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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Big Lies

posted by on December 6 at 10:20 AM

Suggesting that diet—what you choose to eat, how much you choose to eat, making choices about what and how much you eat based on your awareness of your own metabolism—has any connection whatsoever with obesity is rank bigotry. There’s no connection between diet and obesity. Period. Only an anti-fat bigot would suggest otherwise.

People are born fat just like people are born gay. People can’t become “ex-fat” for the same reason people can’t become “ex-gay.” Please make a note of it.

And pass the Twinkies.

RSS icon Comments


Obesity is, first and foremost, a class issue.

Posted by bma | December 6, 2007 10:28 AM

So, Dan, did hubby get on your case over your weight gain?

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 6, 2007 10:29 AM

So why do lots of guys get really chubby in their mid 30's when they were running 6 pack abs in the past? Were they born to be chunky in their mid 30's? Or are you referring to obesity only?

Posted by muse clues | December 6, 2007 10:30 AM

@3--I think it's metabolism. Some people who didn't have to try hard to be thin in their younger days find it difficult to deal with a slowing metabolism as they age. Suddenly one can't eat what one wants to.

Having said all that, is there anything worse than angry fat people? I mean, come ON!

Posted by Michigan Matt | December 6, 2007 10:33 AM

Are you fucking kidding me? Diet and exercise. Diet AND exercise. DIET AND EXERCISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHhghghhg....!!!!!

Posted by Amelia | December 6, 2007 10:33 AM

Fat people freak me out.

Posted by Richard | December 6, 2007 10:37 AM

Hi. Fat is something you do to yourself and affects your attractiveness to your mate. I can buy into this in some part (I KNOW there are exceptions).
My point: Growing mustaches is also something you do to yourself that affects your attractiveness to your mate. If you don't find him attractive to you anymore and he refuses to change - your 'choices' are clear.
Sorry to be bitchy but I couldn't resist!!
But really I agreed with your original suggestion. Honesty is the best policy.
And really people - if this is a deciding factor in your committment to the relationship - this kind of thing should be making itself known in the vows or a prenup or something.

Posted by subwlf | December 6, 2007 10:41 AM

i'm fine with fat people as long as i don't have to pay their exorbitant health care costs (same thing with smokers). if you're fat, you shouldn't get medicare/medicaid. that'd make 'em work harder, especially since @1 is very true

Posted by Cook | December 6, 2007 10:42 AM

"I take you to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part, or until you turn into an unfuckable fatty."

Posted by keshmeshi | December 6, 2007 10:44 AM

So fat people are the latest development in evolution? Interesting idea, so fat people have a evolutionary advantage over skinny people? WOW.

Posted by Just Me | December 6, 2007 10:45 AM

Fat people get fat eating the same amount and kind of food skinny people eat. FP's are evolutionarily superior because their metabolism needs far less calories to sustain their reproductive ability than skinny people. FP's genetic disposition to gain weight would be an advantage if we lived in an environment where calories were scarce - as we used to. If we ever return to that environment, they will live - and skinny people will die.

Posted by crazycatguy | December 6, 2007 10:47 AM

Keshmeshi: yeah, people say that to the spouse-to-be standing in front of them. They don't say that to the person that spouse will be five, ten or twenty years later. Whether it's weight-gain or some more meaningful issue, many people can't seem to deal with the sort of change everyone should expect on some level.

Posted by oljb | December 6, 2007 10:50 AM

Wow, one of the commenters on that blog called you a "douchenozzle." I've never heard that one before...I will file it away for future use. Also, my own two cents: Over the course of my short life, I've chased chubbies, and I've fucked those with eating disorders. Let me tell you, the super-scary-skinny girls are a LOT less attractive than the fatties. I'd rather they have junk in the trunk than no trunk at all.

Posted by Hernandez | December 6, 2007 10:52 AM

i like when fat gals come up with creative names like "women of size."

Posted by SeMe | December 6, 2007 10:53 AM

hahahaha i love keshmeshi

Posted by Amelia | December 6, 2007 10:54 AM


Yeah, I know. I was just inspired by an earlier commenter who suggested such things be included in one's wedding vows. That would be fuckin' hilarious.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 6, 2007 10:55 AM

Someone who is born genetically fat is not to blame! The ones to blame are his long line of fat lazy-ass ancestors that coded his genes the way they are. He can't change, but if he starts to make an effort and teaches his fat kids to do the same then, maybe in a few generations his great-great-great grand kids won't be f*&ked the way he was.

Posted by Rye | December 6, 2007 10:59 AM

All things being equal, obese people wear bigger clothes.

And they take up more room on the bus. Those seats are TINY. And often they need the lift. I bet ECB gets even madder at lift-using-obese-people than lift-using-handicapped-people.

My point? No point.

Posted by Monty | December 6, 2007 11:02 AM

'in sickness and in health' includes fat right? Tear that shit out of the vows if you DON'T mean it! Seriously, people!
'till death do us part' needs to take a header as well. 'till divorce do us part' is so much more likely!

Posted by subwlf | December 6, 2007 11:04 AM

There is actually an increasing amount of evidence that weight gain is heavily influenced by the types of intestinal flora you have. Some people have flora that breaks down more stuff and makes it available for uptake; other people have flora that does not, so they stay thinner. Yes, what people eat and how much also affects weight gain, but I don't think the science is all there yet to be completely judgmental about people, because we don't know what all the factors are.

For people who do nothing to improve their health, no matter what issue they have (obesity, smoking, addiction, whatever), then they have some responsibility for that. But there are folks out there that are working hard to lose weight, and it is very difficult for them because of factors that are unknown and out of their control.

As someone with a scientific background, I'm just pointing out that there is a lot about obesity specifically that isn't scientifically or medically sorted out yet.

