New Fat City

Bad DoctorReader Abby let me know that Karen Hitchcock is a doctor, and I mean that only in the strictest definition that she completed medical school, not the she is someone to whom anyone should turn for actual professional medical care.  She has penned a piece for The Monthly, called Fat City – What Can Stop Obesity.  It is a tribute to bigotry, poor science, and perhaps the old adage that the person who graduates last in their med school class is still called “doctor.”  Trigger Warning:  the article is truly awful and I will not link to it.  Her quotes are indented, you can skip them if you haven’t banked enough sanity points this week. Also, if you have trouble picking up on sarcasm this post is going to give you a bit of trouble.

I think the phrase that best encapsulates the multitude of issues with the article is this one:

I have moments of clarity – I think of the way Emily ate – and obesity seems simple: more in than out. Then I am engulfed once again by the high science of genetics, by the concept that obesity is a disease.

Nothing says “medical professional” quite like ignoring science and just assuming that if you know one person you can extrapolate a treatment plan for a population of millions.  Not to mention that Emily was a fat person who, in “doctor” Hitchcock’s estimation, ate a lot- at no point are we told that she ate less and lost weight.  So Hitchcock isn’t creating a treatment protocol based on one successful case, she’s basing it on someone who never tried the protocol.  But who needs pesky science? Let’s just cut off all this ridiculous money for medical research and get one of each person who shares a single physical characteristic.  Treating a brunette?  There’s an app for that.  Not to mention that we’ve been giving fat people the same advice for 2500 years and it’s never worked but don’t worry about it because we have Karen Hitchcock and Emily.

So is fatness a doctor’s problem? Studies show that verbal interventions during an episode of serious acute illness can result in a change in behaviour – people quit smoking, cut down on their drinking and sometimes lose weight. But usually counselling people to lose weight is hopeless.

You know what else doesn’t work – counseling people with joint problems to fly.  Don’t they know how much better their joints would feel if they would just fly?  Sure there’s no study that shows that it’s possible, but I think we should blame the people with joint pain both for their joint pain and for their lack of flying.  These people just refuse to respond to treatment.

Is fat inherently ugly? Ask Aristotle, Susie Orbach, Naomi Wolf.

Why would I do that?  Why do these three people get to decide what beauty is? Why don’t we ask Maya Angelou, Peter Paul Reubens, and me (hey, if we’re just picking random people I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring.)

Today when we look at those who are thin, part of what we see is a triumph of will over gluttony, so the beauty is a moral beauty; it has little to do with health.that also doesn’t make it true.

It also has little to do with reality.  The fact that we’ve made body size about morality doesn’t make it true.

Obesity is bad because it causes disease

Obesity is correlated with diseases which, if “doctor”Hitchcock had managed to stay awake during class, she would know is not the same as causation.  (Many studies have shown that habits, and not body size, are a much better determinant of future health, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)  Obesity is, in fact, correlated with with almost all the sames diseases with which being under stress over a long period of time is correlated.  Unlike Dr. Hitchcock in her article, I’m going to go ahead and cite some of that high science of which she is so dismissive.  Research by Peter Muennig at Columbia University found that “Obese persons experience a high degree of stress, and this stress plausibly explains a portion of the BMI-health association. Thus, the obesity epidemic may, in part, be driven by social constructs surrounding body image norms.”  Driven, for example, by doctors who write articles like this.

Fat men and women make less money, marry less often and are less educated than the lean. They are more often depressed.

And if you think that the solution to that is changing fat people, and not changing the society that stigmatizes them, then you are working the wrong end of the problem.

If you quit smoking and get fat, you may as well have kept on smoking.

Please stop being a doctor now, you have no business practicing medicine.  Her suggestion here is that the life expectancy is similar but she doesn’t define “fat” nor does she mention that studies show that overweight people live longer than their thin peers

Prescribe exercise? Walk for an hour at an average pace and you’ll only burn off the equivalent of one slice of bread.

Seriously, please find another profession because you are unbelievably incompetent.  There is literally a MOUNTAIN of evidence showing how about  30 minutes of movement a day 5 days a week has tremendous health benefits.  This is what happens when we substitute body size for health, and caloric intake for healthy habits and ignore research in favor of “The Emily Diet”

Matheson, et al:  Healthy, Lifestyle Habits and Mortality in Overweight and Obese Individuals

“Healthy lifestyle habits are associated with a significant decrease in mortality regardless of baseline body mass index.”

