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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Celebrity Chef Hates Fat People So Much He’s Carving Them Up On the TV

posted by on January 15 at 9:30 AM

A shocking stunt pulled by UK celebrity chef—and anti-obesity crusader—Jamie Oliver for Channel 4 should take the heat off me:

Jamie Oliver is set to shock TV viewers into eating healthier food—by cutting up a 25 stone [350 pound] man who ate himself to death. The TV chef teams up with celebrity surgeon Gunther von Hagens for the gruesome autopsy on the anonymous corpse.

On Channel 4 show Eat To Save Your Life—on Wednesday at 10pm—Jamie, 32, tells viewers: “This all stems from shoving s*** in your mouth.
This man ate himself to death.”

Here’s a review of the program by a biased—and bigoted—British nutritionist.

Thanks to Slog tipper JTC.

RSS icon Comments


With what will he be serving him?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 15, 2008 9:47 AM


Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 15, 2008 9:57 AM

Last time I saw Jamie Oliver, he was getting chunky himself. Kettle, Pot, Black, etc.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | January 15, 2008 9:57 AM

What you like a mint with that, sir? It's wafer thin.

Posted by Mahtli69 | January 15, 2008 9:58 AM

See, now this is the sort of anti-obesity shit that I can get behind. Generally, I think that Jamie Oliver is an insolent prick, but this stunt is rather clever.

Posted by Hernandez | January 15, 2008 10:03 AM

Better get a bucket.

Posted by kid icarus | January 15, 2008 10:13 AM

I was thinking the same thing, @3, the last time I saw him I was surprised at how much weight he'd put on. But that was some years ago. Perhaps he's slimmed down since.

Posted by tree | January 15, 2008 10:13 AM

@1: His liver will go well with fava beans and a chianti.

Sorry. I couldn't resist.

Posted by Jo | January 15, 2008 10:14 AM

I kinda like this idea. The fat person did eat themselves to death and they need to show that in the US. Telling people eating poorly and too much is bad for you obviously is not working. Maybe we need to make people so sick that they change their eating habits.

Bring it on!!!!

Next on Top Chef: Padmia tells the chef's they are doing their Quick a morgue!!! "You each will have 30 mintues to prepare an appetizer using the fleshy remains of these bodies. You may use any of the herbs in the Top Chef pantry to develope your dish. Time starts NOW"

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | January 15, 2008 10:17 AM

Jamie Oliver.

Ewan McGregor.

Jamie Bamber.


Posted by S. M. | January 15, 2008 10:17 AM

Play-by-play provided by Mario Batali; voiceover by the ghost of James Beard.

Posted by tomasyalba | January 15, 2008 10:23 AM

Americans continue eating less fat and less meat than ever before, yet obesity continues to increase. But don't let that inconvenient fact cause you to question the consensus view.

PS - The nutritionist pictured in the article is cute!

Posted by thefacts | January 15, 2008 10:26 AM

Um... thefacts? Do you mind, uh, citing your "facts"? You know, just so the rest of us can get our facts straight?

I'd love to read about the REAL scoop behind America's obesity epidemic. Perhaps it's something in the air?

Posted by cienna | January 15, 2008 10:35 AM

One thing I find particularly interesting is the bit about the obese guy having less actual body fat than the guy who was only slightly overweight. It runs contrary to the idea, which I have read in some of these fat-related comment threads, that skinnier folks are somehow healthier by default just because they don't look obese.

I guess the lesson is that lots of folks have too much fat, some people just hide it better?

Posted by Hernandez | January 15, 2008 10:36 AM

The overall calories consumed by Americans has gone up, and obviously this is a problem, a lot of it is due not to meat/fat but sugar and corn syrup.

Refined carbohydrates like that are especially bad because they raise insulin levels which drives the body to retain fat, rather than burn it.

Chronically high levels of insulin driven by high refined carbohydrate levels are also implicated in the rise in type II diabetes, as the tissues get desensitized to insulin and require more to do the same job.