Posted by Tlazolteotl | December 6, 2007 11:08 AM

I was wondering why no one would counter their post, and posted a comment, but it's awaiting moderation. I assume the moderator won't allow contradictory views, just like the poster won't allow for any personal responsibility for one's health and well being. I've met exactly two people in my life, one with a thyroid condition and the other with polycystic ovaries, for whom control over their weight truly was beyond their control. Everyone else is like me, who gained fifty pounds when he got married, cut his exercise in half, and ate more, and has lost half that by exercising more and eating less.

Posted by Gitai | December 6, 2007 11:14 AM


Could someone please ban this Dan Savage from the SLOG? He is oviously trolling.



Posted by Johnny | December 6, 2007 11:15 AM

Having fat covering your frame is like having car parts and broken kiddy toys covering your lawn. It just looks bad!

Posted by David | December 6, 2007 11:16 AM

you funny lady, Dan!

Posted by anon | December 6, 2007 11:17 AM

Hello, My name is Science. Looks like we need to get acquainted Dan. You know that saying YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT? Well, guess what? You can't get fat if you don't eat food. Of course, everyone needs food to survive and not everyone metabolizes food at the same rate so weight loss and gain is easier for some than others.

What can I say? Life is not fair. But you CAN be ex-fat and PEOPLE ARE NOT BORN FAT. That's where food and what you put in your mouth comes into play. Get it?

Posted by areyoufingkiddingme | December 6, 2007 11:23 AM

I've met some pretty cute guys who are chubby and had sex with them. The problem is I can't let them lay on top of me for too long or my legs get cramped; the number of positions we can do are therefore limited. Plus it seems the fatter they are the more they sweat and that really adds one more unpleasantness to the sex. This is not to knock fat people but pointing out the practical unpleasantness of fucking fat people (for me anyway).

Posted by goro | December 6, 2007 11:25 AM

I am so tired of all of you today...especially you Dan. Lay off the bears will you?

Posted by sickofgaybodyfascists | December 6, 2007 11:29 AM

@17: You are very mistaken about how evolution works. I don't have time to get into it now, but you could go on Wikipedia or something to educate yourself.

Posted by PJ | December 6, 2007 11:29 AM

Haha... #25, I'm surprised there weren't more of you in on this post. Get a clue.

Posted by JasonC | December 6, 2007 11:30 AM

@13 kudos- The art of Coop features sexy plus sized ladies...
Also, morbidly obese, yes t'is bad, but what's more interesting is the fact most american food poor folk can afford is ladden with corn based fillers our bodies don't process, so it is a class related issue too. Back in the Victorian age, to refer to a woman as fat was actually a compliment. it meant she would beable to breed in the lean times.

Posted by orangekrush | December 6, 2007 11:31 AM

Nice job playing to stereotypes with the Twinkie thing, Dan. Never mind the very real problem most fat people have loosing weight even when they eat mostly salads and exercise regularly. They're icky to look at, so why bother being reasonable when you can get a quick laugh out of it?

Posted by waytobeadick,Dan | December 6, 2007 11:37 AM

Hmm... Lets see... so my options are, eat 1200 calories a day and hit the gym for at least an hour a day, for the rest of my life, so that other people will like the way I look. Oooooor I could eat like a normal person, and walk my dog twice a day, and everyone will hate me.

Hmm which is more important to me... what society thinks of me, or not starving myself. Gee. Tough call.

Dan, you can kiss my fat ass.

Posted by Shinobi | December 6, 2007 11:41 AM

Please read some serious science on the subject. Here's a good starting point:

"The findings also provided evidence for a phenomenon that scientists like Hirsch and Leibel were certain was true - each person has a comfortable weight range to which the body gravitates. The range might span 10 or 20 pounds: someone might be able to weigh 120 to 140 pounds without too much effort. Going much above or much below the natural weight range is difficult, however; the body resists by increasing or decreasing the appetite and changing the metabolism to push the weight back to the range it seeks."

Posted by Artemis | December 6, 2007 11:46 AM

So if @20 is right about intestinal flora, I have an idea... intestinal flora transplant via analing. I'm skinny and a willing donor.

Posted by Couldn't resist | December 6, 2007 11:50 AM

Watch out Dan, the Fat Mafia is coming for you! I would suggest hiding out in a gym or maybe at an organic food co-op. You know they aren't going to look for you there!

Posted by max | December 6, 2007 11:52 AM

I cannot comprehend the level of denial that it takes for someone to believe that turning fat is an uncontrollable disease or a part of your genetic makeup and there's nothing you can do about it (especially considering that many of the obese had a somewhat normal weight at some point).

Pretty much all of these people are about as active as an elderly man. Make it a point to at the absolute lease get up and walk some serious distances several times a day, a few blocks or even a mile or so. You won't get svelte, but you'll be surprised at how it helps.

Also, lay off the cakes and the salad dressing. Christ. You can still eat meat and some carbohydrates, but the excess sugar and fat of the above will make anyone fat. For people so allegedly helpless to fix their condition, many of them sure do little to help it.

Posted by Gomez | December 6, 2007 11:56 AM

jeeeeesus! not all fat people were born that way. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT.

there's a HUGE difference between people who are "fat for life" and people who start out un-fat [some may say "attractive"] and let themselves go. someone who marries the "fat for life" fatty knows what they're getting into; someone who marries the "let themselves go" fatty does not.

if you fall into the latter category, you owe it to your partner to at least give self-maintenence a try. that shouldn't be too much to ask.

Posted by brandon | December 6, 2007 12:03 PM

My middle of the road take on this is that if you're living a reasonably healthy lifestyle and making a bit of an effort to be attractive to your partner, that's about all they have the right to expect from you. It is shallow to think hotness is necessary for marraige, but it's also fair to ask your partner to take care of themselves. Some people are born with faces that aren't attractive, they didn't "eat themselves that way", so maybe they have to work a little harder to find a flattering haircut or put on some makeup or whatever. But you shouldn't go to extremes to change your appearance for someone. If you are the totally lazy twinkie-eater who's fat on purpose, then change your ways. I don't think that describes most people, though. Get some exercise, eat well and wear flattering clothes- for your own sake as well as your partner's. But if that's not enough for them and you're still heavier than they'd like... screw 'em.