Steven Blair – Cooper Institute

“We’ve studied this from many perspectives in women and in men, and we get the same answer: It’s not the obesity, it’s the fitness.”

Glenn Gaesser – Obesity, Health, and Metabolic Fitness

“no measure of body weight or body fat was related to the degree of coronary vessel disease. The obesity-heart disease link is just not well supported by the scientific and medical literature…Body weight, and even body fat for that matter, do not tell us nearly as much about our health as lifestyle factors, such as exercise and the foods we eat…total cholesterol levels returned to their original levels–despite absolutely no change in body weight–requiring the researchers to conclude that the fat content of the diet, not weight change, was responsible for the changes in cholesterol levels.”

Paffenbarger et. al. Physical Mortality:  All Cause Mortality, and Longevity of College Alumni

“With or without consideration of …extremes or gains in body weight…alumni mortality rates were significantly lower among the physically active.”

Wei et. al. Relationship Between Low Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Mortality in Normal-Weight, Overweight, and Obese Men

I wish you could get really fat and stay healthy. I wish you could get morbidly obese and be considered beautiful. Maybe it will change with time, as we all become enormous, and we’ll look back on the skinny-is-beautiful era with distaste, regarding high cheekbones, defined jaws and long sculptured thighs as skeletal and ugly.

You don’t have to wish angel, there are plenty of healthy fat people, and everyone is beautiful if you just learn to see it.  But as long as we’re making wishes, I wish we didn’t act like seeing the beauty in fat people means diminishing the beauty that we see in those who are not fat.  I wish doctors would treat actual health instead of body size and quit adding to the stigma and shame that fat people face by also giving us lazy, incompetent medical care.  I wish they would understand that Health is multi-dimensional and includes things within and outside of our control including genetics, environment, access, and behaviors. Health is not an obligation, nor is it a barometer of worthiness. Nobody owes anybody else “health” or “healthy behavior,” and those who aren’t interested in health are not better or worse people than those who are interested in health. Prioritization of health and the path that someone chooses to get there are intensely personal and not anybody else’s business. The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not health or healthy habit dependent. Public health should be about providing access and information, not making the individual’s health the public’s business.  People who have health issues should be given shame-free, future oriented options for care and accommodation as they wish, not judged or asked to prove that their health issues are not their fault.”

This year I started work as the physician in an obesity clinic with a group of bariatric surgeons.

Well, that’s absolutely terrifying.

The attempt to help people lose weight is generally seen as one of the most futile acts we as doctors of internal medicine can perform: pretty much all we can do is make you feel crappier about yourself than you already do.

This is half true. There isn’t a single study where more than a tiny fraction of participants have successfully lost weight long term and doing the same things that those studies did is likely to lead to the same failure.  I don’t feel crappy about myself at all and you won’t be able to make me, but there are certainly plenty of fat people who have been beaten down by the type of stigma and stereotype with which this article is laced. You have a choice – if you would  practice from a Health at Every Size perspective research shows that you would help people become healthier and increase their self-esteem. Why not give that the old college try?

I once attended a hospital lecture on the genetic determinants of obesity delivered by a specialist physician. The doctor giving the talk was very fat. As he went on, his face got red and stains of sweat spread from his armpits. Obesity is genetic, he argued, wiping his brow

Wow, way to keep your eye on the ball there, that explains why you did not seem to learn anything from the presentation.  If, god forbid, you are ever asked to give a talk like this you will find that it’s hot under those lights and giving a talk, at least a good one, is a physical endeavor.  I have been part of conversations with very thin speakers, some of whom are physical fitness professionals, who were discussing how to deal with sweat on stage.  Also, there’s a word for using the way someone looks to discredit what they say, and that word is bigotry.

Throughout the piece she goes from saying horrible things about fat people…

Emily was white and loud and the fattest person I had ever seen outside a caravan park.

To acting like she’s the victim for having to say them…

Globally, we are carrying 18.5 million tonnes of excess fat under the skin of the overweight and obese, which – if it were still food rather than adipose tissue  – would feed 300 million people for life. Fat people have been compared to petrol-guzzling cars. I feel terrible typing these sentences. I apologise; they are ugly.

