Activism, Education, Top Stories

The Sad Truth About ‘Fat Acceptance’

Last week, self-described queer non-binary “fat sex therapist” Sonalee Rashatwar delivered a two-hour lecture entitled Race as a Body Image Issue at the St. Olaf College Health and Wellness Center in Minnesota. The event was a master class in social justice, at times putting shame to the parodies of the genre that now traffic on social media. In the video, the visibly obese woman asks: “Is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure—or is it my experience of weight stigma?” In the presentation, which has gone viral, Rashatwar also compared “fatphobia” not only to eugenics (which is itself absurd) but also to “Nazi science,” and declared that “a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex.” Indeed, the very titles of her recurring presentations—including Health is a Social Construct, Decolonizing Sex Positivity, Gender Isn’t Real and Neither Is Health and How Fat Queers the Body—seem like something you’d find on the Twitter feed of satirists such as Titania McGrath or Madeline Seers. Yet Rashatwar can’t be dismissed as just another social-media kook—for she is regularly invited to speak to actual health experts at numerous universities across North America, including, recently, medical students at the University of Texas. The listed speaking fee on her web site is US$5,000. (She also specifies that “travel arrangements should not be made on Sonalee’s behalf by the host organization due to her disability needs.”)

At St. Olaf, Rashatwar began with a Native land acknowledgement—which, as a Canadian, I found odd: Obesity is a huge problem for Indigenous people. In Canada, 37% of reserve-resident First Nations people are obese. In the United States, it is estimated that 60-80% of American Indigenous and Alaska Natives are overweight or obese, and more than 30% are in a diabetic or pre-diabetic state. What allows her to compartmentalize the issues of Indigenous welfare and obesity, I suppose, is her belief that the goal of avoiding extra poundage is a “white supremacist beauty ideal.” She informs audiences that “I come from an exclusively pro-body and anti-diet perspective. This means I will never use food moralism to tell you to replace foods you love with foods you hate. I will never use intentional weight loss as a therapeutic goal. I will never collude with fatphobia in our therapeutic work.” In layman’s terms, this apparently seems to boil down to accepting—or even celebrating—obesity as part of a normal healthy lifestyle.

Watching Rashatwar’s heavy breathing and frequent labored pauses made me flinch with recognition. I still have an audio recording from the days when I was 100 pounds heavier than I am today. I huffed the same way. I can envision what that breathing pattern would become if Rashatwar—or the old version of me—were forced to climb a set of stairs. The pain in the chest, the attempt to mask how desperately air was needed between closed lips, delaying the frantic heaving until no one was around—I remember it all. Yet Rashatwar dismisses such concerns as artifacts of “white-settler colonialism,” and, in her speech, claimed that “my fat doesn’t make my life hard to live. It’s fatphobia that makes my life hard to live.” Unfortunately, gravity wasn’t invented by white settlers. Nor do the rules that govern the human cardiopulmonary system operate according to skin colour.

Rashatwar claims she is a “survivor” of fatphobia. I am a survivor of fat. I share her use of the word “survivor” because when I was standing at 4’10” and 300 pounds, my obesity almost took my life. A kinesthesiologist friend told me that the physical toll on my body was the equivalent of more than 400 pounds of weight on an average woman. I had sleep apnea to the point where I woke up with headaches every morning due to lack of oxygen. I had developed the characteristic black ring of dying, diabetic flesh around my neck. My menstrual cycle had abated completely, and the smallest amount of activity—going to the laundry room in my apartment complex—had become so difficult that I was forcing family members to do mundane tasks on my behalf.

I don’t use the word “phobia” to describe how other people regarded me. But, yes, I do remember feeling a crippling sense of social shame. I remember being unable to shop in any normal store for clothes. I remember sitting in my university lecture hall, unable to close the flip-desk over my lap because I was simply too big. I also remember the indescribable sadness that came with all these things, which sometimes compelled me to seek out figures such as Rashatwar, who offered some hope of lessening my sadness. For she is not alone: There’s a whole movement out there called Health at Every Size (HAES)—sometimes classified as a doctrinal sub-branch of the “fat acceptance movement.” I had a very brief flirt with HAES after becoming angry at just how excluded I was, how worthless I felt as a human being in the eyes of others.

I don’t agree with most of what Rashatwar says, and I do believe her faddish, social-justice approach to health is nonsensical. But as someone who has survived morbid obesity, and who solidly believes in the benefits of healthy living, I also oppose the way anti-HAES advocates (or, in many cases, trolls) attack or mock those who embrace HAES ideas. In online forums, one can observe a cycle by which strident anti-HAES critics cause defensive-minded HAES advocates to cling to their “fat acceptance” notions all the more insistently.

On this, Rashatwar and I agree: People have an inherent value, no matter their weight, and no one should ever be mocked, abused, or excluded on the basis of how they look. An acknowledgement must also be made to the effect that losing weight is tremendously difficult for many people, as studies have demonstrated that the foods that contribute most to weight gain behave like drugs in our system. You can be addicted to certain kinds of foods in a very real sense. Many morbidly obese people, myself still included, have food addictions or binge-eating disorders. These are real psycho-medical concerns that are still poorly understood with few effective medical interventions.

But there are also other equally indisputable truths regarding human health that Rashatwar and many HEAS advocates dangerously deny. And one of them is that being obese will make you die earlier, regardless of how enlightened everyone around you might be, or how effectively we wage war against “fatphobia.”

I can attest that Rashatwar is correct when she says that medical practitioners often gloss over an overweight patient’s medical concerns, and instead lecture them simplistically to “lose weight.” Rashatwar mentions the case of Ellen Maud Bennette, a 64-year-old Canadian woman who died of cancer. Her obituary noted that doctors had stood by for years without delivering proper oncological care, because they were more concerned with hectoring her about her weight. By the time Bennette was diagnosed, she was terminal. But it is misleading to focus on anecdotes without also noting that 18% of all deaths in the United States are obesity-related—something Rashatwar seems to ignore. If a doctor does all the necessary tests on a patient, and the recommendation still boils down to “lose weight”—as it sometimes does—is this still “fatphobia”?

Like other members of the HAES movement, Rashatwar effectively argues that since problems such as coronary artery disease and diabetes can be addressed through medical interventions, it’s discriminatory to tell patients that they should instead change their body size through diet and exercise. But even a layperson knows that this core claim is ridiculous, because the two approaches aren’t mutually exclusive: Healthy living that promotes strong baseline health levels is entirely consistent with drugs, surgeries and medical therapies that cure or palliate the ailments we all inevitably contract. And so it amazes me that medical students can sit through Rashatwar’s lectures with a straight face.

After decrying the differentiation between different kinds of food, and peddling the fiction that all foods present equal nutritional benefit to the body, Rashatwar stated in her St. Olaf speech that the Christian-supremacist concept of “purity” had contaminated our conception of food and health, and noted that “we see parallel conversations in the denial of sex as pleasure and food as pleasure.” This is nonsense on the level of her Nazi metaphors—and seemed especially absurd when juxtaposed against Rashatwar’s respectful posture toward Indigenous peoples—for it is universally understood that the introduction of heavy refined starches and sugars to the Indigenous people of North America was a chief contributor to high obesity rates and other poor health outcomes. Was it “fatphobia” when, in 2015, the Navajo/Diné nation imposed a tax on junk food and sugary drinks to curb the popularity of refined, fatty foods in their territories? Are Indigenous activists who advocate for healthy forms of traditional eating fatphobic? What about those who share Rashatwar’s South Asian ancestry? Many are raising concerns about the introduction of Western-style foods, and one would assume this is a more authentic approach to local health needs than Rashatwar’s apparent insistence that KFC and Domino’s Pizza are on the same nutritional plane as fresh vegetables and lean meats.

Rosie Marcado

Rashatwar’s repeated use of the word pleasure to describe our relationship with food struck a chord with me. Food is a source of joy, certainly, especially when it is shared with others. But her apparent suggestion that it exists on the level of sex, and even love, seems a recipe for sadness and loneliness. When I was heavier, food was a coping mechanism, a codependent false friend, like a pack of cigarettes. It didn’t judge, and always gave me a rush. Rashatwar’s insistence that it’s “fatphobia”—as opposed to actually being fat—that keeps her from leading a full life sounds like the internal negotiating script of an addict. The task of losing weight forces an obese person to deny themselves the passing pleasures associated with certain food. Rashatwar’s workaround is to externalize the problem—by insisting that society implement infinite accommodations for an infinitely growing body. On a psychological level, Rashatwar’s approach also allows her to channel negative feelings into defiance, and even anger—which are easier feelings to manage than shame, guilt or sadness. Her ideology provides a shield from bad feelings, at the expense of the body’s health needs.

I cannot presume to know what will become of Sonalee Rashatwar, long may she live. If she ever does decide to lose weight, I hope she is successful in that journey. But Rashatwar should be forewarned that, as with ex-HAES plus-sized model Rosie Marcado, who received death threats after losing 240 pounds, the pleasure-seeking monster she helped create will never forgive her. For it is not just food that can seize us in the claws of addiction, but also the seductive ideologies that offer license to consume it with self-destructive abandon.

 

Anna Slatz is a Canadian writer. Follow her on Twitter at @YesThatAnna.

Featured image: Portrait of Daniel Lambert (1770-1809). Date circa 1800. Oil on canvas. Unidentified painter. 

204 Comments

  1. Harmanjit Singh says

    The wonder is not that a mentally ill person is justifying her lack of impulse control with social-justice tropes, but that apparently sensible institutions are inviting and paying for her to deliver her drivel.

    Being from SE Asia, I would hazard a guess that she is persona non grata for her extended family who are probably more than just embarrassed about her and point to her as a cautionary mutant to their young ones in the family.

    • Harmanjit Singh says

      India is a poor country and has real problems about hygiene and toilet facilities, which are widely recognized and though hard to address, are being tackled. Not sure what’s your point. That I should admire and validate a mentally ill person?

      • Hungry Hungry Hippos says

        Mr Singh,

        I suggest we take the most extreme aspects of sexually empowered leftism, like shit-eating fetishists, and combine it with the hungriest western fat activists. A political program introduced to American school children to combine these two emancipating, diverse, and morally good positions would solve your problems by allowing fat activists to continually pump out future NGO activists to places like India to eat the excess shit.

        This would also possibly solve global warming. We could crispr giant floating left wing fat activists to hang in the sky sucking in co2, like the nintendo character kirby.

        Please take my suggestions onboard as I am a genius.

      • Stephanie says

        Yikes, HS was making a good point. It is indeed highly likely her family is ashamed of her. Her own photo reveals she prefers to look thin: she raised her chin unnaturally high to avoid a double chin. She clearly understands and agrees with traditional beauty standards, she is simply incapable of making good, and projects that failure onto everyone else.

        Stop being a disgusting jerk, PD and HHH. You’re at the top of the comment thread and it is rude to put such gross drivel up so prominently.