Posted by natbot | December 6, 2007 12:03 PM

So can we draw a few conclusions from this discussion?

1. Fat activists may have unrealistic ideas about the nature of fatity.

2. People who abaondon their partners because they get fat are, in fact, superficial jerks, and shouldn't have any problem owning the fact that they are jerks. It can be quite liberating sometimes.

Posted by oljb | December 6, 2007 12:09 PM

What's with all the haters? Change all the negative terms for fat people in the above posts, to racial/sexual slurs and see what jerk-off's y'all are...

Posted by Hal | December 6, 2007 12:18 PM

Yes, some fat people are born that way. Thyroid imbalances and other conditions are quite real.

But in the last 20 years, the US has gone from something like an 8% obesity rate to a nearly 30% obesity rate and still growing. See this educational animated infographic. There's no way in HELL that's entirely genetic. Not unless 30% of the US population suddenly all had the same spontaneous mutation.

And it's not just that calories are more abundant than in the precivilization environment we evolved in, as many on this thread seem to think. Americans had plenty to eat in the 1960's but weren't anywhere near as fat.

There are many contributors (sedentary lifestyle, etc.), but the primary culprit is processed food packed with high fructose corn syrup. There's been quite a bit of science lately showing that the processing done to foods makes the calories more available and easy to release, meaning processed foods effectively have 20% to 30% more calories than fresh foods with the same amount of carbs, fat, and proteins. And high fructose corn syrup spikes the blood sugar, triggers an insulin response, throwing your body into emergency "store that shit somewhere" mode. *Especially* if you eat it before bed. (Eating sugary things before bed is the trick sumo athletes use to put on pounds quickly.)

We've gone from 80% of Americans having a home-cooked family dinner every night to fewer than 15%, and we subsist on a diet of TV dinners, fast food, coke, and french fries. Seriously people, these are choices.

My weight started to spike badly when I hit 27 and my metabolism slowed down: 25 pounds gained in 18 months. So I gave up the soft drinks (or drank diet), and abandoned the TV dinners for home cooked meals full of non-starchy vegetables, and that's all it took. Even when I'm not exercising I stay within 10 pounds of my ideal weight now.

Posted by IdahoEv | December 6, 2007 12:23 PM

@35 Really, he doesn't have to hide out. He just has to disable the elevator in The Stranger's office. There's no way these people will survive climbing two flights of stairs to get to him.

Posted by Gitai | December 6, 2007 12:23 PM

Fat people eat other fat things: cows, pigs, chickens, whatever. There are a few chubby vegans who eat a lot of cupcakes and french fries, but only maybe 3 obese vegans in the world with major glandular issues. Stop eating fat creatures, and suddenly you're not fat anymore.

(Speaking as someone who lost almost 100 lbs from quitting eating fat things.)

Posted by jamier | December 6, 2007 12:24 PM

Dan, the fat acceptance folks will always see any given person's personal lack of appeal for fat sex partners as a moral failing. They're deluded. We know. You know. Just accept it, smile, nod, and move on.

(And no, I have no problem with fat people. I do, however, have a problem with anyone who basically declares that others have some kind of duty to find them physically attractive.)

Posted by tsm | December 6, 2007 12:26 PM

WHOOOHOOOOO so it's not my fault I'm fat???? YAY ME!!! Pass me the chocolate cake!!!!

Posted by Fatty | December 6, 2007 12:27 PM

34, it works the OTHER way: the presence of the flora means you have extra mechanisms drawing nutrients from your food, so those with the extra gut flora are the overwieighties, not the skinnies. the skinnies have a LACK of these organisms. in a way, their bodies are not as efficient as the overweighties'.

Posted by ellarosa | December 6, 2007 12:33 PM

Dan, I love your sense of humor! Did you ever get that scarf I made you?
I'm ex- fat!
I'm ex fat because I realized I can live on a 1/4 of the food I used to eat.

Unfortunately once fat you’re always fat in your head... and there are the fat cells that are eager to get FAT again even if you eat one ounce over the limit you should.
I could still lose ten more pounds but I think I would have to go anorexic to do it!

Posted by mj | December 6, 2007 12:40 PM

Brandon @37 finally gets it. It's not about people who have always been overweight. If that's the case, you know what you're getting into and have no right to expect your partner to lose weight they've always had.

This is about someone who started out non-overweight and became overweight. This is a choice, and it's reasonable to expect your partner to make a different choice if it's important enough to you.

Posted by F | December 6, 2007 1:09 PM

"I'd rather they have junk in the trunk than no trunk at all."

Amen, brother. Nothing better than grabbing a couple of handfuls of fleshy ass when you're going to town...

Posted by Mike in MO | December 6, 2007 1:18 PM

Thanks ellarosa @46, I read the original post wrong. I guess we see what we want to see! Wishful thinking I guess.

Posted by Couldn't resist | December 6, 2007 1:19 PM

Hmmm, my HIV medication gave me a belly that no amount of excercise has done anything about. Supposedly its a fatty liver and its really high up on my abdomen. Guess I could pay thousands of bucks to get it cut out. Now the cocktail I was on in the beginning (9 years ago) made me REALLY skinny but it had so many bad side effects I had to give it up.

Posted by Jersey | December 6, 2007 1:23 PM

I've heard that the way ones' mother ate while pregnant encodes the fetus with information regarding the availability and kind of nutrition. Thus it is possible to have rapid changes of metabolisms in a relatively short number of generations.
Similarly there are populations such as tribes on the plains in south america who subsisted for thousands of years on particular diets. When these tribes were exposed to modern high calorie junk food they became uniformly obese. (of course there were likely other factors involved)

That said I suspect there are fewer fat people in countries with shortages of food. Thus fat becomes a class issue.
What irritates many posters is that we all know fat people who are fat because they have personality factors which result in no off switch at the table, in the car or subway, in bed. These posters have no patience for the "it's a disease" argument. As other posters have noted non-fattening food costs more. so does gym membership.