You know what’s better than apologizing?  Not saying ridiculous, inflammatory, stigmatizing things with no evidence basis to begin with. Not repeating ridiculous inflammatory statements.  Adding something to the discourse on global hunger slightly more sophisticated than my mother’s admonition that I should eat all my broccoli because kids are starving elsewhere in the world.  Not taking a group of people who are identifiable by sight and then trying to calculate their cost on society in support of their eradication.

The pro-fat bloggers are smart, sassy and pissed off. I’d hang out with them. Yet, if they could click their fingers and be thin, would they?

No, you wouldn’t, at least not with this blogger.  And no, I wouldn’t.  When I say that I love and cherish my body, I don’t mean “I guess if I can’t have a thin body I’ll just like this one.”  I love my body and I entrust my health to that high science of research that you are so willing to eschew for a treatment program that didn’t worked for one person one time.  Since you doctors have no good options that are likely to make fat people thinner, I’m also very glad that I can model the option of falling in love with the bodies that we have, and give people like you an opportunity to question their stereotypes.

This isn’t a complete discussion of the piece because, as science is to Dr. Hitchock’s medical practice, so brevity is to her writing.  The piece is interminable and packed with prejudice, assumption, stereotype, bigotry, and a devil may care attitude toward science that I find seriously disturbing in someone claiming to be a medical professional.  Let me end with this bit of research from Rebecca M. Puhl and Chelsea A. Heuer “In a study of over 620 primary care physicians, >50% viewed obese patients as awkward, unattractive, ugly, and noncompliant. One-third of the sample further characterized obese patients as weak-willed, sloppy, and lazy.”

Welcome to the club Dr. Hitchcock, I wish you weren’t such a proud member. Especially since people are going to come to your clinic in the hope of getting compassionate, competent, evidence-based medical care and instead they’ll get you.

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Published in: on May 29, 2013 at 10:07 am  Comments (64)  

64 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. ❤. I only had the sanity points to get this far: "me (hey, if we're just picking random people I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring.)" But I love your work. I would vote for you to define beauty any day!

  2. If I could click my fingers and my body would change I’d like to see what my body would have looked like if HAES had been the dominant paradigm from the beginning. I suspect I’d be smaller than I am now as I’d never have dieted and I’d be fitter and generally healthier as I’d not have been put off exercising and I’d have less pain as I’d have been more willing to trust doctors not to tell me to just lose weight, but all in all I’d still be morbidly obese by the current categories.

    But you know what is amazing – we can’t just click our fingers and magic happens, we need to live in the real world, where unfortunately people get rich off the mistreatment of others and for all the crap I’ve put it through my body still does awesome things for me. It might do them slower and less smoothly than it would have if I’d taken more care of it, but HAES is reminding me that my body deserves looking after despite the fact it does not respond the way ‘everybody knows’ it should.

    Thank you for putting yourself out there for us to find and for helping me realise I really am as awesome as I suspected.

    • Well said.

    • If I could click my fingers and my body would change I’d like to see what my body would have looked like if HAES had been the dominant paradigm from the beginning.

      THIS!!! I would love to see myself if I’d never been put on that first diet at age 6 and had never tried all the other diets after that one failed. I suspect my health profile might be a different one but that I’d still be fat. At least we have HAES now and that counts for something.

      • I am just glad for the current generation that does have HAES as an option — I derail discussions that point in other directions as much as I can — and, yes, I wish such sanity had been around when I was a girl — oh the self-loathing decades I could have done something else with!

      • YES!! I totally agree and so wish things where different when I was a kid and that people had known about and accepted the HAES way of thinking. I was a fat baby who grew into a fatter kid. There hasn’t been a single day of my life when I wasn’t fat and I think I was just one of those people who where naturally fat and born to BE fat. I was very active, ate the same amount as my thin brothers, and yet still was a very very pudgy kid. And I probably would have always been big, but I wonder if I would be healthier if I hadn’t been subject to the “well meaning” intentions of my parents growing up. The first time I introduced to dieting was by my step-dad who put me on a baked potato diet when I was just a little kid. I wasn’t allowed to eat ANYTHING else except for the school lunches. For breakfast and dinner, all I was allowed was one baked potato each meal. I wasn’t allowed to put anything on the potato either (no butter, no salt). The ONLY thing I was allowed to put on the potatoes was black pepper. This screwed me up pretty bad. Not only was I sick and exhausted all the time, but I that’s when my weight began to fluctuate and my relationship with food got pretty messed up. Because my body was starving I had to sneak food when I could. After one night of sitting at the dinner table watching everyone else eat steak while all I got was that stupid potato I started to cry and couldn’t stop. That’s when my mom finally put her foot down and put an end to THAT diet.