      • Defenstrator says

        The first post made me think you were stupid. The second makes it clear at you are just a pathetic troll trying to get a rise. Remember, do not feed the troll. Just mock it for being pathetic.

    • Somewoman says

      I know, right? How does she square calling fat phobia a white settler problem when white people are on average more obese than south Asians? Of the south Asians who are obese, most probably have access to western fast food.

      Her family probably is really embarrassed about her.

      • David of Kirkland says

        And you wonder why free health care for an obese, drug addled nation with uncontrolled illegal immigration may not be a good thing.

    • Angry Man says

      Hey you cunt, stop using ‘dick’ as an insult. 😉

      • MMS says

        Both of you stop and your lack of decorum is not welcomed here.

    • Cary D Cotterman says

      “cautionary mutant”. That’s a good one that I’m going to remember and use. Thanks!

  2. Francis Tschitchee says

    Unfortunately, as Robert Plomin explains in his book Blueprint from last year, we now know from n = 1 million sized GWAS studies that fatness (BW or body weight to geneticists) has a heritability in adulthood of 0.8, higher than almost any other trait.

    Also the idea that obesity causes health problems is not all that clear. Plomin’s fourth replicated finding of behavioral genetics (AKA the Fifth Law of behavioral genetics) says that two traits that correlate are mediated or caused by deeper, underlying factors in most cases.

    • Stephanie says

      Peeper, let me guess, Trump isn’t your president?

    • This is a nice discussion of behavioural genetics but is actually irrelevant to the issue at hand.

      In every single well designed trial where the participants followed protocol, a properly calculated caloric deficit resulted in weight loss. Although BMR is heritable and the heritability of obesity has excellent data to back up your claims, again, it does not matter to the issue at hand. If you eat less calories than your body requires for maintenance of activity, your body finds another way to run its biochemical machinery, and that is by burning already stored in the body. It doesn’t matter if your parents are 600 pounds – you cannot grow to 600 pounds without taking in more calories than you put out. For the necessary citations, type any combination of ‘caloric deficit weight loss’ into any literature database you choose. We are not talking about elite athletes, or different macro requirements, or the questionable science around some people’s beliefs in ‘starvation mode,’ we are talking about a simple math equation that has been proven time and again.

      With respect to your suggestion that ‘obesity causing health problems’ is not clear, again, multiple randomized controlled trials have shown that this is not the case, most significantly with blood pressure. We have excellent data on multiple regression analyses indicating that weight loss improves blood pressure. There are also excellent retrospective studies that identify an association between obesity and a laundry list of cancers, heart disease, vascular disease, pulmonary disease, endocrine dysfunction, infertility, and other health concerns. Although the famous comeback ‘correlation is not causation’ does have its basis in assessing bias for these types of studies, the data is just too overwhelming to ignore – obesity plays a role in all of these issues. Although it may not be the prime issue, weight loss ALONE leads to reduced incidence of every single item on that list above.

      Losing weight is not easy, and keeping weight off can be even harder, however attempting to make it easier on people with ‘bullshit arguments and lying’ (thanks Jim Jefferies) doesn’t help anyone. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, losing weight makes you healthier.

      • Cary D Cotterman says

        Joshua Belle is correct. Anyone will lose weight if they expend more calories than they consume. By doing so, they will become more healthy. It can be difficult, but it’s doable. Making excuses, placing blame elsewhere, and “fat acceptance” activists do not help anybody.

  3. Iko says

    “Is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure—or is it my experience of weight stigma?”

    Three species of leftist causation in the last few days on Quillette:

    Fatness caused by experience of weight stigma.
    Questioning communism’s failures in the other thread is argued by leftists as “correlation doesn’t equal causation.”
    The complex system of climate change being man made is not just correlative, but totally causatively assured.

    These are all treated as politically equal by mainstream leftists and liberals in academia and the media. The people in (3), who see themselves as the “reality based community,” rarely speak out against (1) and (2) or even support these with little critical thought. This is why no one takes (3) seriously.

    • Putting a child on a diet is equivalent to rape, but giving a child puberty blockers…..?

      • Kencathedrus says

        @Hub 312: part and parcel of the masterplan to turn Westerners into fat sexless self-loathing compliant worker drones who are too busy wondering what gender they are to notice that their freedoms are being rapidly removed from us or even worse: cheering it on because they believe it will lead to a more equitable world.

        I would rather be free in inequality than live as a slave in equality.

    • Rev. Wazoo! says

      @Iko
      An admirably concise encapsulation of the contradictions which are already fraying the orthodoxy as it comes out of its academy/HR lairs and makes a bid for complete dominion. Thanks and I’ll do you the honor of ‘culturally appropriating’ your insight.

  4. Morgan Foster says

    “On this, Rashatwar and I agree: People have an inherent value, no matter their weight, and no one should ever be mocked, abused, or excluded on the basis of how they look.”

    My mother started school at the age of six, in 1928, in a small midwestern town. She graduated from high school in that same town in 1940.

    Throughout her 12 years of primary and secondary education, there was one – and only one – obese student in her class, a girl.

    This being the 1920’s and 30’s, the girl was mocked, shunned and made the butt of cruel jokes. My mother was one of the offenders. The obese girl, according to my mother, had not a single friend at school.

    Interestingly, during those 12 years, not a single other student in my mother’s class became obese.

    (It is no argument to say it was easier to stay slim during the Depression. As we know now, poverty is no barrier to obesity.)

    My belief, based in part on my mother’s recollection, is that the other students were motivated not to become fat, at least in part because they didn’t want to be shunned as pariahs.

    So while the girl suffered terribly from social isolation, the rest of the students stayed relatively healthy by remaining slender.

    I see a significant social good coming from that, even though the cost for one child was severe.

    In the larger scheme of things, are we better off now for our misplaced indulgences toward the self-destructive obese? I think not.

    • Psychotic reasoning that amounts to “for the greater good, some must suffer.” Authoritarian hogwash.

      Would you mock and shun an anorexic or bulimic person? And if your answer is yes, please reconsider your morals.

      Obesity has underlying psychological illness that is no different from anorexia or bulimia — an addiction to self-harm. As a morbidly obese person whose obesity was caused by an eating disorder, I can tell you that it is not fun to be made fun of while you are killing yourself and feel like you have no way to stop. Binge Eating Disorder almost led to a ruptured stomach in my case. This happens to many obese people with food addictions and BED.

      In contrast to anorexia, however, obese people have almost no effective medical interventions until they are on the verge of death, and even then they are forced to try and overcome a huge hurdle of their own — losing some weight pre-surgery — to be gifted the potentially useless surgery. Imagine if an anorexic was told “you need to eat” before being given a medical intervention? There are also no effective approved drugs to treat food addiction or BED.

      Your self-righteous fat-shaming does nothing but give more people to HAES, which is like the pro-ana of overeating. I’m glad you feel good about yourself when you are mocking someone who is effectively committing suicide in front of your eyes, but don’t think you’re doing them any favours.

      • Sydney says

        @Anna Slatz

        I fail to see where @Morgan Foster’s comment was ‘psychotic,’ ‘self-righteous[ly] fat-shaming,’ ‘mocking,’ or ‘authoritarian.’ You may not like or agree with Morgan’s point of view, but it raises interesting issues.

        Some people are built heftier. Some people are heavier by nature (even without consuming a lot of empty calories). And a VERY tiny number of people have a physiological or metabolic issue that makes and keeps them obese.

        But there’s no credible evidence showing that regular obesity is accompanied by ‘underlying psychological illness.’ There is more evidence to show that overeating is a difficult habit, BUT one over which a person has choice. You use a lot of hyperbolic language while talking about obesity, but little of what you claim is evidence based. Overeating is not a life-threatening issue like alcoholism or opiate addiction, which are discrete issues.

        If ‘Binge-Eating Disorder’ is in the psychiatrist’s bible – the DSM-5 – it doesn’t mean that it’s an evidence-based illness or disease. It only means that it’s purely a check-list diagnosis (such as ‘bipolar disorder,’ or ‘depression,’ or even ‘schizophrenia’ to name three) that allows psychiatrists to bill insurance companies for their time, and to write prescriptions for pharma. There is no blood test, genetic marker, or lab test for any psychiatric issue, which is how psychiatric diagnoses change with the wind.

        It’s not ‘shaming’ to say this. It’s very difficult to stop or to change bad habits. Food can provide great immediate emotional comfort. However, that comfort comes at a great cost, leaving a person stuck in an unhappy, upsetting, unhealthy cycle of comfort-eating.

        It just doesn’t help individuals or society as a whole to pathologize behaviour over which we do have control. This current trend to encourage or force us to view overweight people as victims of society/politics, or victims of incurable disorders or disease, is unhelpful to overweight people and to society as a whole.

        • Stephanie says

          I don’t think Morgan was suggesting he bullies fat people. I understood that to mean that kids find certain things repulsive, which are probably based on engrained instincts on what’s healthy, and thus exert pressure on each other to keep the tribe within healthy limits. It might be a mistake to discourage that.

          Would that push people towards the fat acceptance movement? Not if they are adequately discouraged from getting fat to begin with. The bullying the girl in Morgan’s story experienced, while unpleasant, could have been a motivator for her to lose weight in later adolescence or adulthood, and could have resulted in her avoiding a debilitating condition such as diabetes or heart disease. That seems worth it in the long run.

          • Sophie says

            @Stephanie: My sister got bullied by kids in school to the point she attempted suicide. Reason: she is gay. Was their behaviour “based on engrained instincts of what’s healthy”? Unless you think you can “pray the gay away” or some other wonderful solution, bullying in this context could only bring pain to my sister.
            Bullying is horrible; I’d never shun someone for being obese – that is basic human decency and if you fail to see that, you cannot call yourself a Christian – which many people who commit such acts do. There is a difference between “fat acceptance” and being a human being and bullying is definitely not healthy or encouraging.
            I sincerely hope your child never gets bullied.

        • Petie Cue says

          There’s a great deal of evidence showing that obesity is both an addiction, caused by heritable susceptibility and triggered by childhood trauma, and a condition which is extremely difficult to cure once it’s developed.

          People who experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) like parental death, physical or sexual abuse (some of which is classed as “bullying”), witnessing violence, abandonment or neglect, and living with addicted or alcoholic parents, are at much higher risk of obesity just as they are for the “discrete issues” of alcoholism and drug addiction. The correlation is strongest for obesity and is stronger than the correlation between obesity and risk of mortality. The addictive nature of overeating is especially insidious because it is the one addiction in which the addict can’t abstain from his or her substance of choice.

          An obese patient who is successful losing weight using the best available medical behavioral interventions has a 97% chance of being obese again or still in 5 years. If they qualify for weight loss surgery by losing 5-10% of body weight, and then receive the surgery, the chance is “only” 95%.