This article has a lot of the background

Posted by thefacts | January 15, 2008 10:40 AM

It is not just the fat it is the refined carbs and hyper processed food "product" we consume along with next to no physical activity.

And BTW, 20 years ago our morning coffee was just that coffee; now people go to Starbucks and buy what amounts to a coffee flavored milkshake.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | January 15, 2008 10:40 AM

I should have been more specific, we're eating less fat from meat. Now, unless you're arguing that the protein in meat is a problem that's the crux of the issue.

"Despite near record-high per capita consumption of total meat in 2000, the proportion of fat in the U.S. food supply from meat, poultry, and fish declined from 33 percent in the 1950s to 24 percent in 2000. Similarly, the proportion of saturated fat contributed by meat, poultry, and fish fell from 33 percent in the 1950s to 26 percent in 2000."

Posted by thefacts | January 15, 2008 10:53 AM

I am so pleased I could help bring this to your attention.

I'm still hoping that the broadcast is like the scene in Jaws, where they open the shark on the pier and pull out...a license plate. I am praying for a license plate...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | January 15, 2008 11:02 AM

JTC, yes! I was thinking of that scene from Cat People when they open up the panther and find a human arm...

Posted by Irena | January 15, 2008 11:17 AM

I'm going to stay out of this one. The T, A, U, B, E, and S keys on my computer are worn down almost to nubs. But Right On, thefacts!

Posted by Big Sven | January 15, 2008 11:19 AM

Oookay, thefacts. People get less fat from meat. Got it. But, isn't it possible that they get more fat from other places (as tsm's stat suggests)? And, isn't it possible that it's both increased fats and increased sugar/HF corn syrup consumption that are influencing a rise in obesity?

So, I'm not quite sure what your point is, but, I guess I would say, that as a whole, we need to be eating less sugar/HR corn syrup and unhealthy fats. I realize, this is harder to do today than it was 50 years ago because of the prevalence of fast food and of highly processed foods in the grocery store (usually with HF corn syrup added).

Posted by Julie | January 15, 2008 11:20 AM

you can get stuff with out HF right?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 15, 2008 11:25 AM

Treating fat people like shit and further degrading their self esteem is an unlikely way to help change destructive and life threatening behaviors.

Quite honestly I love that show "Biggest Loser" because it actually gives a lot of people encouragement, knowledge and tools to permanently change their lives. It actually inspired me to gain the knowledge, help and support to lose weight that I have struggled with since I was 12 years old.

"This all stems from shoving shit in your mouth". That comment is a cop out and does nothing to actually help solve an epidemic of obesity. I think it's counterproductive and it just makes overweight people feel shitty and self destructive.

You can bet that a lot of fat people have tried and tried and tried to lose weight. Most likely, for most of their lives (like me). It was not until I gained knowledge, tools and support that I actually started a long path to overcome my weight/obesity issue.

It is easy to say 'just eat less and exercise more'. But there is A LOT more to it than that. I never ate fast food and I tried dieting and exercise but was still 90 pounds overweight. It was a good nutritionist, a medical doctor who helped with a thyroid problem, a useful and easy to accomplish exercise program, learning to eat differently (not less but different) I eat 5-6 times a day now and once I started that I actually ‘broke though’.

I did weight watchers, went to the gym, tried fasting and detoxing, tried easting less and I would hit big walls and just give up. This was a cycle of trying and failing for over 2o years. I was ashamed and afraid to ask for help. I knew I was not some sort of redneck asshole sitting at home eating pizza and watching CMT or taking secret trips to McDonald to scarf down big macs. Unfortunately that is the wrap that all fat people get and for me that shame and self loathing was counterproductive to my ability to get better.

Being fat was a painful thing emotionally and I had to deal with that too. But it really affected my health. Now that I have lost the weight and changed my life I can see how physically sick those 90 pounds made me feel. It took 2 years to lose that weight and I really hope to never go back. But it wasn’t easy and the hatred and shame that I experienced definitely was an impediment for me.