        I spent the next few years losing weight and gaining it back until I weighed 200 lbs by the time I was in middle school and 300 lbs by the time I was in high school. I wish that our government and the media hadn’t scared the crap out of my parents into thinking that they had to try to get my weight down AT ALL COSTS or I would die young. If HAES had been around when I was young and my parents had known about it, I would probably be a lot better off for it, actually, I’m SURE I would be.

        The scary part is that patents today are being scared even more than mine were into thinking that their kid’s weight is what maters most. It’s frightening to think there are kids being subject to the same kind of crap that was done to me, all in the name of “health”.

        • Man, that kind of child abuse just breaks my heart! Good for your mom at least.

    • WORD!

    • I sincerely wish I could turn back time and never be put on that first diet. But we are what we are and I own up to it!

      Better to have HAES now then to never have had it.

    • This….so much this.

    • God, I’ve thought so often of late… “if only they’d let me be ME.” I was active, healthy and wanted to have fun. The dieting BS could’ve been entirely avoided if they’d put me in dance or gymnastics. Instead, my grandmother told me I had to lose weight before I could take Irish step dancing lessons. She recently lamented that maybe my nephew, a boy of only 3, would want to take them… “maybe someone will learn before I die” was the overall message. Uhm. I wanted to badly. It took every ounce of self-control to not say something, and to be honest, I now wish I had.

      I wouldn’t chose to be thin. I’d click my fingers and choose for the world to be more accommodating. I’d click my fingers and wish to be healthy, not thin. I have multiple medical issues NOT related to obesity that make moving my body harder and make being healthy harder. Of course, that inevitably probably makes me fatter, too. But that’s what I’d wish for. What good is being thin if you’re also sick?

      • I’d click my fingers and choose for the world to be more accommodating. I’d click my fingers and wish to be healthy, not thin.

        THIS…oh so much this!

  3. Just brilliant! Thank you for always making my day better, Ragen! xxoo

  4. I read that article a few days ago after it was linked to on one of my Sexology lists (I am a sex therapist). It sent me into a downward spiral that I am still trying to pull myself out of. It is one of the most disgustingly bigoted things I have read in a very long time.

  5. One of my clients made me aware of your blog several years ago and I look forward to your posts. Today’s blog is one of my favorites.

    In addition to other issues you discuss, your point that physical symptoms correlated with medical problems (blamed on obesity) are also related to consequences of stress is spot on. Thanks for you and the work you do!

  6. I wish my aunt had the internet so that I could point her towards your wonderful blog. Ever since I can remember, she has been obese, and goes to extremes to try to lose the weight. I am sure I don’t have to tell you the outcome of her attempts. Now she has custody of my 11 year old cousin, and is going to the same extremes to try and get her to lose weight. My cousin has not hit puberty or her growth spurt yet, and is only slightly chubby, but my aunt took her to a “doctor” and the “doctor” told her that the 11 year old has high cholesterol and that they needed to put her on a diet – excuse me, I mean “lifestyle change”. I know children having high cholesterol is not impossible, but it does seem a little far-fetched.

    The cousin came to spend the holiday weekend with me and I made potato soup. That is nearly all she ate all weekend. Soup, with light butter, 95% fat-free ham, and a little cheddar cheese shredded up in it. She didn’t even want to eat the hamburgers and hot dogs that we grilled for Memorial Day, just the soup. When I took her home and told my aunt that I had made some delicious soup, and that my cousin simply loved it, she started yelling at her that she shouldn’t have eaten all that soup, that it was very fattening (whut?), and that when she goes back to the “doctor” next week, if she hasn’t lost any weight, she only has herself to blame. Oh, and if her cholesterol isn’t lower either.