          • Sydney says

            @Petie Cue

            I’ve been around the block enough times – in fact I’ve jogged around that block without wanting to, and when I really felt like drinking a 2000-calorie frappaccino instead – to know when something looks like pseudo-science.

            I’m sure there are dozens of soft-[serve]-science studies claiming that obesity is everything you say. To what end? To get a new fat-melting drug through the FDA pipeline. Who funded these studies? What private firms were the scientists associated with? Follow the money.

            Many tens of millions of people have suffered ACEs (and adult trauma, too) and still summon the will to ignore Krispy Kreme on the way home and go to the gym instead. There is nothing easy about self-discipline, but that’s what it’s about except for the tiniest number of people who have a genuine metabolic problem. Sorry, there’s no underlying Oreo addiction.

            It’s ironic that the same people who crow about empowering women and smashing patriarchy also enfeeble them as too weak-willed to refuse the taco drive-thru without a team of psychiatrists and capitalist pharma giants. Or, alternatively they encourage those women to be obese, suffer chronic illness, and land in early graves.

            I guess it’s all a way to thin out (no pun intended) the left-leaning herd!

      • Rendall says

        Only sadists fat-shame. There is literally no reason to do it other than socially accepted cruelty.

        Fortunately it’s no longer socially acceptable to shame and mock the infirm, crippled, feeble-minded, deformed and disfigured.

        • The issue here is that in the current climate, stating ‘losing weight is healthy’ equals fat shaming.

          Additionally, there seems to be a push towards groupthink that if you don’t believe ‘fat is beautiful too’ then you are some sort of fat shaming, sadistic, bigoted, etc etc etc type of person. This is, unfortunately for some, just not the truth. When you allow people to express their views anonymously, they state that people like the ‘Hollywood Chris and Ryan’ posse (Evans, Hemsworth, Pine, Reynolds, Gosling) are more beautiful than people of similar ages who are overweight. This holds up even for non-celebrity photographs. It also holds up when people who were ranked ‘high or very high’ on attractiveness scales have their features photoshopped to increase weight. Suddenly they are less beautiful. This statements, however, are blasphemic and fat shaming, because obese people have a ‘condition that they can’t control,’ which is, of course, dishonest.

          None of this means that someone who is obese doesn’t have equal rights and equal intrinsic value according to our society. It just means that not everyone is beautiful. Not everyone can be as attractive as Scarlett Jo or George Clooney. Not everyone can be as good at soccer as Mia Hamm or Paul Pogba. Not everyone can be as smart as Albert Einstein or Marie Curie.

          And dear sweet baby Jesus, please let’s have no one say all of the above is only due to some form of privilege.

          • Cary D Cotterman says

            I’ve never been morbidly obese, but my weight was getting out of control to the point I was depressed and worried about my health. The first thing I did was to admit to myself that I was FAT (no euphemisms), and that it was 100 percent my own fault for eating too much and not exercising enough (no excuses or blame). As much as I love, and am probably psychologically addicted to, M&Ms, chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, and other such junk I stopped eating that stuff, and cut back on other food, too. I started doing vigorous aerobic exercise at least five times a week. In a year, I lost 56 pounds, which put me at my ideal athletic weight. Anybody of any race, sex, or age (I was 58) can do this! The most important part of the process is the acceptance of full responsibility. The more you blame genes, big bones, society, the patriarchy, or anything/anybody else outside yourself, the lower your chances of success become.

        • Craig Willms says

          @Rendall
          True enough. To open your mouth and cruelly shame someone is flat out wrong. But don’t tell me your instant thought upon seeing a morbidly obese person (or a strung out drug addict) isn’t momentary revulsion. Your brain knows something is not right with them, and you can’t help but wonder if they are somewhat or entirely to blame for their circumstance.

          Circumstances beyond their control may have a role in drug addiction or morbid obesity. They may have a claim that genes or predisposition is the cause, but they can’t blame it on society or the culture or other people. That’s B.S.

      • David of Kirkland says

        So they really are just “sick” fat f**ks? Perhaps some fat people just eat too much and don’t get enough exercise. While disease may be true for a few, it’s unlikely that’s the general reason for Americans being so fat as a group.

      • Canuck Sailor says

        I didn’t see the poster’s comments as being hateful towards any one obese person so much as a comment that societal understanding that fat wasn’t acceptable, that being ‘slim’ and/or in good shape, was. In other words, one of the things that kept people slim was the understanding that ‘slim was in’, fat was not. Peer pressure is a tremendous force, as we have seen many times over – that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad one.
        In this case, the fact that society accepted slim and rebutted fat, meant that fewer children grew up overweight. Given how childhood obesity has lead to major increases in childhood diabetes – a disease pretty much unknown when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s – her comment that the one poor girl’s suffering had overall value to society is understandable – and, dare I say it – acceptable. That doesn’t make it what we should wish for however.
        Society has shown its willingness to accept all sorts of perversities once those perversities lost their inherent shamefulness. Seriously – just how many transgender kids were there in 1975, to name just one of the new orthodoxies that are leading to societal and individual harm.

    • Gayle says

      Really? That poor girl was suffering some kind of trauma at home and saving herself (or enduring) the only way she knew how and your mom and other skinny bitches scapegoated her for that. Yeah, useful.

  5. Freya Astrella says

    Very well written article which struck several chords as a slightly larger lady trying to shed some pounds to become a healthy mother and wife. Thank you for speaking on this issue.

  6. stay out of my business as I push my business on you says

    “So before you pile on this woman speaker, and other extreme FA activists — realize that discrimination caused this.”

    guess that makes all the activism against leftists, due to their ongoing discrimination against whites, males, christians, anybody not left wing, ok also

    • V 2.0 says

      I would mind my own fucking business if this woman was not trying to equate feeding children healthy food with pedophelia. How long before kids start getting taken away from parents because they are at a normal weight and are denied regular doses of Macdonald’s (I wish I was joking about this but in this climate it is not our of the realm of possibility). She and the other HAES advocates are no better than kool aid pushing cult leaders and need to be stopped by any means possible

      Why do I have no pity? I have been her size. But for some healthy shaming and self loathing I would be dead now.

    • asdf says

      Our biggest cause of the national debt is medical bills caused due to overweight citizens and obese citizens. It affects the genetic encoding for babies.

      This is an issue that affects everyone.

  7. We would mind our own business if we didn’t see a deliberate effort to normalize behavior that is counter-productive to the health of the individual and of society. Fat acceptance is just more post-modernist cultural propaganda. The kind which they will use to indoctrinate and push down our throat, starting with our children. Just look at the gender madness. I mind my own business up until I’m told how and what to think.

    • BrannigansLaw says

      “I mind my own business up until I’m told how and what to think.”

      +1

    • BrannigansLaw says

      @Miguel T

      “I mind my own business up until I’m told how and what to think.”

      +1000

    • Defenstrator says

      You are conflating your own prejudices with bad behaviour. I was wrong. You aren’t s troll, just dumb.

  8. E. Olson says

    Good essay. For almost all of human history the biggest health problem facing mankind has been inadequate calories and nutrition to maintain a healthy immune system and bodily strength in a world where most people worked long hours doing heavy manual labor. Thus for most of human history it has been almost impossible for most people to get fat, and as a result having a belly and lard butt were status symbols until about 100 years ago, because they indicated someone of sufficient wealth and success to have a calorie rich diet and little physical activity. Now through the miracle of Capitalism more and more of the world population has an abundance of cheap and tasty food options, and lots of labor saving devices, which means most of us can easily afford to consume lots of calories and to not burn them off, which results in mass-market obesity. Thus it is now easy to be fat and difficult and comparatively rare to be thin and fit, which is why super models and standards of beauty for virtually all races and ethnic groups are now thin.

    This also means for the first time in human history – poor people of all colors and backgrounds have obesity problems and associated health risks, and the theory that discrimination and hatred towards fat people is uniquely white or a legacy of colonialism is therefore pure BS, but then again that same can be said about 99% of Leftist theories of victimology. And as with all theories of victimology, the fatties are blaming everyone but themselves for their obesity, but unlike race or gender based “victim groups”, almost all fat people can do something about their problem if they choose to not be victims – its called exercise and watching what you eat.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @E. Olson

      “Thus for most of human history it has been almost impossible for most people to get fat, and as a result having a belly and lard butt were status symbols until about 100 years ago, because they indicated someone of sufficient wealth and success to have a calorie rich diet and little physical activity.

      …it is now easy to be fat and difficult and comparatively rare to be thin and fit, which is why super models and standards of beauty for virtually all races and ethnic groups are now thin.”

      Yes, but morbid obesity has never been widely considered to be sexually attractive. If you look at ideals of beauty suggested by renaissance paintings such as those of Rubens, those women are healthily plump, not obese. Popular beauty standards with regard to weight are always going to fall within a healthy range. Most people are never going to see dangerously emaciated or dangerously overweight people as ideal sexual partners. Such attraction would be compatible with selective fitness. These body types are only fetishized by small numbers of people with psychological aberrations. I do not agree with the idea that beauty standards are a social construct except within this limited range of healthy body types.

      • E. Olson says

        I agree AW that from a sexual partner point of view extremes in either direction are typically not seen as attractive, but as we have progressively gotten fatter the standard of beauty has progressively gotten thinner for females, so there is a social construction element to it within the healthy range as you suggest.

        The problem for the people such as Rashatwar and trans activists is that shaming and villainizing “normal” people for preferring “healthy” people as mates is not going to shift preferences to grossly fat people or trannies, because their appearance both biologically and psychologically tells most “normal” people they are not good hook-up/partner candidates (unless a lot of alcohol is involved).

        • Jesse says

          E Olson, I cringe every time you use the slur “trannie”, and I’m about as anti-PC as it gets. That word is nearly on par with “nigger”, and you make yourself look like an ass when you use it.

          By all means, use whatever language you want, but expect to be called an asshole when you act like an asshole.

      • Asenath Waite says

        @Peeper Deeper

        Is it shaming someone to not find them attractive? I don’t think a person’s weight reflects at all on their worth as a human being, and don’t think anyone should be ridiculed for it, but it’s just a fact that it will reflect on how attractive they are to others.

    • not playing says

      “(…) which is why super models and standards of beauty for virtually all races and ethnic groups are now thin.”

      I have a different idea for why standards of beauty are women who look like 12 yr old boys.

      • Stephanie says

        NP, the fashion industry’s abundance of gay designers may favour the choice of models who look like men, but the emaciated size also makes them equivalent to walking hangers.

        I don’t think that’s the general populace’s beauty standards, though. Most men seem to prefer a full-chested, round-butt, wide-hipped woman. Then again, Asian women are in high demand, largely because their small frames mean they can more easily pass as underage. You might be able to tell a lot about a man based on what he finds attractive.