Posted by Former Fatty | January 15, 2008 11:32 AM

The data tsm presented shows that in 1985 total added fat consumption was 64.3 pounds/person. Then it went down, then it went back up, in 1997 it was 65.6. So while it has generally increased over the past 10 years (and increased more over the past 20), it hasn't been consistent and during this same time period we've seen a huge increase in obesity.

I'm saying that if you drop the increased corn syrup and sugar that we've added to our diet in the past 10-20 years you'd find the recent huge jumps in obesity would largely go away.

Posted by thefacts | January 15, 2008 11:35 AM

@1: In Oklahoma, they'd give you two side dishes of your choice. Oh, and either brown or white gravy on top.

Posted by J.R. | January 15, 2008 11:45 AM

Former Fatty - that was a great post, thanks. I think you expressed (better than most have) that while "eat less, move more" may be true advice, it is not necessarily helpful advice. It may sound simple, but people need the tools (exercise plan, etc.) and advice on how to eat differently to be sucessful.

And thefacts, I don't see how eating less sugar/corn syrup is controversial, or contrary to the consensus view, but since we apparently agree, I'll just end it at that.

Posted by Julie | January 15, 2008 11:47 AM

@25 - I don't doubt that our intake of HFCS and other sugars have disproportionately increased (not looking to Google that any further right now), and that this thus may be a major factor. It just seems arbitrary to blame the rise in obesity on that alone, given that our intake of just about every other macronutrient appears to have increased over the past couple of decades as well.

But hey, if you can get Americans to stop filling themselves with so much sugar, that could go a long way, yes.

Posted by tsm | January 15, 2008 12:07 PM

Hmmm, no one remarked on my Top Chef analogy. Oh well. But think about this: When a smoker lights up it is socially acceptable to express disgust at their habit but when a fat lady or guy reaches for the cupcake no one says a damn word to them.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | January 15, 2008 12:18 PM

Well, that's only because I wouldn't be getting fat off of second-hand cupcake fumes......

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 15, 2008 12:27 PM


Actually, treating fat people like shit and further degrading their self esteem is proven to help change destructive and life threatening behaviors.

Singapore has achieved remarkable success in its fight against childhood obesity. The proportion of school-age children classified by the government as obese has fallen from 14% to 9% in the past 15 years. During that same period, just about everywhere else in Asia has seen childhood obesity rise. Public health experts from around the world are studying Singapore’s approach as a possible model to be replicated.

A primary element of that approach is dividing the children into two groups – the fit and the fat – the schools impose a kind of segregation.

An unintended, but prevalent, by-product of such segregation is taunting of overweight kids. While schools in other countries try to stop this kind of behavior by telling children that everyone is equal and worthy of respect, Singapore’s program has exacerbated the stigma of being overweight.

There’s an uncomfortable fact about Singapore’s program that health experts are reluctant to acknowledge. It’s possible that the program was successful not in spite of the stigma it induced, but because of it. Some participants certainly believe that. They say that the act of segregating them and labeling them as different motivated them to change. What’s more, school programs in other countries that don’t segregate overweight kids have largely failed to reduce childhood obesity.

Go to and read the whole story (its from a suitably Liberal source (Public Radio International) or listen to it.) I lifted the content of this post directly from that story.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 15, 2008 12:40 PM

Oh... and Jamie Oliver makes me happy in my pants...

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 15, 2008 12:44 PM

@ 31
I can guarantee you that every fat person has met with plenty of shame, humiliation and degradation about their weight. I really do not think that yelling at someone and breaking down their self esteem is going to lead to a successful outcome.

I think it adds to a sense of self worth and failure.

Only through empowerment, good tools and resources and the help of people that I knew cared about me and wanted me to succeed in getting healthy did I have the ability and the emotional fortitude to make it through a very long and hard journey.

At least for me, the more humiliated I became the worse I felt and the more I felt like a failure. I have heard obesity called as epidemic. I know for me it was a health crisis. I overcame with real help. I dealt with a thyroid issue through medication, I learned about metabolism (eating less is sometimes the worst thing you can do to lose weight), nutrition, triggers, and all of the emotional challenges with overcoming 2 decades of self loathing and self defeating behaviors because of past failures.