    My little cousin, the chubby one, has a very good head on her shoulders when it comes to her body image. She often tells me not to lament being bigger, that I am beautiful. I hate to see my aunt start her down the road to shame and self-loathing. I try to mitigate the damage on the weekends she is with me, but there is only so much a light can shine in the darkness. I am trying to get myself to a better place financially, so that I can adopt her and put an end to this nonsense. I wish I could confront my aunt about it, but then she won’t let her come to my house anymore, and she won’t have any positive reinforcement.

  7. Whatever happened to publications employing fact checkers? Is that just a journalistic myth? Because I can’t believe what passes for an informative article these days. I had better journalistic direction in high school on my school paper.

    As I read the excerpts from doc’s article, I kept thinking that any publicity is good publicity. She seems to write inflammatory and bigoted words for shock value rather than actual education…

    Another brilliant post, Ragen!

  8. I started reading the article. It’s problematic in many respects, but one especially: it’s mean spirited. The world weary tone that she takes, as though she’s an angel having to witness humanity self destruct without being able to do much about it really irks me.

  9. This quote just did it for me:

    “and we’ll look back on the skinny-is-beautiful era with distaste, regarding high cheekbones, defined jaws and long sculptured thighs as skeletal and ugly.”

    My feeling was… Hello, Dr. Freud? Your patient is here. Shall I send her in?

    I couldn’t decide whether I was reading a doctor’s writing or the intro to the naughty bits of a trashy novel. This so-called doctor is projecting all over the place.

    Of course — she was given a platform to vent her spleen, so we’ll be hearing her quoted as an “expert” from now until the end of time.

    • Yeah, reading that WLS driven Propaganda actually reminded me of a the way I’ve heard quite a few girls and women with anorexia and bulimia speak. Scary.

  10. Oh fabulous, she’s working with a group of bariatric surgeons! This piece of information hit me particularly hard as I’m 10 years post-op and am currently recovering from my 4th surgery after my gastric by-pass (I’m still smaller than I was pre-surgery, but far less healthy). I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a fat person who has been bludgeoned about her weight for her entire life – to the detriment of every facet of her life because it was sanctioned by her parents who worked in medicine – and then goes to this clinic to make her ‘clean’ of her morally, aesthetically offensive ‘disease’. Oh wait, yes I can. I physically *can’t* take more in and now I also have had long periods of recovery where I can’t ‘move more’. There are so many post-operative people like me who have re-gained, have broken bodies, and now carry those same ‘tonnes’ in shame and regret, now that we are categorized as failures from the people who once cheered our willingness to re-configure our bodies so we would finally be acceptable.

    My heart goes out to her patients. They’re going to spend a lot of time with this bigot and probably hear a fair amount of her hand-wringing, emotionally manipulative style of prejudice so often packaged as compassion. But they’re also going to be making her very wealthy. Her obvious personal revulsion at fat people makes her income from them absolutely unconscionable for a physician. If she’s so offended by her perceived excesses. in our society, why doesn’t she offer her services to a group like Doctors Without Borders, who are surely doing the kind of good works that address the real inequities in our world?

    As an aside, I always find it ironic that my spell check wants to correct bariatric to barbaric.

    • I think at long last Spellcheck may be onto something there.

  11. This quote.

    “The pro-fat bloggers are smart, sassy and pissed off. I’d hang out with them. Yet, if they could click their fingers and be thin, would they?”

    Even if they would, it’s not evidence in favor of her assertion. Nearly any member of a marginalized group will at one point or another wish they were in the favored/powerful/oppressing group.

    That wish doesn’t prove the favored group is better. It proves the favored group is favored. That wish is always a wish to escape discrimination and bigotry, even for one day. Sometimes there might be other baggage mixed in, but at its core, whenever someone wishes some integral part of them could be changed by snapping a finger, it is an indictment of whatever suffering they are undergoing in their current state — size discrimination wishing to be thin; poverty wishing to win the lottery; brown hair wishing to be blonde hair; all of these are at their core escape wishes.

    • Yeah, it’s easier to wish you were different so you’d fit in, rather than that other people change to accept you for who you are.