        • Denny Sinnoh says

          I love you Stephanie, but that shot about Men who prefer Asian women kinda hurts.
          There is another, very important reason Asian women are in demand. Hoo boy.

        • Jake Dee says

          You are almost there with your explanation for the desirability of Asian women, almost but not quite.
          Why would any man desire a partner who would “pass for underage” ? That’s a ludicrous explanation, he would be publicly shamed as a sex offender, the most reviled of all criminals.
          Your idea about frame and I presume height are not quite on point either. If slight and short was the operating factor behind Asian attractiveness then tall Asian women would be less attractive than Asian dwarfs.
          They are not.
          The word you are looking for which describes this Asian factor is Neotony. The retention of juvenile features in an adult.
          Asians, all other things being equal, basically look younger. This is more attractive to males than females as it is more indicative of fertility.
          I know that evolutionary explanations of human desires can be disturbing, but I believe that it is important to understand that a very long and very deep game is being played here. The ultimate reasons for this game are unclear, but it’s certainly not being played for the personal satisfaction of the pieces on the board.

        • Doug F says

          so you are suggesting that Asian women should not be considered attractive?

        • theunderscoretraveler says

          “. Then again, Asian women are in high demand, largely because their small frames mean they can more easily pass as underage.”

          This seems like you are trying to pass off a vague slur of pedophilia on a community of men you don’t know.

        • Cary D Cotterman says

          Stephanie, I find many Asian women attractive–the ones who have the same “full-chested, round-butt, wide-hipped” look you mentioned, and who look like grownups.

  9. Andrew Melville says

    Rashatwar is just an aggressive, ignorant fatty.

  10. Asenath Waite says

    Well I guess she has a point in that if it weren’t for colonialism, obesity probably wouldn’t be much of a problem for these native peoples.

    • E. Olson says

      AW – ah yes – the good old days before colonialism when the natives regularly enjoyed starvation and often resorted to cannibalism of their own children, but then the white man had come and ruined it all.

    • Defenstrator says

      Nobody is forcing the. To eat western food. Think before you speak instead of letting your ignorant prejudices think for you.

      • not playing says

        Yes, they are being forced to eat Western food. They are denied their hunting and fishing rights and territory.

        • Defenstrator says

          That doesn’t mean they are forced to eat western food. You can still buy those things at the grocery store. Seriously, think before you speak.

          • not playing. says

            There aren’t useful or many grocery stores on my reserve. And yours?

            But those that are there sell Western food, not Moose nose, or Jackfish or seal.

            Such ignorance.

  11. Rashatwar gets invited to college campuses where, for $5,000.00 per appearance, she gets to say that putting a child on a diet is equivalent to rape.

    If she said that giving a child puberty blockers was child abuse she would be banned from every college campus in America and would have to go into hiding due to all the death threats she would recieve.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Hub 312

      I guess the idea now is that any of a child’s whims must be fully indulged regardless of how drastic or potentially harmful they are. Making them do homework would also presumably be abusive.

  12. Morgan Foster says

    “Rashatwar mentions the case of Ellen Maud Bennette, a 64-year-old Canadian woman who died of cancer. Her obituary noted that doctors had stood by for years without delivering proper oncological care, because they were more concerned with hectoring her about her weight.”

    I just spent a little time on Google, trying to find out what type of cancer she had. Oddly, though there is a wealth of material saying that died of cancer, I couldn’t readily find anything written that said anything other than “cancer”.

    That’s a little unusual in today’s world. Most people want to publicize the types of cancer they have in order to promote more research in fighting it.

    Anybody know what kind of cancer she had?

    I think it’s important to know this in the context of this article, because some types of cancer are much harder to detect in the obese than they are in the non-obese.

    If Ellen Maud Bennette had a type of cancer that was hidden from early detection because of her obesity, it would be very unfair to criticize the medical community for failing to immediately catch it.

  13. “But as someone who has survived morbid obesity, and who solidly believes in the benefits of healthy living, I also oppose the way anti-HAES advocates (or, in many cases, trolls) attack or mock those who embrace HAES ideas.”

    People who disagree with you aren’t always activists or trolls. 99% of them are average people who have no idea about these ethereal post modern movements springing up in the fringe-left but are reacting completely normally to an absurd statement with common sense.

    HAES is radical fringe nonsense that most people, luckily haven’t heard about – period.

  14. Being grossly overweight is very damaging to health.
    Men and women do not in general find obviously unhealthy people attractive.
    We should do everything we can to help and support people in maintaining a healthy weight and part of that is a polite and moderate disapproval of people who are substantially overweight without a medical reason.

    • K. Dershem says

      I suspect there’s more wisdom and truth in these three sentences than in Rashatwar’s voluminous body of work. Well said, AJ.

    • TarsTarkas says

      It’s unhealthy to be overweight. Especially if you have a predisposition to diabetes. Like I do. The initial onset was bad enough. Even starving a third of my body weight wasn’t enough to keep me off shots and pills. Now a couple of hospital visits later I’m permanently on both, thanks to my former over-indulgences and lack of control. My wife on the other hand has been a vegetarian (not vegan) for most of her life, leads a vigorous outdoors life, and thus is likely to outlive me by several decades despite being older.

      The administrators who allow this whack job to even get near their students need to be unanimously put on leave and subjected to the native Bali diet (being repeatedly stuffed with food in public to the point of puking, in order to instill a dislike of food).

    • Cary D Cotterman says

      There’s no need to be cruel to fat people, but it’s also a mistake to celebrate their condition and pretend it’s healthy. If persistent “polite and moderate disapproval” from society keeps them aware of the fact that they need to do something to improve themselves physically, it’s appropriate even if it hurts their feelings.

  15. Farris says

    I grew up with what we use to call the Little old Aunts. They were all fat and believed their mission in life was to fatten the men in the family. If you finished a portion on your plate it was immediately replaced without request or consent. When the Aunts would see me and others they would exclaim: “You’re so skinny, just skin and bones.”, “You eat like a bird!” or simply “Eat, eat, eat!” Was I and others being skinny shamed? The point is life is what one makes of it. If one walks around looking to offended, one will find the offense for which one is looking.
    I’ve known who preferred plumb women and women who preferred plumb men. I’ve known over weight people who were very happy with their weight and diet. To Rashatwar, most of the fat shaming you believe you are experiencing is in your head. People are generally to absorbed with their own lives to give you a second thought. Sure people on first glance at you probably think “fat”. But guess what on first glance people probably look at me and think “short and ugly”. No matter I’m how God or genetics intended depending on your belief system. And the world is not taylor made for me. Some shelves are too high but for the tall some door frames are too low. Self image is self created.

  16. Somewoman says

    Society would discriminate against other behaviors that indicate poor self discipline if it were easily identified. But as you note, fat is a magnified sin because everyone can see it.

    We can’t always see who is a drug addict or alcoholic by looking at them but they will be reviled all the same when their problems become known to others.

    • Defenstrator says

      Like you are doing now. That’s the problem with stupid people. The utter lack of self awareness. Although to be fair I have met a number of intelligent people with the same affliction.

  17. bumble bee says

    She can live her life as she sees fit. While being over weight is not ideal and can cause physical issues, it is her body and she can live how ever she likes. There used to be a time, before all the monetization of health and the public shamming that came from it, when a persons health was their own business. Now, because everyone has bought into the health care cost scare, people feel authorized to make judgements about others up to and including not only public shamming but real penalties with life’s necessities like housing, jobs, general attitudes when out in public.

    I understand where she is coming from in trying to stand up to the cultural pressure to look a certain way especially for women. Society does not fat shame males any where near as much as they do females. Bigger men are teddy bears, where bigger women are an abomination. Her attitude of defending her current physical state, is to show that those attempts to shame her, deny her respect by using health as an excuse will not work. There is no reason why she or any other person male or female, cannot decide for themselves their physical state of being. If or when they find that they would like to either change their appearance or not that will be their choice.

    • Somewoman says

      Fat shaming is not fair but that doesn’t mean that being fat is an ok choice to make.

      It’s a lot easier to hide a drug addiction or a sex addiction than a food addiction, and because you can hide them, you can avoid social shaming. But that doesn’t make excessive indulgence into these things a healthy or respectable lifestyle choice.

      • Lightning Rose says

        No one CHOOSES to be fat. It’s a disease of ignorance, one reason why it’s more prevalent among the poor.

        • Cary D Cotterman says

          Being fat is not a disease. Everyone who is fat has chosen to eat too much and exercise too little. Exceptions are extraordinarily rare. Even the poor know why they’re fat.

    • Ama says

      So your position is that she can live her life as she sees fit, however everyone around her shouldn’t be free to live their lives as they see fit and must accommodate her? I agree with the post above that says that most of the shaming (dirty looks) is probably imagined, everyone is always judging everyone else and it’s not all positive. This is reality.

      You mentioned the health cost, but I think most people realize that this isn’t an issue. At one point I believed that maybe smokers and fat people should pay more for insurance, but then what about people that go out in the sun? My issue with your post is that you expect people to bend to her insecurities. No one should be forced to be polite, speak or act a certain way unless it’s business.

      PS: Bigger men are teddy bears because the bigger man will win the fight and protect the woman. What does the bigger woman have to offer?

      • Asenath Waite says

        @Ama

        Also in general men just naturally care about the physical appearance of women more than women care about the physical appearance of men. It’s not anyone’s fault. Plus, women still do care a great deal about the physical appearance of men, generally. If a fat guy is with a beautiful woman he must have some other important things going for him that she values enough to overlook his appearance. I suspect for women a man’s height is often more of a determining factor for attraction than his physique. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        • somewoman says

          Barring people who have been married for a while, I almost never see a fat guy with a hot girl.

        • Keithy76 says

          Asenath Waite. Thankyou, some good points there.
          I guess the point about men’s height, could invoke some feeling of safety and security in a woman.

          Outside of physical appearance, the deeper character traits, psychological development, and emotional intelligence can invoke a deeper sense of say, “potential” of a man, kindness, openness, sociability, self control, maturity etc.
          Woman being capable of being more attuned or sensitive to their own inner experience, can give them a felt sense of others that overlooks the surface level, or superficial social standards. More depth, than surface.
          Personally as a guy, a woman’s age and physical appearance plays little to no part in my interest. By simply accepting, and being open to women in general, as they are, you can sense the natural feminity in a woman. A beautiful thing. Stress in all forms, has deep consequences
          on societies as a whole. Individual learning and self-responsibility is key. That’s the age old ‘spiritual’ dialogue and truth.

      • somewoman says

        Yeesh. Speak for yourself. Most fat guys get bullied too. And once they lose weight, they feel much better about themselves and do better dating.

        Muscular guys and tall guys look like they could protect you. Fat guys look like slobs who you need to feed a lot.

        • Asenath Waite says

          @somewoman

          “Yeesh. Speak for yourself.”

          Are you replying to me? It doesn’t seem like your comment contradicts mine. I said that women do care a great deal about men’s physical appearance.