Anyway, I just think it is counter productive to treat fat people with disdain and loathing. In the end I know that it was a lot of hard work over a long period of time (and continues today) to beat obesity. I had a lot of help getting there too and to maintain I rely on my doctor, a friend who acts as a personal trainer, my family and friends, my support networks and the systems I have had to put in place to lose 93 pounds and maintain.

I recognize and accept that it will always be a battle for me always and for the rest of my (hopefully long) life.

So, for any other fat people who are reading this blog...I am not trying to be preachy here…but ignore all of the people here who are haters and think that you are just weak or stupid. Overcome your fears about talking to people. There are people; doctors, nutritionists, personal trainers, friends and family members who are willing to help you, and to give you the tools you need.

All right, I am done with my soapbox.

Posted by Former Fatty | January 15, 2008 1:31 PM

Check out the review itself and the mere mench of "half a block of butter" size poops says it all. Let's get going, America! Haw haw haw.

Posted by Jack T. Chick | January 15, 2008 1:39 PM


Former Fatty: While I concur that people need the right resources, and frequently education, to improve their physiological condition, regardless of what you might “think” about negative enforcement, the facts say something different. It’s an inconvenient truth that ostracizing or punishing non-conforming groups, including through enforcing a negative self image, can, and frequently does, motivate change. I know. It’s mean. But it’s a fact. People with positive self images do not change themselves. Disdain can motivate change. Sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind…

But then, no one in this Daily Affirmation With Stuart Smalley generation can handle the truth of it.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 15, 2008 1:51 PM

A lot of the problem now comes from high fructose corn syrup and sugar heavy foods. One study showed that many americans are getting nearly their daily intake of calories just from soda pop alone.

People always wonder what the problem is and oh it can't be obese people. But have you been out and about and seen the sheer amount of food people are shoving into themselves? I mean...the quantities are like when i have the munchies after smoking a big bowl..but people are doing it on a daily basis. Just look at the sheer size of meals that people can wolf down in one sitting. The idea of saving some for later or taking home a doggie bag has gone out the window.

the key to fighting obesity, put down the fuckin fork and pick up a Wii-mote...get your cardio in ;)

Posted by Hunter | January 15, 2008 1:55 PM

Drunk daddy wants the bottle. It's mean to keep him from his bottle of booze.
Everyone -- he dones't really have a problem, he had a bad childhood, he is under stress. OK? No one tell the truth about drunk Daddy. That woudl make him feel bad. And when he feels bad, you know what that makes him do -- it makes him drink more. So kids, its YOUR FAULT that Daddy drinks if you tell he he is an alcoholic who has to stop drinking.

That's "real love" for Daddy.

Posted by unPC | January 15, 2008 2:06 PM

lmao, I love unPC on this take.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 15, 2008 2:42 PM

This reminded me of that trashy old Vincent Price movie, "Theater of Blood" (1973). A failed Shakespearian actor takes revenge on his critics one-by-one by staging scenes from his plays. In the recreation of "Titus Andronicus" he feeds the precious doggies of one of the critics to him (baked in a pie!), then kills him. Co-starring Diana Rigg! So camp it hurts.

Posted by thinny | January 15, 2008 3:51 PM

You mean eating too much is bad for me? =0 I had no idea! Whatever would I do if it wasn't for television to teach me these things?

I guess fat people haven't heard the news yet. That's why they're fat. Better let the next fat person I see know this hot new information.

Posted by iflurry | January 15, 2008 4:27 PM


You are right that sometimes the compassionate thing for friends and family to do is to tell hard truths to those who are doing things that are unhealthy. But strangers, much less reality TV shows, treating the obese with "disdain" is neither compassionate nor in the spirit of a free society.

Unless all you smokers want me coming up to you at the bus stop and reminding you that you are 50x as likely to get small cell lung cancer by smoking than if you don't smoke.

