Alton Brown is Fat Shaming Again

WTF are you doingI don’t know if Alton Brown is in the George Takei Club, or if George Takei is in the Alton Brown Club, or maybe they’re both in the Ariana Grande Club.  Regardless, just in case anyone wasn’t clear that Alton Brown is a weight bigot, he’s done his best to prove it in a recent article in The New York Times. Despite his commitment to understanding the science and food of cooking  – his show “Good Eats” was a fabulous show on which he not only showed how to cook something, but why and he often took time to do some myth busting – when it comes to fat people he can’t seem to get beyond cheap stereotypes and misinformation:

Obesity is not a disease…the second that our society starts thinking that shoveling Big Macs into our face is a disease then we’re done, we’re done as a culture.

Holy hyperbole Batman – even if every fat person did eat tons of Big Macs (spoiler alert – they don’t) and even if obesity was a disease (spoiler alert – it’s not) I feel like our culture would somehow manage to go on.

What the hell dude? Did he get confused and think that the Emmys were being voted on by Reddit this year?  How can I put this politely…STFU you bigoted, stereotyping, ridiculous asshole.  Yeah, that’ll do it.

I agree that being fat is not a disease diagnosis, but that’s because I know that having a weight in pounds times 703 divided by one’s height in inches squared that is over 30 is not a health diagnosis of any kind. It’s not because I like to engage in stereotyping and shaming of people who meet that definition.

Let’s go over it one more time Alton, and I’ll type slowly.   Body size is not behavior – it’s certainly not eating a single food.  There are plenty of thin people who shovel Big Macs into their faces.   Neither being fat nor eating a lot of Big Macs is a disease or, just to be clear, any business of yours when we’re talking about other people’s bodies and Big Macs.

If Alton really wants a better society, he could help by not engaging in bigotry and stereotypes.

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Published in: on September 4, 2015 at 8:58 am  Comments (17)  

17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think that when we start separating out random segments of the population by physical attribute, demonizing them into cartoony all-consuming monsters, and waging war against them “for their own good,” we’re done as a culture, but what do I know?

  2. This is so incredibly disappointing. I’ve been a fan for over a decade. Not anymore. This disgusts me and I’ll be sure to tell him he lost a fan.

    • I know, right? It’s so depressing when people I’ve previously loved and respected show their true colors. Not super surprising, though, as he did several episodes on diet foods (though I was hoping it was just something the network made him do).

      • What sorts of diet foods? Did he talk about the fillers, how to use them?

  3. And here I was enjoying “Cut thoat kitchen” oh well one less thing for me to watch, which is fine. If the host is going to be like that, I am fine not watching something.

    Ps. I haven’t seen Good Eats on Food Network Canada for years now..

    • I hadn’t seen it appear for years either. But I no longer watch that channel anyway.

    • Good Eats actually ended quite a while ago. And all of this is so frustrating because I really enjoyed it for the most part.

  4. semi-off-topic:
    he is an IDIOT. the 80s were not thoughtful. the 80s were about money, power, and prestige, as my mother used to call it, and gave us what we have today: the single most decadent culture ever, bar none, in the modernized world.

    plus, and more on topic:
    this is true: when the dagmar 50s turned into the twiggy 60s, life was made more difficult for people who did not fit the very thin body type, and this greater difficulty extended through the 70s. but it wasnt cruelly pathological until the 80s. it was more of a media-created preference rather than the demand it became post, of all things, jane fonda’s workout.

    the 80s were a nasty, nasty time. what i will [poignantly atavistically] call the ‘fat power movement’ is now desperately, and needfully, mending, are the ugly decadent mean excesses of the 1980s. there is no question. i am overjoyed this movement is here. i wish it was then.

    edi note: i do not remember the 1950s, heaven knows, and i barely remember a tiny bit of the very end of the 60s. but i do remember the 1970s, particularly as it turned into the 1980s, and i definitely remember the 1980s, and i remember the switch. by the time i was really an adult, in the 90s, this stuff was so entrenched that i was being told constantly to go on a diet or go to the gym. by strangers, by my loathsome second husband, who used it as a weapon. now we like christina hendricks; i promise you, we didnt then. i am grateful for her, and i am grateful for this movement. i am thrilled to everlovin pieces not be the only person telling people to fuck off at salad bars any more.