At root I believe the suffering of feeling hungry due to ones metabolism, personality factors, milieu (the list goes on) cannot not be laughed off. People may be wired differently but few of us feel comfortable being hungry. So what the anti fat posters are saying is essentially "if your make-up is such that you suffer from hunger more, tough luck. better to suffer than be fat".

I'm no angel in this regard. Part of me agrees. suffering is normal so choose to be hungry or choose to be considered ugly or choose to be with people who don't care.

Posted by MSW | December 6, 2007 1:36 PM

@52 - yes, there is a large-scale scientific study that shows that.

Basically, your genetics reacts to the environment it is created under - one of the reasons humans are so adaptable.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 6, 2007 1:52 PM

Why does everyone have this issue about fat people? Why do people look at them with such contempt and ridicule? If a persons fat, that's their business. No-ones forcing you to have sex with them. The other day, my gym-bunny flatmate started having a go at obese people on the TV, and I just thought 'Dude, why is it such a big deal for you?'. And yes, I understand that overweight people do cause problems for the rest of us, and that needs to be addressed, but I think the issue runs deeper than that.

Posted by Shane | December 6, 2007 1:52 PM

Being prejudiced against fat people is the only socially acceptable (even encouraged!) form of prejudice today. Most intelligent people would feel strongly about racists and homophobes, but hating fat people is perfectly okay - and all in the name of science. Fat is automatically associated with disease, short life expectancy, being unhealthy… Most fat haters won’t say “you look horrible”, but rather “you are unhealthy, and if you don’t do something about it (getting thin), you’ll die soon”. Those people forget that, less than half a century ago, science was used to validate prejudice against blacks and gays. Now it’s being used against fat people. It’s that simple.

Posted by Upset about misogyny | December 6, 2007 1:58 PM

How come I NEVER see any Fat Indians (Hindu)? They all look to be starving to death. I'm thinking what one eats DOES effect one's waist line.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | December 6, 2007 2:04 PM

Very sad to see you act this way, Dan. I expected better from you.

Posted by Al | December 6, 2007 2:18 PM

@54 -

If a persons fat, that's their business. No-ones [sic] forcing you to have sex with them.

Well, no, they're not. But the original post was about a man who, due to his marriage vows, is bound to only have sex with a woman he no longer finds physically attractive. And what apparently pissed off all of the fat activists was that Dan was willing to indulge the guy's non-attraction.

Posted by tsm | December 6, 2007 2:31 PM

Hmph! The spam filter ate my comments.

Long story short: People who don't get enough sleep get fat. Working poor with two jobs have trouble getting enough sleep, which is a double whammy since healthy food is expensive too. Distinct class issue here.

Google "sleep weight" if you want the links I posted.

Last remark. We now accept that depression often needs the appropriate meds to lift; I bet in twenty years the same thing will be realized about obesity. It's not all about bootstrapping, not everyone can do it that way.

BTW my BMI, 26; plump, not obese.

Posted by SpookyCat | December 6, 2007 2:37 PM

As a former 'fatty' I can attest that for me it was the combination of changing what I eat AND the amount I exercise AND dealing with the emotional baggage that was making it convenient for me to keep on the pounds.

People keep on extra weight for a lot of reasons and for many it is emotional maybe more for women than men. I think that many women take it so personally because it taps into some serious emotional issues.

You can be an ex-fat person, not to say that it is easy for everyone, but you can do it. You have to commit to a new life style that many cannot afford either monetarily or emotionally.

Posted by Miz P | December 6, 2007 2:49 PM

My ex-hubby is skinny as hell. Never developed a gut, never got to more than 10 or so pounds overweight. The day my disgust for him almost made me vomit during sexual intercourse was the day I began asking for a divorce.

My current partner has quite a gut on him. He rides his bike and walks on a daily basis. Our diet is vegetarian in nature, filled with fruits and veggies. The sex is utterly incredible, mind-blowing, beyond compare. We achieve positions my ex would not have even thought of; he is GGG in the extreme.

His mom says he's "shaped like [her] side of the family." My lesbo (half)sister has two aunts and one great-grandmother who are/were lesbians. Guess you could say that she is shaped like her side of the family. Some fatties are genetic, some are self-inflicted - but not all are disgusting, Danny me boy. Just like teh gays.

Posted by ChillyMama | December 6, 2007 2:50 PM
How come I NEVER see any Fat Indians (Hindu)? They all look to be starving to death. I'm thinking what one eats DOES effect one's waist line.

Hindus don't eat beef or pork.

Posted by jamier | December 6, 2007 3:02 PM

I do think a lot of it is genetics. Some families are just prone to be pudgy!

All my sisters were skinny and I was a pudge and we ate the same things! I do think a part of it was genetics.

Some metabolisms are just slower than others. Even though I have lost weight this last year and kept it off it's only because I eat like a mouse. Since my body does not burn fat that fast I can't eat much. I tried the whole exercise thing and I swear it makes no difference.

My husband never complained once about me when I was overweight. He complained more about me complaining about it. He really did love me through thick and thin.
Americans are fat phobic and act like fat is just the worst thing a person can be. I think curves and a little pudge is much prettier than skinny.

Posted by mj | December 6, 2007 3:13 PM

@55 I don't think fat is the only acceptable social prejudice. There are others that are hidden and acceptable but people will not admit it.

I always hear comments about Mexicans that seem to be accepted by everybody around but they make my hair stand on end. I may even burn a few extra calories when I hear them.

Posted by mj | December 6, 2007 3:25 PM

Obviously, he's gonna have to kill her.

