I have though about this a lot in respect to myself... I have been overweight/obese for 4 years, previous to that I was normal weight. I have sort of managed to trick myself into not believing I was fat this whole time, at least on the surface I acted that way, which has given me an aura of confidence. I think that really has had a huge impact on my life, in good and bad ways. Good things, I have had great jobs, great friends, done well academically, and generally been happy. Bad things... perhaps if I hadn't been successful, and believed I looked ok, I would've lost weight earlier?? I suppose I'll never know about that. But I do know, if I hadn't accepted myself in the mean time, over these last 4 years, I wouldn't have been so successful in my career and social life.
So, these people doing that, I think is a good idea in that respect. If it helps their self confidence enough to get them further in education or their careers then perhaps it'll improve their life enough to re-assess weight loss at a later date. But it depends how they "accept" being fat... if they accept bad health with it, that's not ideal.