      • Asenath Waite says

        @Peeper Deeper

        Ama said that a heavier man has one advantage over a thinner man in that he will likely be physically stronger, which is an attribute that women might find attractive in men (I’m not sure to what extent this is true). By contrast a heavier woman doesn’t have that same advantage over a thinner woman in relation to her attractiveness to men. Ama was not saying that an overweight woman can’t have anything to offer in a relationship (I assume), just that her weight in itself is not something that would enhance her attractiveness.

        Maybe this could be somewhat analogous to the fact that shortness can be seen as an attractive quality in women, but never in men.

        • Ama says

          Thanks, AW.
          @Peeper, I didn’t mean that a fat woman has nothing to offer at all. I only meant that men can use weight to their advantage in a way. Probably could have been worded differently.

          AW, I think you are right that men value looks more than women do and it can be explained via evolution because men only care about the best genetics for their offspring (symmetrical face, eyc) whereas women actually have to raise the kid and so care more about status and whether the father will stick around or not.

        • Stephanie says

          Adding on Ama and AW’s point, fat women are far more likely to experience complications in pregnancy and to need a c-section, which from an evolutionary standpoint drastically decreases their fitness and esteem in the eyes of men and other women. This may explain why men are less tolerant of fat women than women are of fat men.

          Then again, men have realistic perceptions of women’s attractiveness, while women see 85% of men as below average (and 0% as most attractive), so women are harsher on men for their looks. There was a recent Quillette article about this.

      • Defenstrator says

        Well she can’t offer anything a regular weight woman can’t also offer, and does so while inflicting a larger grocery bill and a lower quality of life to any man that likes to walk places. Not seeing the upside.

    • MMS says

      @Bumble Bee: While it is true that some long married woman do not much mind a fat husband so long as he is a good husband (and the reverse if often not true); generally women underestimate how much weight and looks effect men today. Men generally like women and sex and generally get less of it if they are not as fit and attractive.

      Women just feel better thinking men have it easier. They don’t.

    • Lightning Rose says

      “There used to be a time, before all the monetization of health and the public shaming that came from it, when a person’s health was their own business.”

      Hear, HEAR!!!

      Truthfully, the Elites fear fat because it’s mentally judged as a mark of lower social class, and in their minds associated with sloth and stupidity. Working-class folks don’t fat-shame, they tend to take people as they come and consider it none of their business. It’s Our Betters, who intend to muster us into compelled collectives (for your own good, dear!) who believe anyone not of their strenuous “Health!” religion is a burden to the rest. Just like they shudder at the idea of falling to “Middle Class,” most of them would rather be shot than get fat. At the same time they hide their own booze, weed, and Rx drug habits very carefully . . .

    • Doug F says

      She can live her life as she wants, and pay the price for decisions made as do we all.

      I think all people have intrinsic value. I do not think that an obese person has no value. I also think they are making decisions that are risking their health. And I do not find them attractive.

  18. the gardner says

    My sister was morbidly obese and never could do anything about it. She developed postmenopausal uterine cancer but was unaware of her hugely swollen uterus because she was so fat. Then she hemorrhaged and nearly died. She was stage 4, multiple metastases. Chemo and radiation were brutal, gave her a miserable extra year of life. She died at 67. Excessive fat tissue secretes too much estrogen which can lead to hormone sensitive cancers.

    This lady defending obesity is just sad. And wrong. It is a problem for others to be seated on a plane or bus next to a very obese person. They should be required to pay for two seats. Or is that discrimination?
    Unlike my sister, I have watched what I eat and exercised all my life. The genetic propensity is there. It’s a constant thing, but I like fitting into nice clothes, so it’s worth it. And I’m not bitter and blaming others. Where do I go for my $5k/ hr speaking gig?

    • E. Olson says

      Gardner – sorry about your sister. Given the general quality of your comments, however, I would definitely vote to have you as a guest speaker. Unfortunately, I don’t sense that you have enough victim status or total detachment from reality to attract the big speaking fees. You need to start advocating free college, free healthcare, open borders, blank slates, checking privilege, and 12 years until we melt if you are ever going to make it big.

    • not playing says

      Even siblings can have a different genetic mix, and, given your attitude toward your sister, I’m wondering if there was not an aspect of abuse toward her in your family. Especially women who suffer sexual abuse often overeat to handle their fear and stress about that, and also as protection, to appear undesirable.

      • the gardner says

        Your suggestion is disgusting. Not even a bona fide psychiatrist would make such a leap based on such little info.

        • not playing says

          But I’m not a bona fide psychiatrist (whatever that is…). I’m someone who has done a lot of reading of how children cope to survive an abuse situation. Many turn to overeating, and drink or drugs.

        • Canuck Sailor says

          So we’ve determined that you get upset over things you don’t agree with, but don’t offer a factual rebuttal. The fact is, females DO overeat to make themselves feel less desirable. Your disgust changes nothing. From an article in the Atlantic: “Researchers are increasingly finding that, in addition to leaving deep emotional scars, childhood sexual abuse often turns food into an obsession for its victims. Many, like White, become prone to binge-eating. Others willfully put on weight to desexualize, in the hope that what happened to them as children will never happen again.”
          And if you have the intelligence to comprehend them, the following: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19845087 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3537963/

      • Doug F says

        So your best guess is that most obese people were sexually abused? Did you have some study that would support that?

        Your ability to define any of a person’s woes as the result of some form of victimhood is indeed impressive.

        • Canuck Sailor says

          Less then five minutes with google -From an article in the Atlantic: “Researchers are increasingly finding that, in addition to leaving deep emotional scars, childhood sexual abuse often turns food into an obsession for its victims. Many, like White, become prone to binge-eating. Others willfully put on weight to desexualize, in the hope that what happened to them as children will never happen again.”
          And if you have the intelligence to comprehend them, the following: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19845087 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3537963/

        • Canuck Sailor says

          Less than five minutes on google found the following – From an article in the Atlantic: “Researchers are increasingly finding that, in addition to leaving deep emotional scars, childhood sexual abuse often turns food into an obsession for its victims. Many, like White, become prone to binge-eating. Others willfully put on weight to desexualize, in the hope that what happened to them as children will never happen again.”
          And if you have the intelligence to comprehend them, the following: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19845087 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3537963/

  19. Lert345 says

    I think once you go over a certain BMI, diets don’t work. Bariatric surgery might be your only choice.

    With over half the population overweight to some degree, it does warrant saying that people need to lose weight. Healthcare is just too expensive.

    • the gardner says

      @Lert345—one type of bariatric surgery performed today consists of reducing the size of the stomach to about the size of a banana. Eating anything other than tiny portions results in nausea and regurgitate. And liquids and solids can’t be consumed at the same time. For a person to commit to this irreversible way of eating for the rest of his or her life requires careful evaluation and a determination that other means of weight loss are never going to succeed. A tremendous amount of weight can be lost, and theoretically it’s not regainable. But alas, people figure out how to cheat, and some weight gain occurs. I think it’s OK for health insurance to cover this procedure. The rest of us healthy, exercising types pay higher premiums to cover these procedures, and I’m OK with giving recalcitrant obese people one last, very expensive chance. But I think there should be some sort of financial penalty when people regain some of their weight. There should be a serious incentive to keep it off.

      • Lightning Rose says

        Eat that banana and you’ll keep getting fat anyway. The equation is as follows:

        Carbohydrates = blood glucose = insulin secretion = fat storage.

        Even if you had your stomach stapled and ran 26 miles a day, you cannot outrun insulin resistance which varies with genetics. This simple fact being kept from most of us for the past 60 years is appalling. Every feedlot manager knows how to fatten animals!

        • the gardner says

          Umm, my PhD is in nutrition. Thanks for the lecture. I think you need to take a few more classes to broaden your understanding of biochemistry and physiology.

        • amie says

          Finally, someone getting to the root of the issue. I was hesitant to point out to Anna she has missed this crucial elemlent, to ask Anna to focus on carbohydrates causing insulin resistance, causing metabolic disorder, as the main mechanism behind obesity, whatever adjunct role mental health issues have played in her own history. And the equally important message that you cannot outrun insulin resistance.

    • not playing says

      Most persons who undergo gastric bypass have a period of “honeymoon” and then it fails. Read Yoni Freedhoff and Sharma for factual talk. Some obese/type 2 persons have success with a ketosis diet, but that too has it’s limits as gorging is not dealt with, and eventually that fails too because WHY they overeat has not been dealt with. Even in best circumstances, diabetes 2 is not curable.

      • E. Olson says

        NP – glad you brought this up, because severe obesity is almost never just a “genetic” or “lifestyle” issue, but almost always some form of mental illness that leads to “eating as self-medication”. Gastric bypass is most often used on the morbidly obese, but doesn’t solve the mental illness problem.

        • not playing says

          Trying to survive in a women-hating culture is not mental illness.

          • MMS says

            @not playing –

            “Trying to survive in a women-hating culture is not mental illness”

            You are either trolling or made a rash and foolish statement. Try objectively watching TV, read print Ads, go to your local High School and look around at who is excelling and taking part in educational enrichment. Whatever happened in the past, this society is not hating women. This society is falling over itself to laud people for for their gender if that gender is female…

          • E. Olson says

            Any Western woman who honestly believes that modern culture is woman-hating is truly suffering from mental illness whether they are fat or not.

            “Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.” H.L. Mencken

          • Defenstrator says

            Oh, you live is Saudi Arabia do you? It certainly can’t be a western nation. Those are all biased in favour of women these days, so if women have a problem it’s on them.

        • not playing says

          It can be treated but not cured. Whatever the treatment, one needs to stay on it for their life.

          • Sydney says

            @not playing

            You ARE playing…with words. Diabetes 2 is a lifestyle illness. Alter your lifestyle – forever – and you will cease to exhibit the symptoms, which is the same as a cure. Your blood sugar will return to normal. Diabetes 2 is ‘lying in wait’ for ANY of us who fail to eat properly and exercise. So if by ‘treatment’ you mean balanced nutrition and as little processed food and sugar as possible, it’s what we’re all required to do in order to remain healthy.

            If you decide that you want to continue to eat poorly and consume a high-sugar diet, then insulin ‘treatment’ is a crutch and a band-aid. It manages your poor choices, which express as the disease we call diabetes. If you eat and live properly you can live pharma-free.

      • amie says

        It is indeed reversible with a keto or LCHF diet, but once metabolic disorder has set in, it becomes very difficult to re-set.

  20. not playing says

    “(…) Rashatwar’s respectful posture toward Indigenous peoples.

    You mean “(…) using Indigenous people for woke points.” So *%^# fed up with the left and their use of this blatant racist tool.