Posted by it's ME | December 6, 2007 3:45 PM

My boyfriend and I are both healthy thin people. About a year ago we agreed that if either one of us creeps up over our ideal bmi range, then the other would institute a diet and exercise regime. Better to nip it in the bud before the weight you have to lose is astronomical and is all tied up with your feelings of self-worth.
(we both happened to be pretty chubby when we were 11-13, so we know how shitty it feels to be fat)

I wonder if it will work?

Posted by ams | December 6, 2007 3:56 PM


I had a similar experience, but on the other side of the relationship. My then-girlfriend was constantly talking about how unattractive she was because of her weight, and would refuse to accept that I really did love her. It was a very frustrating experience.

Posted by Vasya | December 6, 2007 4:06 PM

@64: Transsexuals also seem to be the targets of a lot of socially-acceptable prejudice.

Posted by Orv | December 6, 2007 4:14 PM

I am fat. I got fat because I've got a desk job and I hardly ever excercise and never met a piece of chocolate I said "no" to. I didn't get fat because of evolution or glands or DNA. I don't blame people for not wanting to f--k me, hell, I wouldn't f--k what I see in the mirror. I am fat and I'm not going to whine it's not fair. I don't blame my weight gain on anyone else but myself. What I will be doing is joining a gym.

A Fat Sappho (and future EX-fatty)

Posted by A Fat Sappho | December 6, 2007 4:22 PM

So what does this mean about your weight problem? I'm specifically talking about the thighs.

Posted by Boomer in NYC | December 6, 2007 5:27 PM

I wrote a respectful post on the f-word blog about how I had lost weight (guess how, starts with a "d" and and "e"), about how evidence pointed against it being genetic, and how if anything, we're genetically programmed to seek out healthy a.k.a. not overweight mates. My post was deleted and they posted on their blog in it's place:

"So, for future reference, any posts that contain the following will automatically marked as spam and deleted:

1. “I lost weight and you can, too!” success stories;
2. Comments that contain the phrase “let herself go” or similar terminology;
3. Comments that purport all fatness is caused by physical inactivity and gluttony;
4. Comments claiming fat people to be ugly or not deserving of civil rights;
5. Stories of “But I know this fat person who totally stuffed their face with donuts and twinkies…”

So, heed the advice above and post accordingly. If you don’t like the rules, get your own blog and go hog-wild."

I wrote back the following post, which will also no doubt be deleted:

"Since my very respectful though apparently not politically viable post has been deleted, I've had a major change of heart. I now realize:
1) I've never lost weight. Neither can you. Losing weight is impossible, and if it is possible, the only way is anorexia and bulimia. Therefore no one should ever try to lose weight or even believe that it is possible. You are stuck in your situation and there's no way out. Diet and exercise are lies made up by "the man" to keep fat people oppressed.
2) People look better the more weight they gain. This is clearly true. Look at Reubens or Oprah.
3) Fatness is not caused by eating too much or not exercising enough. It is caused by genetic mutations that are themselves caused by radioactive beams launched from Sputnik. This is why, despite similar genes, Americans have grown fatter in the last 50 years whereas Europeans have remained the same.
4) Fat people are deserving of Civil Rights. For instance, the campaign refusing them the vote is totally immoral. Also the bands of people riding around lynching fat people are not acceptable. I think we all hope they will be allowed to attend skinny schools in the near future.
5) I know you probably won't allow this post. However, unlike you, I think fat people are capable of having a real discussion about fatness without censorship and coddling. If you want to make such claims as fatness is the same as gayness, you're going to have to be able to back those claims up in an open forum. If you want to attack someone like Dan Savage, who even posted a link to your dissenting view on his blog, you're going to have to allow dissenting views here. You think Dan would exclude a "gayness is a choice" person from a debate on the subject? No, he'd actively go out and debate them. If you want your blog to be an echo chamber, that's fine. But it's pretty hard to take seriously."

Anyways, what a bunch of hypocrites. I'll know to avoid engaging the "fat civil rights" movement in the future.

Posted by Mr Me | December 6, 2007 6:48 PM

Come on, all you people saying "All you have to do is put the cake down!" The strength of your desire for sweets is also genetic. For crying out loud, some people can do heroin on weekends without getting addicted! Don't be the casual heroin user going to a NA meeting and saying, "Well, all you have to do is have some willpower! And maybe exercise a bit for those tasty endorphins!" Don't be a dick.

Posted by Madeline F | December 6, 2007 7:34 PM

Am I the only person who is kind of sad that inevitably this boils down to two sides - the fat people who scream "it's not our fault whatsoever", and the thin people who then think all fat people are idiots because of the former?

Where are the fat people who can admit they have culpability, and the thin people who can acknowledge that losing weight IS difficult? Cause honestly, with all the shit you people give us, if it WERE easy everyone would be thin just to avoid the drama.

Posted by TS | December 6, 2007 7:53 PM

I think the jab at the ex-gay movement was extremely low. Normally I sympathise with the FA movement, but in this instance, they're ignoring the actual issue - that this woman clearly has a problem - in favour of focusing just on her weight gain and her hubby's subsequent disgust (which I'm sure was not also influenced by her gnarly gas, bad skin, etc).

I don't think weight is the issue here at all. She could have just as easily decided to stop bathing and rinse out her hair once a month in lemon juice, in which case I think everyone would universally agree that her husband's disgust was warranted. The problem with FA is that they want to accept all fat, everywhere, always, without realising or caring that sometimes weight gain (or loss) is an actual symptom of real physical or mental ailments. I am completely content to accept healthy fat people, but I'm going to continue to be grossed out by apathetic slobs of all body types, thanks.

Of course, I've been reading the F-Word for at best a few weeks, and I've been reading Savage Love for years and years, so clearly I'm just blinded by a perverse loyalty to agree with everything you say, Dan.

