One in six women have said that they would rather be blind than obese, says a new survey.
Others would prefer alcoholism or catching herpes to being massively overweight.
Researchers in the U.S. interviewed 100 women and asked whether they would rather be obese or have one of 12 other socially stigmatised conditions, including depression, which was chosen by one in four.
Experts said it was astonishing that people would opt - even in theory - for afflictions that were difficult or impossible to treat in favour of obesity.
The team from Arizona State University also spoke to 812 of the women's family and friends, and found that the likelihood of a participant being obese rose if those closest to her were overweight.
"It's extraordinary that women would choose to be blind, or have other severe health problems, in preference to obesity," the Daily Mail quoted Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, as saying.
"Being obese is avoidable by taking steps to maintain a healthy weight, eating properly and taking exercise, and even if you are obese there are effective ways to lose weight.
"It's surprising that it takes an academic study to tell us what seems fairly clear, that people tend to socialise with others of a similar size and there is a tendency for them to have similar eating and exercise habits.
"Other US research found you don't necessarily become fat if you've got a fat neighbour, but if you travel 20 miles to have dinner with fat friends you'll probably be fat.
"The answer is not to drop your fat friends, but start eating more sensibly together and taking exercise," he added.
The study has been published online in the American Journal of Public Health.