A Waiter's Lecture On An Obese Woman's Order Brings Surprising Reactions

by
Lauren Burgoon
Do you think it's OK for a waiter to tell an obese customer what to order?

When we watch other people suffer through injustice -- a child being bullied, a homeless person being taunted -- there is a moral mandate intervene. What if the situation isn't nearly as black and white? 

"What Would You Do?," a hidden camera experiment, wondered whether people would step in when an obese woman is lectured and berated by her waiter over her food choices. 

"There's an epidemic in our country," the waiter intones as he lists the calorie count in the woman's meal. The waiter (actually an actor, as was the overweight woman he was berating) is vocalizing what plenty of people probably think when they see an obese person eating out: "Do you really want to eat that?" 

Hidden camera experiments like this often force us to be more introspective. It's easy to come to the aid of a child in need or stop an egregious act of bullying. What do you do when it's more subtle, like this, and the victim isn't necessarily as vulnerable? 

It's interesting to see who comes to the woman's aid -- and what happens when the producers give the experiment a twist that seems to change how everyone reacts.