Posted by Dark | December 6, 2007 8:02 PM

Ugh. I get so sick of fat people, especially the ones who blather on and on about how they were made that way, that they can't help being fat. I've got a relative who ways damn near 400 pounds who claims she's just the way God made her. I spent an hour with her once and watched her devour half a pizza and a pile of waffles drowning in fake syrup, all more than I could possibly eat in a day, and all delivered to her by her husband. I suppose God meant for her to eat all that crap too. Fuck God. Why is God making so many more Americans fatter every year anyway? Geez.

Posted by 130 | December 6, 2007 8:36 PM

My sister is morbidly obese, and my brother (her twin) has been treated for anorexia and being underweight (he's also straight, which makes him a rarity). The sister is currently doing Weight Watchers and is losing slowly but steadily.

What I do know is this: my arthritic knees feel much better now (20 pounds lighter than my peak) and I don't feel like crap when I exercise more. I've more to lose, but I can already feel the effects.

Some people (those with thyroid imbalances, PCOS, and Prader-Willi, for example) are fairly screwed when it comes to maintaining healthy weights. Most (like my parents and sister) simply eat poorly--by choice or by economic circumstance--and refuse to exercise because it hurts the joints to move them. As many a doctor has told me, the more you use them, the less they will hurt.

This is an interesting read by and about someone who has struggled with his weight for decades:

Posted by Griffin | December 6, 2007 8:41 PM

Oh, how I hate rabid feminists, fat and otherwise. They ruin it for us normal girls.

Hello, feminists? WE ARE NOT OPPRESSING YOU! Why don't you stop bitching at people for having an opinion that differs from yours and wake up to the fact that there are bigger fish to fry, like the conservatives trying to infringe on your right to have control over your life.

If you really don't care about what society thinks of you, why are you trying so hard to convince us you don't care? And why are all contrary opinions being deleted from the f-word blog? Can't you handle an opposing opinion? If you really want to be treated equally, why do you insist on being treated differently?

And while we're at it, please stop using the word "womyn." I find it offensive.

Posted by C | December 6, 2007 8:56 PM

@72 actually some people do work with heroin addicts using a harm reduction model: methadone therapy and needle exchange programs both have a certain amount of willpower involved (using methadone instead of smack, planning to get free needles and holding off if you can't. Teaching addicts to defer gratification (coping skills) might be difficult but it certainly wouldn't be a bad idea. Whereas NA like its AA cousin uses a disease model wherein you never are cured, you are merely in remission.

On a side note, there have been studies regarding pain reduction which indicate that the concept of "suffering without pain", (that is acknowledge the stimulus without characterizing it as pain) is quite effective in the management of long term chronic pain. Perhaps this would help some people with extra strong cravings for food.
But that's probably too zen for most people.

Posted by MSW | December 6, 2007 9:27 PM

I meant "pain without suffering" above. late at night in the big apple.

Posted by MSW | December 6, 2007 9:29 PM

If you don't get enough exercise and eat more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight. The so-severely-in-denial-that-they-delete-any-comments-of-the-opinion-that-fat-can-be-the-result-of-overeating-and-sedentary-lifestyle "F-word blog" relies on censorship of comments to maintain their denial. It convinces no one.

Yeah some stuff is genetics but to say that fat has no relation with food and activity is LUDICROUS. Not a lot of obesity among the poor in developing nations. Not much obesity among athletes either. I think all sizes are fine and I do not discriminate. But why is it so important to every fat person to prove that they don't eat anything fattening? Who cares? Fat people may eat, they may gain because of it and so what? Can't Fat Acceptance allow truthfulness and still work? It's anyone's right to eat whatever they want.

Posted by Dolly | December 6, 2007 10:02 PM

Just the fact that they delete any comment that suggests that weight loss is even possible shows that they are not amenable to modifying habits. They just want to insist that fat has nothing to do with lifestyle. Which is not true.

Why are they focusing on promoting the dubious "We have no responsibility for being fat, it's a random and permanent curse" doctrine instead of the more important "People should not be discriminated against because they are fat" message?

All my fat friends eat heartily, scandalously and unapologetically (and insist I partake) and it's part of what makes them fun, cool and badass. That's fat acceptance! Stop trying to make fat about shame and lies.

Posted by Tina | December 6, 2007 10:18 PM

By the way most thin people are dieting or controlling intake and what some might consider hungryish much of the time. Thin is not magic. The tiny skinny petite people aren't devouring huge fatty meals and usually obsess quite a bit over their food. They might do a bit of extravagant eating for show similar to how private overeaters may just pick in public to prove something, but they almost all make it a habit to restrict their natural appetites to a degree. Thin people are not immune to hunger or cravings at all!!!

Posted by anonymous | December 6, 2007 10:34 PM


Did you see the interesting research recently that showed that male twins of male/female twin pairs get anorexia at nearly the same rate as women do? The current hypothesis is that the exposure in uteri to the sister's female hormones affects the boy, creating a more female-like propensity to anorexia.

Posted by SpookyCat | December 6, 2007 10:54 PM

I'm one of those overweight folks, and this is how I see it.

There are definitely factors outside our control that make losing weight difficult. Humans tend to keep weight on (likely a survival technique during times of famine), we prepare our foods in ways that make them fattier, etc.

However, we can always take responsibility for what we put in our mouths. It's not always easy to eat in a healthy fashion on a budget, but it can be done. It can be tough to resist the temptation to have that chocolate cake or that plate of fries, but it can be done.

I acknowledge completely that I and I alone choose what I eat, and I know what I should be doing to get myself in shape. Now, I'm larger than I need to be in order to be healthy. I hope to change that, but I know that the only person who can do this is me. It's not about blaming the aspects of obesity that I can't control; it's about doing what I should about the aspects that I can control.

Posted by Resident Weevil | December 6, 2007 11:39 PM


We don't live in a utopic, egalitarian society. Women still make 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. Discrimination is still a reality. If you don't think women aren't second class citizens (along with minorities, the working poor, gays, the elderly, the disabled....)in America, you aren't paying attention.

As far as fat people go,who gives a damn?? Some people are fat some are thin. Big deal. Shallow, stupid people people come in all shapes.

