XL Love: How the Obesity Crisis Is Complicating America’s Love Life


XL Love

XL Love

With two out of every three Americans overweight or obese, it’s all hands on deck—scientists are studying how excess fat changes physical and mental health, demographers are calculating how it’s shortening life spans, and economists are debating the impact it has on America’s productivity and global competitiveness. But how weight affects intimacy and sexuality is barely discussed.

Yet it’s a question of high importance for the tens of millions of Americans who are overweight or obese and having difficulty sexually and romantically. It is changing and complicating the mating game and married life alike; stunting the ability of young people to find happiness; and tipping some heavy, but otherwise happy, couples into divorce. For many, a larger body has meant a more troubled mind: a decline in sexual quality, an increase in self-loathing, and a tendency to let these factors stand in the way of love.

In XL Love, Varney travels the country and tells the personal stories of men and women who are experiencing what millions of others feel every day, along with the stories of those who are in the business of helping them: physicians, researchers, scientists, psychologists, sociologists, and more. Analytic and immersive, personal and eye-opening, XL Love tackles the question: How is sex changing in America as the shape of Americans changes?


“An insightful and compassionate discussion of the many ways intimate human relationships are being challenged by the obesity epidemic.” – DAVID A KESSLER, MD, and AUTHOR OF The End of Overeating

“Sarah Varney has expertly translated the science of the impact of obesity into relatable stories of real people. She explores in a compassionate way how obesity has become a barrier from intimate relationships for millions of people.” –MADELYN FERNSTROM, PhD, DIET AND NUTRITION EDITOR, Today

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