  12. I find it really sad that a medical doctor is so evidently focused on whether or not people meet her definition of pretty. Whether or not I’m cute enough is the VERY LAST thing I want my doctor worrying about. The very last thing.

    • Doctors mostly suck imho. Massage therapists rule — they love BODIES . And their care is medical — it helps with the STRESS underlying all the health issues. And neither of us care about my size.❤

  13. Wow. This MD’s article is also quite frankly poorly written and argued, in addition to just being wrong. I’ve taught writing and research for ten years and she wouldn’t have earned much of a grade for that piece of bigoted tripe.

  14. Why stop smoking if you gain weight??? Yes, take her take her medical lisence NOW!

    • I know right? My jaw literally dropped when I read that. I couldn’t believe such an idiotic statement could come from a person who was given a medical license. She needs her medical license revoked STAT …someone should probably also investigate Who On Earth would give that woman a doctorate.

  15. Wonderful article. Love the sarcasm. Thanks for suffering through the original article, I NEVER have enough sanity points for the likes of this “doctor.”

  16. Unfortunately, this seems to be the trend in medicine. We are seeing more and more doctors with this very nasty attitude, even to the point of refusing to see fat patients. Did you know doctors can refuse to treat fat people, AIDS patients, anyone they don’t want to treat, regardless of their oath?
    I worked in medicine for almost 30 years, I saw a lot of compassion towards people with disease, but a lot of BS where weight loss is considered the answer to every problem. I also heard doctors make terrible remarks about fat patients after seeing them, and worked for someone who felt it was necessary to remind me all the time how fat I was and how unhealthy that made me. He really felt he was helping me, never got what a struggle it was to stay positive about myself while working for him.
    That this woman has a medical license and chooses to work in bariatric medicine is not surprising. What is surprising to me is that she speaks this incredible lack of compassion, poor science, bigotry, and her, IMO, nastiness, in public and puts her name on it. I would think she would be embarrassed, but that’s just me. It probably serves her well in her field, telling people how safe bariatric surgery is, how much healthier they will be, how much happier they will be.
    I don’t foresee, in my lifetime, that this will change. I do see it becoming more and more difficult for me to get medical care because I am fat.

    • If she’s telling them bariatric surgery is safe and that they’ll be healthier and happier afterwards she is nothing but your garden variety LIAR.

      I wouldn’t trust this woman to take care of a houseplant, let alone an actual human being.

      Can anyone link to the article?

  17. apparently, hitchcock is a PhD, not an MD.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_R._Hitchcock

    • I think that this is a different Karen Hitchcock.
      ~Ragen

      • Believe it or mot, there is a Ragen Chastain who teaches math with me where I work.😉

  18. “This year I started work as the physician in an obesity clinic with a group of bariatric surgeons.”

    She knows what matters in this gig. If fat people don’t give in to the shame, self-hate and desperation people like her peddle, Doc’s not getting her Beemer.

  19. I wish it was possible to petition a university, setting out a well reasoned and documented argument, requesting the university revoke someone’s degree for incompetence.

    Thanks for doing the reading, thinking, and writing on this, Ragen. It is hugely important work you’re doing here!

    • Let’s start a change.org petition to do that. We can say it’s for general ass hattery. I’m liking this idea more and more..,

  20. The smoking hit a chord with me as my mom died of lung cancer/brain tumor when she was only 51 and I was 14 years old. I was pressured by her to be thin ever since I could remember and have myself been through the gambit of diets including being injected with a pregnant woman’s urine by a “doctor” when I was 18 yrs old. My last attempts at weight loss were a failed lap band in 2007 and it’s removal to RNY four years ago which all of this lead me to FA so it took a lot to get here but at least I’m here. I realize my mom died from cigarettes and probably smoked them to help her keep her thin figure. When she died she was less than 60 lbs so I think that was pretty thin! The messages I got from her I still am trying to recover from but I’m getting there thanks to all of you!!

    • The smoking comment really hit hard with me too. I can’t even pinpoint why, but it really did.

      • Perhaps because it was completely heartless and wrong-headed!! Bla! 8-<

        • It sort of reminded me of a memo from one of the Big Three tobacco companies that came to light when they were be sued in a huge RICO case a while back. Regarding smoking and pregnancy, it actually said, with a straight face, that some women would PREFER lower birth weight babies.