Posted by rabidfeminist | December 7, 2007 12:06 AM

While the whole thing about whether weight is genetic and how much it has to do with choice and etc. blah blah blah is something that I think should someday be HOPEFULLY discussed objectively and scientifically....
Whatever, I just want to acknowledge that Dan Savage's column was more about one of the many existing double-standards that women enjoy in our society which is often overlooked. It's about fucking time someone did something like this to reflect upon these people how full of shit they are. That's what Dan is good at.

Posted by Real | December 7, 2007 12:46 AM

Thank you!!
The idea that obesity is genetic fails utterly to explain the correlation between the change in eating habits and the change in waistlines over the past 30 years.

It also fails to explain the differences in waistlines between cultural areas. In those cities that generally promote cycling, walking, whole grains, and vegetables there is significantly less obesity.

Yes, some people have a harder time because of genetic (or more likely economic) factors... but that's no reason to whine about stigma and prejudice while denying any personal responsibility to change.

Posted by Cinders | December 7, 2007 1:56 AM

What I think is missing from this conversation is that weight gain can stem from other causes than just plain over-eating. Eating is a social act and the letter writer who complained about his wife's weight gain didn't mention what their dining habits were like. Have they started going out often becuase they are too busy to cook at home, or maybe just because they've reached a point where they can afford to? I know it's happened to my waist line. Or perhaps her eating is tied to some sort of insecurity. Myabe she feels that he doesn't really love her unconditionally and is unconsciously pushing to see if it's true. Maybe she feels like she has no control in her relationship but she can control her body and eats because he tells her not to. It could be a very complicated situation and jumping to the lazy twinkie eating explanation can obscure some of the major issues at play.

Posted by clarity | December 7, 2007 2:20 AM

I'd rather be fat than a fa***t. Why don't
you take that, put it in your PC pipe
and smoke it!

Posted by Mari | December 7, 2007 6:51 AM

The fat activist types really piss me off. It is rare that I will hear of an "activist" group so delusional.

Demanding for equal rights is one thing. Of course fat people deserve to have the same job opportunities as any other group. Demanding that people find them attracted is stupid and impossible.

Claims of theirs:
Counterpoint: They found lightly obese women attractive. They didn't find 300-400 pound women attractive. They were circus freak-show material, not art material.

Counterpoint: Even if it is different for every person how much they will have to cut back to lose weight, if you do cut back, you do lose weight. Seriously!

Counterpoint: They do if you're doing them right. Starving yourself for a few months and then going back to your horrible eating habits is NOT an effective diet.

Counterpoint: No.

Counterpoint: If you are fat, you are fat. If you weigh more because of muscle, then you are not "fat". Therefore, some heavy people are fit, but most of them are seriously sedentary and not healthy.

Counterpoint: No, they tell you that your weight is the problem for your knee pain/diabetes/hypertension/nastiness because it is. You can go doctor-shopping, but if you find a doctor that is not telling you that your weight is a factor, he/she is NOT doing their job.

So, in conclusion, suck it, fat activists. You made yourself fat, and now you're just whining to make it seem like it's society's fault and not your own. Eat less twinkies.

Posted by Raye | December 7, 2007 8:43 AM

Oh, and a side point:

How come I've never, ever met a morbidly obese person who didn't smell bad? I mean, even morbidly obese friends of mine, who shower often, smell bad. They seem to leak B.O. ooze.

That makes me sad. There are times I'd like to hug them, but they smell horrible!

Another reason that it is hard to love the fatasses, perhaps?

Posted by Anon | December 7, 2007 8:51 AM

Can we remember that the original question was from a man whose wife had previously been thin, or at least thin enough to be attractive to that particular man, but then over time had gotten overweight?

If her being fat was part of a genetic issue, she probably would have been fat when he met her. The point is, over the course of their marriage, she had changed her habits and become less attractive to him. So don't get on Dan's case about saying that she had gotten fat by overeating and not excercising - that is an obvious conclusion, if you put on a lot of weight, it's probably due to a change in lifestyle. Not genetics.

Posted by Ayarkey | December 7, 2007 8:59 AM

I see no a priori reason that genetics should only affect youthful weight; genes affect you your whole life and do indeed turn off and on. The most dramatic late-life one I can think of is menopause; clearly it's genetic, but it does have some variation in timing from the thirties to the fifties, and it's a major change that happens to adult bodies. Genes are magnificent, complicated things, and assuming that they are incapable of turning on or off in adults is naive.

Differences between now and thirty years ago that could affect weight:

1. More women working means fewer home-cooked meals (society-wide, not for individuals). Unless an equal number of men are now choosing to stay home and cook, that means more two-job families and less home-cooking, which is shown to reduce weight gain. I'd be fine with either partner staying home or working part-time; but I really think we're asking too much of people nowadays.

2. We're older now. Society is aging and older people tend to be plumper than younger people. This doesn't mean that people aren't getting plumper at younger ages too. But view those stats that simply say all adults are fatter with some skepticism.

3. Small families. This is a personal hypothesis, not backed up by research that I know of. I think there are two effects here. The first is that single kids are watched like hawks and not allowed to roam free and play, as I remember being allowed to do as a kid. Less exercise means fatter kids, means fatter adults. The second is that a bunch of kids will be more active than a single kid, without the busy parents having to work very hard at it. So they get more exercise etc.

4. People are working longer hours and getting less sleep. People who get less sleep, eat more and more high calorie foods. A study took healthy, fit college men and showed that their appetite for sweet, calorie dense foods increased by 45% when they only got four hours sleep. More and more research shows that weight and sleep are a positive feedback loop, where fat people get less sleep and sleepy people get fat. It's got to do with hunger hormones, tiredness making it difficult to exercise and more. We need to get people off the perpetual treadmill of work and rushing about, and let them rest.

5. Healthy food is expensive to buy and takes more time and skill to prepare. As fewer young adults grow up in households that cook, fewer learn to cook themselves and so eat out more.