    • Closed Range says

      Since a few people have been blaming sexism for people’s body image problems, I think it is worth pointing out that when men and women are asked what they think is the ideal body shape, the results are quite surprising.

      http://time.com/65901/how-men-and-women-differ-when-drawing-up-the-perfect-body/

      Apparently men’s ideal of a woman is somewhat curvier than what women think is ideal. Now why could that be? A guess could be that men spend a lot less time looking at women’s fashion magazines that seem to promote exclusively the very thin shapes, and are less influenced by media.

      Ive heard anecdotally that the converse is also true – men’s ideal body shape for a man is much more muscly than what women imagine as an ideal shape for a man, but I don’t have any references. Again, could it be that men and boys spend more time looking at superhero things with muscular heroes?

    • @not playing – “using Indigenous people for woke points.” finally a point of yours I agree with!

  21. markbul says

    If you distort your own body so grotesquely that it disgusts other people, don’t complain to us. Human blubber IS disgusting. Any rational person would be revolted by it. You may feel that’s it’s merely pathetic, and you may feel compassion for someone so damaged that they let themselves get that way, but normalizing the grotesque don’t change anything.

    • not playing says

      We are genetically different, all of us, and some peoples are predisposed to higher body weight. And a large percentage of overweight are women. This is partly genetic, and partly a response to sexism. Women’s bodies are NEVER right.

      Do you drink? Every had too much, too many times? Sort out your own illness first.

      • Asenath Waite says

        @not playing

        Sexism, or male sexual preference? I can see how that could contribute to women being underweight, but how does it contribute to them being overweight?

        • not playing says

          We are the child-bearing sex. Our bodies are fatter for that purpose, whether we ever become pregnant or not. Also, when women age our bodies are predisposed to being fatter to protect our bones and organs. Fat holds estrogen.

          It’s possible that it’s very thin women who are unnatural. Women frequently lose their menses if they train and diet hard. That’s mother nature saying “no”.

          In some cultures, being fat is desired because it suggests wealth (enough to be able to eat a lot), so fat women are considered very desirable. It’s then genetic?

          • Asenath Waite says

            @not playing

            That all sounds reasonable (with the caveat that I don’t think being dramatically overweight is considered desirable in any cultures. There is a range of reasonably healthy body types within which different cultures might select different ideal beauty standards). However, I’m still not sure how sexism would contribute to women being overweight.

          • somewoman says

            Plenty of very thin women are perfectly natural. My grandmother never weighted over 100 lbs when she wasn’t pregnant. She had 7 healthy children and lived till 90.

            I’m not perfect, but I am naturally thin too. I have to deliberately gain a little bit of weight to have a regular menstrual cycle (which I did in order to get pregnant), but my husband pretty much has to look at me and I get knocked up. I’m like my grandma.

  22. Etiamsi omnes says

    I wonder if those big fat stone-carved prehistoric Venuses were meant to be displayed so as to discourage other people from overeating? Or maybe they were for everyone to sit around in that old cave and laugh at? I guess not…

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Etiamsi omnes

      They were fertility symbols with grossly exaggerated features indicating pregnancy similar to the virility symbols of males with phalluses larger than their entire bodies. Neither were likely to have been meant to be realistic depictions of beauty standards of the time, if that is your implication.

      • Etiamsi omnes says

        What if fertility WAS the real canon of beauty to them?
        Renoir’s female nude, all a-ripple with fat? Mexicans who will call out “Mamacita!” as a compliment to a woman you would be more than a little embarassed to be seen walking with? All I’m saying is there is a cultural element, here.

        • Asenath Waite says

          @Etiamsi omnes

          I talked about this above; there is a cultural element to be sure, but it’s within a range of healthy body types. Renoir’s or Rubens’ women are voluptuous but not unhealthily overweight. A woman or man with the actual proportions of those ancient fertility symbols would not be fertile, they would be dead.

    • not playing says

      Well, she’s been fat for a long time. She has an education of this that didn’t come from a text-book.

  23. It is obvious to any honest moral person that being mean to a fat person is unjustified. But you said more than that. Let me summarize the rest of what I hear you saying.

    1) If I choose to take actions that are unhealthy, that’s my choice. (Everyone nods in agreement)

    2) If there are negative externalities like a burdened medical system, family left behind when I die, or convincing others that my dangerous delusion is a truth, then those actions are justified because we all do things that are bad for the environment or to the ones we love. (Huh? How do other people’s bad actions justify yours?)

  24. Sydney says

    OK, I know it’s not perfect but I had to give it a try:

    Jack Sprat could eat no fat
    Sonalee Rashatwar could eat no lean

    They killed on the college lecture circuit
    Showing their infographics upon a screen

    Jack’s low BMI slammed industrial-food oppression
    Sonalee’s bulges fought hegemonic white power

    So between their two SJW diatribes you see
    Intersectional knives sharpened in the ivory tower

  25. Equating or even comparing foods to drugs ignores the vital distinction that all food cravings are subsections of the general craving for food we all have, and MUST have, which is hunger and appetite. We all need food, but not drugs.

    • Lightning Rose says

      We all need FOOD–that is, fats and proteins from animals, salt, and water. What we do NOT need is ANY carbohydrates, especially highly processed, denatured and engineered to be addictive. Applies as well to artificial vegetable oils. I realize this sounds radical, but historically and biochemically it just happens to be true. 98% of our evolution took place during the great glaciations, when no plants we could eat were available and long, long before agriculture.

      Consider:

      Before 1850 nearly NO ONE had constant access to anything other than green and root vegetables; small sour fruit only for a few weeks in season annually; dairy products, meat and fish. There was some flour from stone-ground wheat, but deficiency diseases of the poor who ate mostly bread and little meat and dairy were commonplace. Obesity was rare, diabetes rarer, and coronary artery disease was literally unknown until the 1920’s. Go look it up. Seriously!

      The very convenient, mass-produced starchy and sugar-laced foods we’ve consumed in the greatest quantities since WWII are the ones causing the problem, not the traditional foods of native cuisines. The curve of obesity rose steeply after the “low fat” diet became the “official” recommendation in the 1970’s.

      Scholarly References, heavily annotated with reference to primary studies:

      Weston A. Price, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.”

      Gary Taubes, “Good Calories, Bad Calories.”

      Nina Teicholz, “The Big Fat Surprise.”

      Today even many people with degrees from acclaimed universities have no working knowledge of their own biochemistry, and are subject to the whims and fads of “experts” who have long been in the pockets of industry, including the pharmaceutical industry. Spend a couple of months getting to know which food does what inside your cells; then shop and consume accordingly. Don’t wait for this to come from the “top down;” it never will because “the masses” can’t or won’t change their habits. And if they ever did, the entire food production system would come crashing down . . .

      • Closed Range says

        Lightning Rose

        Actually, until the 19th century, people didn’t consider most vegetables as fit for humans – it was the fodder for horses and cattle. It was bread that was the main staple of people’s diet.

        The French even has a revolution in 1789 largely because the price of bread had become intolerable despite there being enough veggies to feed everyone (it is one of the ironies of history that is well explained in Schama’s history of the French revolution, despite that book being a tough read in other places). Some farmers would sell large quantities of veggies for barely a few meals worth of bread. It sounds insane today, but it made sense historically as it would be deeply humiliating to eat animal fodder. The population in Paris largely lived off only bread, and the majority of the population was anaemic.

        Ive heard older people tell me that when they were evacuated as children in ww2 they were forced to eat carrots which they had never touched before, as their meal would have been bread, butter and some meat.

        I think the one dietary improvement everyone can make without any loss is to drastically reduce the amount of bread in your diet.

        • Rev. Wazoo! says

          Living on only bread – only anything else – is unwise but having shed my weight problems by living in Japan and eating rice 3 times a day but generally small portins of everything and now eating bread 3 times a day on the French border with generally small portions of everythihn, I can attest there’s no sense demonizing bread, rice, potatoes etc. as staples. Perhaps as thrown on top of anyway too much food but as a staple taking thenolace of too much food, they’re fine as French and Japanese populations demonstrate.

          For every person there’s an amount to eat (changing with age, type of foods, total exercise etc) so that they will neither gain nor lose weight. More than that and they gain weight; less than that and they lose weight.

          For people needing to lose weight the first thing to do is learn how to neither gain nor lose weight. This is much, much more important than generally recognized. Regaining weight after having lost it is nothing more than continuing a long-term pattern of always alternating between gaining and losing weight. If you can’t keep the same weight for 2 or 3 months right now, how can you expect to do so after losing weight?

          Do that for a few months, staying to a 1 kilo range (2.2 lbs) then occaisionally lose a little weight, not more than a kilo in any one week and some weeks none at all.
          BUT never gain weight. Repeat, never gain weight; never overeat and sometimes undereat a little.

          If you never gain weight and sometimes lose weight then your weight will reduce to where you don’t want to lose any more and you can simply sail along not gaining weight.

          I realize this is a somewhat tautological statement but is both self-definitially true and pertinent to the discussion and the tautology it highlights is the kind of obvious thing neglected in most discussions of this topic.

          Most people know this but look for magic diets where you can eat apparently more than you need. Forget all that. Use common sense. Most people took 10 years to gain their extra weight so take a long time to remove it. It’s the trajectory that matters more thanthe current weight. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel knowing you’re moving in the right direction even if it might take a while to get there.

      • amie says

        Well summed up. Strongly endorse your reading references.

  26. Ironic that the poor in our somewhat capitalist society are at risk of dying from obesity, while the working class in socialist societies feared starvation.

    So extreme is the success of capitalism, that a generation addicted to their iPhones and Starbucks have convinced themselves they are oppressed by the very system that provides them with a life of luxury that beyond the wildest dreams of every King, emperor, sultan, pope, caliph, or khagan who had the misfortune to live during the other 99.999999% of human history. It’s almost enough to make one want to grab a little red book and a Kalashnikov and join their little suicidal crusade.

    As for the subject of this article, perhaps an agreement ought to be wrought in which the state subsidizes her Twinkie addiction provided she refrains from bothering sane and civilized people with her nonsense ever again. Given her Vader-ian resperation, the taxpayers should not be on the hook for too long.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @HS

      That was a touch sardonic. But as you say it should be sobering to consider that in terms of health, longevity, comforts, amusements, security, and several other things, the modern welfare queen has it vastly better than Elisabeth I.

  27. Ray Andrews says

    It is strange that the obese do not yet have Official Victim Status. They’ve been trying for it for decades, maybe their day has come? This person can leverage their queerness and non-binaryness, which already have Status, so hx fattness might just enter the club almost on the coat tails of the other Intersectionalities.

  28. Cedric says

    Man, this is an intense Quillette Comments Section. Clearly, a very hot-button topic.

    To me, the real controversy laid out in this article isn’t whether or not being overweight should be vilified, or that overweight folks should be shunned. Rather, it is that someone with Rashatwar’s seemingly un-scientific health-is-a-social-construct message is lecturing medical students and other health experts.