    • The smoking remark hit me too, it’s like she was saying we’d be better off literally killing ourselves by smoking than *gasp* gaining weight.

  21. If I could magically click my fingers, there are literally a million things I would do with that power. Not one would change my size. (Unless you consider gravity-defying boobs because I’d take up more space, so on a shallow technicality…)

  22. Ragen – the “Fitness vs Fatness” graph that is from the Wei et.al. study… I’m assuming that’s a reconfiguration of one of the tables or figures from the study? Which one please? THanks!

  23. First of all, this blog entry is awesome. This whole blog is awesome and I wish I commented more.

    Second, the mentioned article isn’t just mean-spirited, it’s also just not written well. It’s like…it’s all the cliches in fat-related articles that I’ve seen before, often to the point where I wonder if a robot writes all of them all, mixed with a mean-spirited tone that makes me wish that the ObesityArticleBot 5000 wrote this one and an obsession with appearance that I feel is just…out of place while the author of the article gives some show of talking about health (which makes this a Freudian Slip n’ Slide of Epic Proportions in this case, I suppose…). While other people have mentioned just how badly-written the article is, I cannot help but to agree. I had the most forgiving Intro to English Composition professor one can get in a college course, and I don’t think that even he would give this article a pass were this turned in for a grade.

    Ragen, keep on blogging, because I enjoy reading. Like all your blog entries, this one was a much-needed breath of fresh air.

  24. I searched for the article and I think the saddest part of all is the comments, how the majority of the people is thanking her for writing such a wonderful piece…so scary, it means everyone thinks like her?

    • Alexa,

      I think it just means that the people who comment think like her, there are definitely people who don’t!

      ~Ragen

  25. Hitchcock is an excellent example of my husband’s (RN) perception of doctors: they are shockingly emotionally dysfunctional. She seems to lack any self-awareness, compassion, decency, and this correlates well with the fact that her brain doesn’t work. You must be at least somewhat emotionally functional in order to think rationally, and we can see that is a problem (do I have to label that sarcasm?) she doesn’t have to contend with.

    Most doctors seem to feel quite comfortable spouting whatever orthodoxy just came their way, usually from the mouths of drug salesmen. Then we have to listen to their supposed scientific outlook! I guess we should feel lucky that a goodly number of them aren’t quite as stupid as this cretin.

  26. Hmmm, ironically people can bring up science regarding every other thing known to humanity, but as soon as it comes to supporting the obese or overweight that’s when we totally throw science out of the door, like it doesn’t matter. It’s so hypocritical and proves that fat discrimination is “REAL”. It’s total bigotry and hatred.

    I don’t understand what’s so hard about practicing Health at Every Size? It’s common logic to tell all people of every race, type and creed to just practice healthy habits. Hell doctors do it every day any way with their patients how come we can’t just make it staple of society period? But of course that’s too much to ask for. It’s too easy plus they’re making billions from promoting this fake regurgitated obesity epidemic stuff, by making people hate themselves. It’s absolutely WRONG and I’m sick of it. I wish Michelle Obama would change her attitude towards this whole “Let’s move” thing and promote images of healthy people of all sizes, body types, and races. Gosh how is that so damn hard to do? But her campaign totally demonizes fat people, especially fat children which is the worst, and she doesn’t care.

  27. (Trigger Warning, don’t read if you’re already scared of how far and how bad the fat hatred and fatphobia has gotten.)

    Wow! This is insanity that a “doctor” is responsible for that level of bigotry, hate, and fatphobia. I’m pretty speechless. It’s shocking and sickening that someone gave this person a doctorate. I’m actually pretty terrified right now. As someone who has been fat my entire life, I’ve followed pretty closely the media driven fat hysteria as it’s snowballed throughout the years. It’s gotten scary bad in the past few years. Every year I think “ok, this can’t get any worse” (meaning the fat hatred and vilification of fat people). But every year I’m proven wrong. I wonder if this kind of crap was being spewed at Jewish people in Germany in the years prior to WWII. The way things are going, I wonder if we’re only a decade away from being hauled off to concentration camps. Hey, if it’s as simple as “calories is vs calories out” and that being fat is such a nasty, horrible, immoral, and disgusting thing to be and we shouldn’t even be allowed to offend the non-fatties with our very existence, why not ship us all off to concentration camps? “Cure” the “diseased” fat people by starving the fat off of us lazy will-powerless fatties. We’re subhuman anyway, so who cares?