    • Remember those old “Family Circle” books, that gave advice about how to live? We used to have a bunch of them.

      I remember, when they had a section about how girls and boys mature. It said your basic stuff about growth throughout childhood, but then the teenage years hit, and stuff started to go off the tracks.

      They said that, if they had not already started dieting, girls should start dieting at age 18. Basically: Congratulations on being a legal adult. Time to start starving yourself for the rest of your life, because you are female.

      They did NOT mention dieting for boys, though.

      And this wasn’t even a “If you’re overweight, here are some dieting ideas,” sort of comment, either. No. It frankly said that girls should diet, starting at the age of 18, if not sooner. It didn’t mention a starting weight, or, for that matter, a good goal weight for the diet. It just said DIET. Regardless of any factors, whatsoever, beyond gender.

      I read that girls stop growing at age 18, or so, while boys continue to grow until 21 or 22 years of age. Gee, maybe girls stop growing then because they are starving themselves, and stunting their growth?

      They didn’t even mention brain development past puberty.

      I used to enjoy reading those books, but now I look back on them with horror.

      Also, I was going to ask, “Who’s Alton Brown,” but now I’m just glad I don’t watch food shows.

      • In a biology book I read, over 12 yrs ago, and confirmed since, is that women’s bodies do continue to grow until age 25, and that is the age of biological peak. Even if women stop growing ^ up, they still develop on the inside, as well as more fat deposits on the hips and legs, and other places, even the inside.

        I think this gets monkey’d with thanks to dieting, and the fat arrangements are skewed or made larger as at the beginning of your reproductive life it’s messed with, by a famine.

        And yes our brains continue to develop after age 20, just in different ways, not just sheer size.

  5. I never watch Alton Brown because I rarely watch TV. Given the thin is in beautiful people ideal pushed by many shows and the fat bigots who abound I think I can do better things with my time.It can only be helpful in getting rid of these type of shows by not viewing any shows that are abusive to fat people.and writing letters of complaint.

  6. I’d like to see the numbers crunched. If only fat/obese people ate Big Macs every week, or every day, or even three times a day . . . could all of the McDonald’s restaurants stay in business? Hmmm . . . I might try to work that one out. Something tells me that it’s not fat people keeping McDonald’s in business. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen thin people eating at McDonald’s…you know, because I’m there all the time.😉

    • When I worked at McD’s back in 1999-2000, there was a small group of regular customers who came daily. One groups of retirees came in the morning and sat for longer after they finished eating and got more coffee. Another guy came daily and got a Big Mac. None of these 5 ppl were fat!

      Also, I saw something last year, that was a “study” of just who fast food patrons really were (including McD’s), and over 3/4 of them are thin.

    • When i was in high school I ate McDonalds and other fast food almost every day; I was 164cm (about 5’5) and 55kg (about 120lbs). My weight, I should add, did not fluctuate when I started that routine nor did it change after I decided to stop eating fast food and drinking soda altogether. It’s almost as if weight is a complex issue influenced by a myriad of factors and eating habits don’t have the magical affect on weight that fat-shamers think they do! Shocking, I know.

      • Whereas I have not eaten a Macdonald’s meal for, oh, something like 20 years and gave up sugared sodas in 1982 … and remain fat. As you say, it’s ALMOST as if …

  7. Alton Brown’s “come to dieting” revelation episode was on Netflix or something like that recently. He talked about seeing himself on camera at an angle that clearly showed his increasing belly and how that was his wake-up call. Not to do some crunches, or see if he was eating something that made him swell up, or look at his own parents and recognize that middle-aged Browns grow tums (if they do). Nope. Fear food. Fear it!

    Funny thing is, he looks ill and tired now and he never used to. No, that isn’t confirmation bias. I missed the season with his diet episode the first time around and thought he looked awful when I tuned back in. (Back when that’s what you did!)

  8. I never did like this jerk. My husband always liked him and I never would watch his show because he always came off as a pretentious asshole to me. And I guess I was right about him.


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