    • Closed Range says

      Correct – the real scandal of our times generally is not that some people have crazy ideas (they always did and always will) but that our institutions are allowing these ideas to spread, and are not standing up for the core values that built our societies in the first place.

  29. Zachary Snowdon Smith says

    Much respect to the author for her successful weight loss.

  30. MMS says

    Dealing with over-weight is very difficult. Roughly only 5% of obese folks are able to maintain their desired weight for a five year period if they can achieve that weight at all to begin with. But it is possible.

    I think one of the reasons people are less charitable to overweight vs. other challenges and disabilities is because it is a least possible (even if very difficult) for an obese person to obtain and maintain a healthy weight. Nothing, no matter how challenging can overcome shortness for example.

    Also, consider this:

    What if a medical professional could say to a disabled person (lets say someone permanently confined to a wheel chair). “If you eat much less than you would like, and eat more foods you do not prefer such as plain vegetables and much less/ almost none of food you do especially like such as candy and make this sacrifice for the rest of your life, you will rise up out of that chair in one year and will be able to walk and even run (maybe not super fast but you will be able to run) for the rest of your life…

    Are you telling me the person confined to a wheelchair would not take that deal… This may be to a degree why the Obese are not given the same consideration as people with other immutable challenges…

    Hell, I take that deal everyday simply to be in generally decent shape.

  31. Lightning Rose says

    Obesity is caused by a dysregulation of the body’s energy balance, characterized by high blood glucose and high circulating insulin, resulting in cellular insulin resistance and a propensity to store most ingested energy as fat. This is where genetic tendencies meet genetic expression in an age when most people are eating to excess of cheap, addictive, refined starches and sugars, ALL of which are digested as glucose. All else is downstream from there.

    Not only is this modern, processed diet biochemically profoundly incorrect for the human species, it has never been eaten before by ANY species. For 50 years, as a result of Ancel Keyes’ “diet-heart hypothesis” now long since debunked, we’ve been exhorted by the USDA, AHA, etc. to eat skim milk, lots of grains and flours, unlimited sugar and HFCS and industrial soybean oil. Well, if you want to fatten hogs that’s a really efficient way to go about it, and our population shows the results. Fat hogs you knock on the head to eat; fat humans are stuck with all the stigmas and inconveniences of living as a metabolic trainwreck.

    I find it curious that right now the WHO and all their loyal minions are shrilly exhorting the world toward a “plant-based” diet. We can’t digest cellulose, folks. It takes a pickup truck load of “fruits and veggies” to equal the far more readily-absorbed nutrients found in a single hamburger. The extremists would have us completely give up animal fats and proteins that are known to be necessary for healthy human life, especially brain development and reproduction. Our stature, bone density, IQ and brain size have all been SHRINKING since the advent of grain agriculture starting 12,000 years ago. Our anatomy has REGRESSED from that of our distant ancestors.

    Please take an open-minded look at the best information available from the pages of evolutionary biology before deciding what to eat. It isn’t what you think, or what “they” are telling us. The cure for obesity and associated diseases is in your own hands, but it’s not PC or “virtuous” and it’s not cheap or easy. What it WILL do is keep you out of the hands of the pharmaco-industrial complex.

    If instead you’d like to make a disease of cultivated ignorance a social justice issue, knock yourself out.

    • the gardner says

      @LR— I really like a lot of your comments so excuse me when I have to note you come across as someone who has done a lot of reading of the popular press nutrition info and has decided you are an expert. I don’t want to come across as haughty, but do you really think you know more than someone with three degrees in nutrition and 30 yrs of research experience? If humans are not supposed to eats carbs, we would be evolutionarily disadvantaged. Doesn’t it make sense that the best chance of survival depends on the ability eat a mix of just about anything? Carbs are ubiquitous, they don’t have to be chased, and we have molars for grinding plant foods.
      Obesity is an imbalance of energy intake, first law of thermodynamics. What modern mankind lacks is the necessity to move. The energy out side of the equation is too low. Refined carbs vs complex carbs, calorie for calorie. not different. Refined carbs taste good and go down easy, but 100 cal of sucrose is no different from 100 cals of starch. Actually, simple starch will stimulate more insulin secretion than an equal amount of sucrose. (Sucrose=gluose+fructose; starch=all glucose).
      PS— meat animals are fattened up by keeping them immobile.

      • Lightning Rose says

        Sorry, gardner, that “first law of thermodynamics” line is extremely out of date. Anyone pushing that nowadays is in danger of looking downright quaint. The equation is NOT and has never been “calories in equals calories out” as (1) no human individual or tribe could ever eat instinctively to that degree of precision; (2) it’s completely impossible to burn any fat while you have high circulating glucose. This is why “chronic cardio” in the presence of carbohydrates fails. (3) The human body is not a bomb calorimeter by a long shot. Fat storage is ENDOCRINE.

        I am no “expert,” far from it; but I AM one of a great many who’ve solved their own “weight problem” by eliminating SAD-CRAP* from their diet. While the plural of anecdotes is famously not “data,” some very interesting phenomena are certainly coming to light in spite of the best efforts of “experts.” You need to remember that non-specialists are not morons. I also spend a lot of time with wildlife and livestock which gives me a different perspective than the average apartment dweller. BTW those “immobile” cattle and sheep sure take a heluva lot of chasing and rounding up out there on the Front Range . . . 😉

        Not to belittle your credentials, but people LIKE you whose grants have been written, and tenure paid for the past 50 years by Big Ag, Big Pharma and Big Gov’t. have a vested interest in the status quo and will continue to say whatever it takes to keep those checks coming until we sink into a sickening sweet swamp of our own blood glucose. And sop it up with metformin on the taxpayers’ dime, all the while shaming the whole population for their sloth, gluttony and inexcusably unsexy deplorability.

        I DO believe history will show that the easy availability of cheap, stable, transportable refined starches and refined sugar was responsible for the explosion in the human population that took place from roughly 1880 through the 1990s; unrestricted feeding and weight gain at first chose for enhanced fertility. But we are now reaping the whirlwind with a different list of deficiency problems than the traditional diseases of poverty such as rickets, beriberi etc. Today we have ADHD, anxiety, autoimmune problems, celiac, dementia and depression for just the short list before we get to CVD, diabetes, and intractable obesity.

        The very week a rather lame debate took place on an evening news show regarding the ketogenic diet, stock in Weight Watchers fell like a stone by 35%. It was passed off as less Oprah Winfrey influence in the organization of late, but I don’t believe that for a minute. Born in the extreme-athlete and bodybuilding communities, “biohacking” is now a “thing.” If something doesn’t work, you don’t repeat doing more of it, harder. You try something ELSE.

        *SAD-CRAP: “Standard American Diet, Carbohydrates Refined And Processed.”

        • the gardner says

          @LR—-the first law of thermodynamics is out of date. You quote Weston A Price and Gary Taubes. OK, professor, you are the expert. You good now??

        • Ama says

          I’m sure most people know that energy in equals energy out is a bit simplistic, but you have to agree that if you are gaining weight and eat less, then you will gain less weight. Similarly if your wight is stable and you eat more or less than you will gain or lose weight. It’s pretty simple really. I think excercise fails for weight loss because I can go walk for an hour and a half and still burn less calories than a snickers bar.

          • the gardner says

            Expend 500 cals/day more than you eat and you will lose weight. Math does work.

        • not playing says

          Not promoting this or validating it (I have no need) but I would like to know what you think? These people say they are successfully treating (they say curing which I think is wrong teminology) Type 2 with this diet. Well, it’s what Banting developed, essentially. Before insulin. Curious to know what you think Rose and Gardner.

          https://www.dietdoctor.com/

          • the gardner says

            The low carb diet has been around for a while, it once was the Atkins diet now resurrected as the keto diet. New money to be made by the diet charlatans.
            To lose weight, any diet will work. The challenge is keeping it off. This is where most people fail. Following a diet that deprives you of entire food groups and forces you to eat differently from what you enjoy is not going to be easy to follow for a life time. Better to learn portion control—- eat whatever you like, just half as much, and exercise. I know, it’s not sexy and new. But here’s a memorable line from one of my classes— “It is easier to change your sex than your eating habits”.
            There are zealots who insist I simply am wrong, they’ve lost 30 lbs on the keto diet so they know what they are talking about. um-hmmm. Let’s see you in 6 mos.

          • Stephanie says

            The gardener, of course if you go back to eating junk you’ll put the weight back on. The concept is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. That is indeed difficult when sugar is addictive, but so is portion control. Excercise makes you hungry for more calories than you burn off, so isn’t effective for weight loss as much as for general health. We’re best off weaning ourselves from the crack we’re surrounded by, and raising our kids without that addiction as much as possible.

          • Lightning Rose says

            Well . . . 😉

            Go to your GP and get the usual bloodwork done, including triglycerides and A1c.

            Go home and eat a diet very low (under 20 grams) of digestible carb daily for 3 months. It actually isn’t difficult at all, and you’ll almost never feel really hungry. Fast some, too.

            Go back to your GP and get your bloodwork done again.

            Whoa . . . !

            The information is readily available above linked so I won’t repeat the details here.

        • Brother says

          After ~10yrs of research and finding what works for me, I agree a lot with @LR.

          And all calories are not the same.

          @Gardner, interested to hear your educated take on Damon Gameau’s movie documentary ‘That Sugar Film’? Frightening what happened to him in, and ironically on the same amount of calories.

    • amie says

      Again. If only people would take heed of all this.

  32. E. Olson says

    Since the speech in question was at St. Olaf college in Minnesota, a little Nordic humor in the form of a very relevant Ole and Lena story:

    Ole goes to his doctor one day and says: “Doc, my love life with Lena isn’t so good, what should I do?”

    The doctor looked a Ole and responded: “Ole, you could stand to lose some weight, which might restore your vigor and make you more attractive to Lena. I recommend you start walking 10 miles per day for a week and then call me to let me know how it is going.”

    Ole agrees and one week later calls the doctor as prescribed. The doctor asks: “So how is your love life now Ole?” to which Ole replies: “How the heck would I know, I’m 70 miles from home.”

    • Sydney says

      @E Olson

      Saw that one coming from a mile away (…) but am still laughing (genuinely!).

  33. Andrew Simpson says

    I’m patiently waiting for the day when skinny, old, balding, grey-haired, myopic males with hairy ears can also indulge in being a privileged class that is oppressed by, er, some historic culture or other.

  34. Pingback: Fat Acceptance – the sad truth – The Fat Man Journal

    • I wondered how Ms Rashatwar might react if she ever listened to ‘Sweaty Betty’ and decided she would probably explode. I meant it metaphorically, but then unfortunately thought of Monsieur Creosote.
      But:-
      I will not Google Monsieur Creosote (again). And neither should anyone else.
      I will not link to the YouTube Monsieur Creosote video. And neither should anyone else.
      I will not even MENTION Monsieur Creosote again. And neither should anyone else.
      I am very happy we live in such enlightened times that NOBODY will do any of the above.
      Monsieur who?