    Now excuse me while I curl up in the corner and rock and try to wake myself up from this 30 year nightmare.

    • Regarding Jews & WW2, I believe that was the general sentiment, “it can’t get any worse” based on the previous few centuries where pogroms were becoming fewer and farther between, and seemed to be limited to Russia. There was a movie just made last year and shown at the Calgary Jewish Film Festival, about a violinist/concertist who organized the Palestinian Orchestra in the 1930s. He got prominent musicians and their families out of Germany, Austria, Poland, etc. to play in this orchestra in Israel. Some rejected his help and said “it’ll pass over in a few months”. Those who stayed went to the gas and never came out.

      So it’s not just you or me thinking that it can’t get worse, because it probably will.

      And the concentration camps, I had that thought too, that Obama and Co. would start proposing that “idea” as a way to get rid of the genetically unfit.

  28. I looked at the article. I couldn’t help myself – it was like watching a car accident. Not to put down dumb people, but I’m not sure this person could pour pee out of a boot if the instructions were written on the bottom. I am so sad that people will read this and believe her, and when anyone smart tries to refute it, they will be told, “but she’s a DOCTOR.” Ewwwww….

  29. She is one of those people who shouldn’t be allowed around other people.

    I had another nursing student who is working with my doctor’s nurse (and I did say something) do a “health assessment” and said that because my gallbladder had been removed I need to eat less then 400 calories per day to lose enough weight to be healthy, I looked at her and said “No, I don’t. I don’t need my hair falling out or my periods stopping, or any of the other health problems that come from having too low of a caloric intake. If I did that for a prolonged amount of time, my starvation mode would be on peremently, and since I have a good relationship with food, I don’t need anyone to tell or try to get me to fuck it up.”

    After my doctor came in and gave me a high five (he is pro HAES). I was the first fat patient all day he had sent her in to see who didn’t say “Yes ma’am! How high?”. Truthfully I figured it had been a test for her, my normal nurse takes my blood pressure, jokes with me then my doctor comes in and gets to the root of the problem.

    • I am so jealous of your good doctor! hooray.

      • I fear the day he retires. I may go through a lot of doctors after my current doctor retires.

    • Do you think very many doctors do this? And if the patient didn’t stand up to bitch-nurse, would the doctor tell them, he was testing the behavior of the nurse?

      • I really don’t know about other doctors, I would hope they do, or make it very clear ahaming patients are a no-no, since it would be weird as well as very awkward to have a anti-fat nurse and a pro HAES doctor.

        My doctor came in and told me he was testing her and I would guess he told the others as well.

        • I don’t want to be a patient testing nurses in my doctor’s office. If he’s concerned about her treatment of patients and misinformation (probably triggering to many) it’s his responsibility to train her. Unless he knows and trusts your judgment.

          But the 400 calories statement is just ridiculous from any health professional

    • Had that nursing student been to any classes at all in her program? Epic fail! But good for your doctor!

      • I swear to God, there are a lot of so-called medical professionals who don’t know their behinds from a two-dollar bill! I had a nutritionist in a hospital once tell me that there was “good” cholesterol in nuts. All I heard from that point forward was whirs and clicks.

        • There is no cholesterol in nuts, as they are plants. My nutritionist told me to limit fats to 1tsp at a time, except a serving of butter is 2 tsp, and gives me 10% of my Vit. A. So essentially she was saying to only get 1/2 the nutrition I needed.

  30. This popped up on my facebook feed, since someone posted it. Oh good grief! The article starts out with her claiming that her friend Emily was “different” than other fat people because she “smelt good”, “did not sweat”, and “dressed well”. Imagine if she put something else in there instead of fat, like choosing a religion, skin color, gender, etc. People would be screaming that it was bigotry. I actually did post a response that pointed it out, as well as just a few of the other flaws in it (so many, it was hard to choose). The original poster got pissy and claimed I could “dissect it all I want, but it was still a good piece”.

  31. Regan, although I am engulfed by the high science of human pair bonding and reproduction, can I marry you and have your babies? (Don’t worry, I’m joking.)


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