How fat did Henry VIII get?


Henry VIII is often portrayed as a cruel, massively fat monarch, but this is not true for the vast majority of his life. As a young man, Henry was regarded as quite the dashing, athletic gentleman, especially skilled at jousting. But it was a leg injury received during a joust that contributed to his physical decline at the age of 44. As his leg failed to heal fully he was unable to exercise and so his weight increased. Many historians believe his increase in weight was a result of diabetes due to overindulgence. Every day, Henry would enjoy 13 dishes mainly consisting of meat like pork, game, rabbit and even peacocks and swans. He would also glug down 70 pints of ale a week, averaging 5,000 calories a day.

Henry’s earlier set of armour indicates a weight of around 82 to 91 kilograms (180 to 200 pounds), with a waist measurement of 86 to 91 centimetres (34 to 36 inches). But his very last set of armour showed a waist measurement of a massive 147 to 152 centimetres (58 to 60 inches), meaning the infamous king would have weighed approximately 136 to 145 kilograms (300 to 320 pounds).

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