Posted by Big Sven | January 15, 2008 4:56 PM

Oh dear, negative reinforcement works, does it? At what cost, might I ask? Can you tell us what the suicide rates are like ten and twenty years down the line? The days and years of productivity lost to depression? And don't count just those who fail to slim down, there will be permanent effects upon those who lose the weight also, gotta look at them too. Not to mention the bad effects upon those who start out slim and learn to taunt those who are socially despised--not a pretty thing to be teaching the kids, I think. Think about the Stanford Prisoner Experiment, this reminds me a lot of that, hardly a shining example.

I'd rather have a lot more fat people than warped minds; but that may just be me.

Posted by SpookyCat | January 15, 2008 5:40 PM

Ailments of the weak bore me. Let them eat cake!

Posted by Louie | January 15, 2008 6:39 PM

My first thought about the rate of childhood obesity in Singapore falling was, probably because they all offed themselves.

I can't imagine trying to create a system in the US where fat kids face any more stigma than they already do. How would you even go about doing that? Kids are fucking mean -- fat kids get enough negative reinforcement. I wasn't overweight as a child (and am not now), but kids don't exactly love the smarties either.

Posted by Julie | January 15, 2008 8:01 PM

Wow. So now fat kids need to be "ostracized and punished" to improve their health, and my fat grandma who loves to bake is just as harmful to the family as an alcoholic father.

Right. Got it.

(Hey, fat activists! Where do I send my cheque?)

Posted by Irena | January 15, 2008 10:44 PM


Fawk-em. Who needs em? (They just hog my carbon.)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 16, 2008 2:41 AM

High fructose corn syrup is in EVERYTHING...except more expensive, organic foods and such. People don't realize that this (and other similar problems with less fattening ingredients being more pricey) means that obesity is a class issue, to some extent.

Another reason the corn syrup thing is political is that if the US were to end the trade embargo with Cuba, white sugar (which is not great for you, but much better than HFCS), could be available cheaply enough to be used as an industrial sweetener as commonly as corn syrup is now. But of course, then we'd have to think about all the millions of people in the corn growing industry who'd be out of a job...god, our whole system is nothing but a series of paralyzing, interdependent problems.

Posted by Lauren | January 16, 2008 9:11 AM

Dan - I'm sorry that there's so much heat on you for this. Has everyone forgotten that column where you blasted that asshole who was turned on by sex with fat women, but didn't have the decency to date one or learn to regard large women as human beings?

Something you might think about and try pointing out to people is this: the weight-loss industry, like any other enterprise in this wonderful free market system, needs to place profits before all other considerations in order to survive and thrive. Repeat business is the best way to do this; the industry will make its biggest profits by providing weight loss solutions that are unsucessful for nearly all who try them, but sucessful in just enough people to give consumers false hope and make them keep buying. Also, the illusion that weight loss is just plain impossible for most people - that is, until a new "scientific breakthrough" comes along and shatters that barrier of impossibility! - is obviously a boon. When this is coupled with the contradictory pressure from society that says, "You're all fat because you're lazy, gluttonous pigs," these two forces will keep fat people fat, but also keep them constantly on the lookout to eagerly buy the next silver bullet that will "cure" them.

The truth about weight loss - which is that it is possible for EVERYONE, though all bodies and lifestyles are different and may require somewhat different methods, supports, analysis, and goals for what is reasonable in what amount of time - is terrible for the profit of the industry. So is the idea of respecting someone in spite of their fatness, or of someone who is overweight seeing weight as just that and respecting themselves for who they are.

But if fat folks were to lose their shame, see through the scams and figure out how to lose weight and keep it off, a multi-billion dollar industry would crumble. And that industry will do everything it can to see that that doesn't happen.

Posted by Lauren | January 16, 2008 9:36 AM


Megadittos! You and I are on the same page. Obesity is neither a moral failing on one hand nor intractable on the other. Why is that so hard for some folks to understand?!?

And I also agree with you about industry having a vested interest in keeping dieters fat, though I have been avoiding saying it because I wanted to stick to the science side of it and not the political side.

Posted by Big Sven | January 16, 2008 10:55 AM

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