6. We drink too many calories, particularly from soda. Our caloric intake from fluids has increased considerably. And fluid calories don't seem to hit the appetite suppressors the way a meal does. Even more unfortunately, diet sodas also seem to be correlated with weight gain. So toss the sodas, drink milk (milk and dairy in general seems to help with weight maintainence), tea, coffee, and best of all plain water.

These are just the things I know off the top of my head (and the one wild hypothesis as I point out). There are probably other ones I don't recall at the moment or know about at all.

Posted by SpookyCat | December 7, 2007 10:02 AM

I definitely second what #82 said. I'm a slim woman in my 40's. The older I get the harder it is to stay thin. I can't have that extra cake or just let go and indulge anymore without seeing the results on the scale. I love food but I've made a conscious decision that I love being thin more. It isn't all about what others think. I like it when I fit into my clothes easily, feel light and can move quickly (I exercise a lot). I "work" really hard every day at being thin because I like being thin and it is worth it to me to make that choice. Sure I'd love to eat that bowl of M & M s, but I'd sure regret it later. Most of the other thin women I know really work at it too. I don't think anyone is fat by accident and I don't think many are thin by accident either in our sedentary culture of abundant food.

Posted by olderwoman | December 7, 2007 2:26 PM

Umm, whoever is arguing that fat /= unhealthy is on shaky ground at best. Just off the top of my head, I can tell you that the Framingham Heart Study (which is, like, the grand-daddy of all epidemiology studies and is noteworthy for how well conducted it is/was) found that overweight and obesity both substantially increase your heart disease risk. And then on top of that, there's basic research showing that fatty tissue in the abdominal area actually pumps inflammation-promoting chemicals into your circulation...and excessive inflammation plays a role in like, 8 trillion different diseases (from psoriasis to diabetes to Alzheimer's to heart disease).

Of course there are different studies with different (and sometimes conflicting) results, but overall, you'd have to have your head in the sand to think that carrying around extra weight (assuming that it's not muscle) doesn't mess with your health.

Posted by preclinical and clinical research | December 7, 2007 4:30 PM


"Hmm... Lets see... so my options are, eat 1200 calories a day and hit the gym for at least an hour a day, for the rest of my life, so that other people will like the way I look. Oooooor I could eat like a normal person, and walk my dog twice a day, and everyone will hate me.

Hmm which is more important to me... what society thinks of me, or not starving myself. Gee. Tough call."

Being fat isn't the problem in this case-the individual does not find fat people attractive, and his wife became fat AFTER marriage. Whether you in particular choose to be fat is not an issue here, and I hope that you find someone that finds fat people attractive. Lots of people do.

Noone hates you-they just hate sitting next to you on a plane. That goes for huge bodybuilders too-eesh!

ps to OP-a Twinkie is only 150 KCal., (unless deep fried.) Definitley not a diet buster.

Posted by mla | December 7, 2007 5:41 PM

Those bloggers even viciously attacked a 530 pound woman who wrote about going to get bypass surgery because she can no longer wipe her ass. They are accusing her of betraying the fat acceptance movement and not being pro-fat and for supporting the corrupt weight loss industry. This poor woman just wants to get mobility back and be go back to work. She is even getting hate comments on her blog like people saying anonymously they wish she died in surgery to prove a point.

So much for fat acceptance!

Posted by Boris | December 7, 2007 5:41 PM

"There’s no connection between diet and obesity. Period. Only an anti-fat bigot would suggest otherwise", says the first poster.

Right. That's why there are so many obese people in Ethiopia!

But seriously, I think it's extremely disrespectful to all the people who die while on hunger strikes for causes that *you yourself support* to claim that food intake and obesity aren't related. It ain't hunger that kills those people: it's the body digesting itself to stay alive, and eventually depleting even that cupboard.

Posted by Francisco | December 7, 2007 6:23 PM

Excuse me, but I'd like to point something out. It doesn't f-ing matter why someone is fat; you still should not treat them badly. People deserve basic respect because they are people, period. If you look for 'bad' fatties to diss on because they're unhealthy and lazy, it does nothing but prove you're a petty, mean person who likes to beat up people anonymously online. If you don't like fat people, then just stay away from them. Chances are they don't like you either.

Posted by anon | December 8, 2007 12:33 PM


Posted by Penis | December 8, 2007 8:21 PM


Posted by POOP | December 8, 2007 8:28 PM

These delusional fat American fucks think that being made fun of for being a fat disgusting slob is comparable with how Jews were treated in the Holocaust, and also racism and homophobia.
Won't someone think of the all the poor fatties who are being lynched, killed in gas chambers, or beaten to death for being fat?
Oh. wait.
Fat idiots, the lot of them.

Posted by Max | December 11, 2007 4:13 AM

I agree with Max. We should pick and choose who tolerance applies to. All men and women were not created equal, lol amirite? Weight is just GAWD's way of indicating that.

But remember, we can't kill them, or it really WILL be a human rights issue, rite? We can't have that. We need to make them feel worthless because they really are trash! God, I love being skinny and therefor physically superior! I'm so pretty and right! Anyone who disagrees is probably FAT!

Posted by Bones McRibcage | December 14, 2007 5:03 PM

wow. it's really gross to hear how hateful people are. really, it is. what about those of us who have been fat since the womb? i'm a long-time vegetarian. i prefer veggies and whole grains and food that isn't processed. i work out most days (yoga. spinning. pilates). i live in san francisco and can walk the steepest hill at my speed-walking pace (usually in 4 inch heels) and not lose my breath. i'm fucking hot as hell, and i weigh 200 pounds and am 5'5". i've no problem attracting attention from either sex, but reading this shit fucks with my ego, and i'm pissed. just know this, douchebags (and you know who you are): not all of us are scarfing down fast food and popping bon bons on the couch, ok? christ.

Posted by peoplearegenerallydumb | December 18, 2007 3:11 PM

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