      • TarsTarkas says

        That scene was the most disgusting thing I ever saw or ever expect to see outside of a war zone. Just thinking about it makes me want to . . no I won’t say it.

  35. Colin Mockton says

    Fat acceptance + natural selection = self limiting problem

  36. Julia says

    Why doesn’t Rashatwar follow her own ideas? Since health is a social construct and blood pressure is caused by weight stigma, she should stop taking meds and move to a deserted island. Nobody’s around, no stigma.

    But there is a strong chance that spending some time on the island is going to cause her losing both extra weight and her audience, and she wouldn’t be able to make money as a “victim of fatphobia” anymore. Let’s appreciate her sacrifice staying obese!

  37. C Young says

    If health is socially constructed, so is death.
    If death is socially constructed, everything is, including matter itself.
    This is a useful reductio of Postmodernism. It reduces it to sort of nonsense it’s only possible to believe under the influence of LSD.
    Good work Sonalee.

  38. Philip says

    The problem is not with this woman’s self deception it’s with the institutions which accept her deception as truth. We are entering an age where science is being replaced by ideology and truth is being sacrificed for wokeness and the very institutions which were once the custodians of knowledge have traded it in for fashion. The end of this is not good for anyone.

  39. the gardner says

    I’d say Rashatwar has invented the perfect rationalization for her obesity (it’s not my fault— it’s yours!) and is cashing in on it. And suckers are lining up to pay her.

  40. Grant says

    There is a real cost to obesity just like other diseases of impulse control. Our bodies, when they are young will resist the effects but as we age the behavior takes its toll. Think of the monetary cost of obesity in lost productivity, medical care and disability. This women is justifying her lifestyle so that she won’t feel guilty about depending on others when she can no longer care for herself.
    Life is a difficult road. We certainly don’t need to mock or humiliate people but some caring prodding, encouragement mixed with a bit less tolerance of our selfish habits can help all of us lead happier lives.

  41. not playing says

    I will now retire to a private viewing of Babette’s Feast.

    • Graham. says

      Better hurry up, or she’ll eat it before you get there.

      • not playing says

        It’s a thoughtful, provocative study on Norwegian hair-shirt’ism.

  42. Graham says

    Kind of fascinating that the racist revenge-cum-blame-shift psychotic fantasies of the mentally ill are being given such coverage. But certainly not healthy, in any way, shape(less) or (de)form. And North America wonders why it is having problems in colleges with deranged PC madness…

  43. Sama says

    Even if Sonalee Rashatwar is peddling self-deluded PC fantasies about her weight, after reading the fat-shaming, mean-spirited, self-righteous comments from your readers, I’d still rather listen to her any day. I’ll never understand why people think it’s OK to say anything to fat people. It’s like they never grew up and certainly never learned empathy. Who’s the sad ones?

    • GeorgeQTyrebyter says

      The issue is not fat shaming her. The issue is her qualifications to shame others.

      • TarsTarkas says

        And her complete rejection of science, health research, and reality in favor of her personal (or faux) delusions or griftering.

    • Graham says

      It’s not a matter of fat-shaming, it’s a matter of racism-shaming and insanity-analysing. Why should I empathise for somebody that hates me because of the colour of my skin and blames white people for all her problems? Why should I empathise with somebody spreading dangerous, deluded nonsense, and being paid large sums of money by idiot institutions to help drag us back into the dark ages? Why should I empathise with somebody who most certainly would not empathise with me for one second? I’m genuinely sick of this Cripple Olympics shit, with people fighting for their place in the poor-victim-me hierarchy. All it’s doing is dragging the human race down. Dignity, sanity, and grace seem to have died screaming in the USA in the last few years, and they’ve exported their noxious shit round the world on social media.

  44. Peter says

    65 years ago I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in the Central European countryside. Meat was practically only on Sundays, together with potatoes, onions, and apple mush. Children would get carrots from the soup in which meat was cooked. Otherwise, lunch was e.g. beans with sauerkraut or fresh cabbage, pearled barley with a hint of sausage. Often potatoes or buckwheat meal with eggs or milk.
    Information for carbohydrate haters: Try getting fat on starch in pearled barley, lentils, chickpeas or beans! Starch in these foods (as long as they are not overcooked) is digested very slowly! These foods are filling and it is hard to overeat.
    Most farms had fruit trees, and certain varieties of apples kept until spring in the cellar. Green salad, red beets etc. were also common in the season. The butcher family was the only one with plump (but not overweight) individuals in the village. There was a lot of manual labour in the village, of course, and we all had to walk a lot. Back in town: in school , the only plump child in the class was slightly mocked, but did not mind it and was completely accepted. Of course oils and fats were relatively expensive, butter was luxury. Bread had a thick crust, slightly brown colour, and had to be chewed.

    In Central and Southern Europe a lot of this cooking tradition survives, even as meat consumption increased (and the terrible highly processed US-origin foods are creeping in). Obesity is consequently much less common as in the US. Many do not mind soaking dry beans overnight and cooking them for an hour or two next day… The result is not the same as the autoclave cooked canned beans with inevitable additives!

  45. Peter says

    A British doctor surveyed diabetics in Sarajevo during the last war. On average, their blood sugar values went down, in spite of the stress and horrors of the siege. Less food, more walking…

  46. Chuck37 says

    Read “The Case Against Sugar” by Gary Taubes. He makes a great case that obesity, diabetes, heart disease, maybe cancer and many other non-communicable “western” diseases can be traced back to diet, but not in the simplistic “you eat too much” way we often frame it. In any case, to think that you can be fat and healthy is beyond naive. If you are fat, you have a world of pain in store as you move into middle age and beyond. SJW’s could rightfully point to the fact that the modern western diet has been spread around the world to indigenous (and other non-European) cultures and, as a result, caused massive health problems.

    • GeorgeQTyrebyter says

      I need to read that. It’s certainly true that candy is ubiquitously available in our society now. 100 years ago, it simply was much less common. And corn syrup was not in everything. There is a lot of sense in the notion that eating a lot of sugar -> extra weight.

  47. Isaías says

    Apart from probably being an addict to certain kinds of food connected with a state of distress or depression (as a former overweight person, I can talk from experience), Ms Rashatwar appears to be fundamentally an underage woman, mentally speaking, an adolescent who, in typical navel-gazing fashion, is adamant that the rest of the world hates her. Well, it is really sad that her mental condition is like that but, what can you do? There are delusional people all around the place. I’m really sorry for her, honestly. What really escapes me is why should anyone pay any attention to her rants and, worse, pay no less than $5,000 for her public appearances preaching dangerous nonsense.

  48. John Lammi PhD says

    I’m reminded of the cult-ideology that there isn’t one’s sex with changing role expectations but rather a constructed “gender “ that can be changed at will; a BBC announcer actually asks defiantly and rhetorically whether or not the interviewee does not BELIEVE that a “transwoman “ is NOT a REAL woman. OMG

    • Lightning Rose says

      RE: “transwoman is NOT a REAL woman.” The radical Left is testing the edge, seeing how far they can push making us sheeple dutifully recite, “2 + 2 = 5.” This issue was my jumping-off point, as I believe it is for many. Treat everyone, even the profoundly mentally scrambled, with the compassion that befits a civilized society. But even heartfelt mooing doesn’t make you a cow.
      Much of the US in particular has had rather enough of the “post-reality,” emotionally incontinent, world. Pushback, like winter, is coming . . . they crossed the rubicon when they began mandating the indoctrination of very young children with this “gender” shit.

  49. Pingback: True but Forbidden 21: Mini-Drones and Desperate Leftoids - American Digest

  50. Even with fat genes, one cannot be obese, if one never (or only very rarely) eats processed carbohydrates. One might be plump, but not obese. I speak from personal experience. I come from a very fat family. I was once fat (borderline obese), but I have not been fat for decades. I lost the fat as soon as I stopped eating processed carbohydrates.

    I still eat quite a lot (I am virtually never hungry), but I do not eat sugar, anything with wheat flour, any biscuits, pastry, cakes, ice cream or any other sweet food, or bread regardless of the flour type, or potato crisps (except very rarely!). I look at cake shops and think poison. I eat a lot of oats, and some sorghum products. I used to eat rice products (whole grain) but I don’t now, because of arsenic in rice. I cannot digest corn, so I don’t eat it, but I would eat whole corn, if I could digest it.

    The main cause of obesity is eating processed carbohydrates – just avoid them and you won’t be obese. Otherwise, eat more or less what you like (avoid trans fats, processed meats etc. because they cause cancer). Don’t diet and don’t get hungry.

    People have to take responsibility for their own lives and use their brains.

    • Lightning Rose says

      Thank you, SB; what you posted has been proven, time and time again. When processed flour and sugar products hit indigenous tribes, the “diseases of civilization” follow–like a steamroller–within 5 years. Weston A. Price’s book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” illustrates this the clearest; it is impossible to remain in denial once one has read it and seen the hair-raising photos.

      Our genes evolved to correctly express metabolism within the context of our ancestral diet–mostly fatty meat, birds, and seafood with eggs, cream, butter, and cheese depending on ancestry and a garnish (not main course) of green vegetables. If you eat like this, EVERY. SINGLE. metric of lipid and endocrine health corrects to the normal range within 3 months. Anyone can do it, without professional help, packaged diets, or gimmicks. You just have to kill the addictions to starch and sugar. Tip for fellow travelers: Bud Lite Platinum has only 4.4 carbs per bottle–Cheers! Kept it off 12 years now as long as I keep keto. Best of all, keto rips the fat off and keeps it off without the torture of “chronic cardio” like jogging that lands you in the orthopedic ward.

      One warning: This is for LIFE. Because if you go back to doing what you’d always done, you’re going to get what you’d always gotten. PHAT!

  51. ccscientist says

    Certainly everyone has the right to be fat. But to say there are no consequences is simply delusional. Who uses the self-driving carts at the store? Virtually all are obese. The obese are likely to be unable to take care of normal needs like cutting the grass or vacuuming. If you can’t take care of yourself, you are burdening others (usually family). Not much mention of type II diabetes but this is much higher in the obese. I am not talking about slightly plump but the 300lb person. Diabetes is a hell of an illness.

  52. chowderhead says

    Rational people have an inherent value; willfully irrational people are a cancer.

  53. amie says

    Anna Slatz, I share your dismay at Ms Rashatwar’s irresponsible and reprehensible approach to indigenous diets, in light of the severe problems caused by their forced adoption of western, high carb diet. Here is a forthcoming lecture by someone who I happen to know is not getting the level of reimbursement of Ms Rashatwar, but is borne of years of rigorous evidence based research on the topic, culminating in a book which is highly regarded by prominent medical experts. (pace the gardner). (disclosure, the author is related to me.)
    https://www.ihmc.us/lectures/20190502/

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