Why Do Fat People Smell Bad? (And What Can Be Done…)

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Obese people receive enough judgment regarding their activity levels, attractiveness, and even social traits. While most are unfair, a few are grounded in reality, albeit exaggerated. One of these assumptions is that fat people smell bad.

The problem is, even as a fat guy, I agree that it’s a problem. It’s more difficult to keep clean and nice smelling. Believe me, I don’t enjoy being a fat smelly guy and don’t enjoy it when people around me stink either.

So let’s take a look at why fat people smell bad (sometimes) and what can be done about it.

Fat people smell bad because they sweat more, and their size makes their armpits warm enough for the bacterial breakdown of sweat. This bacterial activity produces the foul smell often associated with sweat and can be reduced by cleaning the moisture trapped in skin folds, armpits, and the groin area.

In this article, you will discover each factor that contributes to body odor and how you can make sure none of them apply to you regardless of your size. You will also find products you must carry so you don’t have BO emergencies no matter how much you sweat. We will also go over the two tests that help you pick up your own scent.

But first, let’s go over the most significant contributors to bad smells.

Factors That Lead to Bad Smell (And How They Affect Obese People)

Fat people aren’t inherently worse-smelling, but a few things remain unseen or unaddressed, which result in foul odor. Fortunately, that means plus-size individuals can take control of their hygiene and scent by paying attention to the factors that cause bad body odor.

Sweating More

While sweat itself is odorless, it is broken down by bacteria and fungi. This activity produces a bad body odor.

Pro Tip: You can pop your clothes in a ziplock bag and put them in a freezer to get rid of the smell of sweat. The low temperature kills the bacteria.

The average plus-size individual has enough fat around their organs to cause higher internal temperature. The sweat glands produce moisture to cool your body off. Since fat people sweat more, they are more prone to smelling bad.

Skin Folds

The smell of sweat (or the odor of bacterial activity) is directly related to how biologically active the sweat is. Where air evaporates, sweat, folds, and crevasses shelter it.

Since fat people have skin folds, the trapped moisture becomes one of the leading contributors to bacterial activity, which results in poor body odor.

Warmer Temperature

Fat people have thicker limbs which means their groin area and armpits are covered with more matter. These are also areas where sweat usually accumulates.

When thick limbs cover the sweat, it becomes warm enough to be hospitable for odor-causing bacteria, resulting in poor body odor.

How Fat People Can Smell Better (3 Tips)

Because body odor is a direct result of bacterial activity in a layer of sweat, if you can prevent sweating (or remove sweat quickly), you will smell better.

Unfortunately, using scent or deodorant to cover up the smell of sweat doesn’t work. Here are the tips and tricks one can use to smell better:

1. Use an Antiperspirant

fat sweaty guy

An antiperspirant is something to be used as an occasional remedy. Anti-perspiring products like Certain Dri blocks sweat glands for up to 24 hours.

Constant use can lead to toxic build-up inside the body, so this should be reserved for special occasions like first dates.

2. Use Citric Acid (Lemon Juice) 

Citric acid kills bacteria, and lemon has plenty of it. You can squeeze fresh lemon juice and bottle it up in a tiny spray bottle like the easy-to-fill Grand Parfums Atomizer.

Whenever you become conscious of poor odor, you can spray it directly on the body from where the smell emerges.

3. Use a Cold Spray 

Finally, you can use low temperatures to kill the bacteria and cool off.

For this, you’d need to have a larger container because cold sprays don’t come in an atomizer-style mini-bottles. Zim’s Max-Freeze is one of the most portable cold sprays on the market.

How to Tell if You Smell Bad?

One of the biggest challenges for people of all sizes is understanding how they smell.

Because of our nostrils’ quick adaptation to odors of all sorts, a smell that builds up gradually goes unnoticed. This creates a social risk as people can pick up on our body odors from a distance while we remain oblivious.

I know that I don’t have a desire to give anyone else extra ammunition to judge me based on my size.

Smell Your Clothes

One way to make sure you don’t have body odor is to remove your clothes and stay away from them for at least ten minutes.

After that, you should sniff the clothes to detect hints of body odor. This tactic works because the smell receptors in your nose shut down after constantly detecting the same scent.

When you’re away from your clothes, the receptors adjust to a lower level of body odor.

Upon shoving your nose into your shirt, you are exposed to an intense amount of the same scent. If it smells foul, you smell foul.

Is this practical?

Yes, but only to an extent.

To remove your shirt, you need to be in a secluded environment. A relatively clean washroom works.

So, if you’re at a friend’s party, this method works. But if you are at the office and the washroom isn’t an odor-neutral environment, you cannot use the shirt-removal tactic.

Offset Your Bias

Remember that even when you can feel that you smell bad, your nose downplays it. We all have a bias towards how we smell.

A good rule of thumb is to assume that what you smell when you put your nose directly on a sweaty part of your body is what people smell standing five feet away from you. So, if you’re not in a place where you can remove your clothes to smell them, you can simply steal enough time alone to sniff an armpit.

Assume that You Smell Bad

If you don’t use perfume to cover up your body odor, there is no risk in assuming that you smell bad and plenty of social risk in assuming you smell okay.

So whenever you feel the need to test how you smell, you can use the cold spray method to remove the bacterial build-up and start smelling relatively neutral.

Final Thoughts on Why Fat People Smell Bad

Fat people smell bad because they sweat more, and their size makes it easier for the moisture to be trapped at a higher temperature.

Eliminating sweat or creating an environment that kills the smelly sweat bacteria can lead to a neutral-smelling body.