love it. Thank you.

    Anonymous January 25, 2014 at 7:28 PM
    Absolutely delightful! Thank you for uploading this short, cute, and indeed, relevant film.
    Susan P.

    OdetoMrs.KatzCohn January 25, 2014 at 8:48 PM
    Wow! Thanks for converting this and sharing it here, Averyl. Very interesting this was made in a time when most people weren't overweight.

    I love those little devils pushing food on Mr. Chubby. He should have smacked them!!

    I think doctors today are receiving a lot of contradictory advice about losing weight and are trying their best to sort it out for their patients. They can only work with the research that's available.

    Many doctors have very little time with their patients as well. Just enough to cover the basics. I'm lucky in that I found a doctor that only sees 6-7 patients on an average day, by choice, and spends about an hour with each one. She and I talk about my diet often and she gives me ideas of healthy fast options to grab and go. (We also share recipes!) But she insists I keep my calorie count low, something many medical professionals reject. I think back in the 1950's doctors were trained to deal with excess weight as a health problem. Today I'm not so sure. They certainly know it's a problem but more of one a patient can handle themselves. (True really. The doctor can't be there to stop a patient from overeating, just warn against it.)

    AnonymousJanuary 28, 2014 at 2:14 AM
    "Many a time they realized it would have been much smarter not to have gotten fat in the first place!"

    Amen to that. I remember being a younger woman and gaining five pounds, and thinking to myself, "It's only five pounds, it's okay." Then I'd get used to the weight I was at, and gain another five pounds, and say the same thing. Now I'm fat. I wish I had a time machine so I could go back in time and kick myself, lol.

    getoutgetitgirl January 31, 2014 at 2:52 PM
    I LOVED this! Thank you so much for making the effort to share it with all of us! I think the message is impeccable. I have been thinking a lot about consumerism lately, not just from a weight/health perspective but almost anything that requires delayed gratification and generally being an adult. Marketing's main angle is all about taking away personal responsibility - if we don't have control over ourselves, we have to buy a solution to our problems from someone who does. I love your blog and your philosophy, please never stop!

  3. It's a positive message, and, yet, doesn't pull any punches. I liked the devils because it's important to remember that "just this once" or "just a little bit" isn't a kindness, but ultimately harmful, and the devil symbol is a nice vehicle for that sentiment. I loved it. I appreciate your sharing it with us.


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