A New Study Claims That Fat Shaming Doesn’t Work

This week many news outlets reported on a study out of the University College London. Researchers there recently conducted an experiment to see if “fat shaming,” or discrimination against obese people, is an effective method for facilitating weight loss. The results:

“Our results show that weight discrimination does not encourage weight loss, and suggest that it may even exacerbate weight gain,” says lead author Dr. Sarah Jackson.

The Study

What they did in this study was poll over 3,000 adults aged 50 years or older. They asked them if they experienced “fat shaming” as defined below:

1. You are treated with less respect or courtesy
2. You receive poorer service than other people in restaurants and stores
3. People act as if they think you are not clever
4. You are threatened or harassed
5. You receive poorer service or treatment than other people from doctors or hospitals

Five percent of the participants replied “yes.” Everyone’s weight was then monitored over a four-year period. The people who said they were shamed reported gaining about 2 pounds (0.95 kg) on average. The people who didn’t reported losing about 1.6 pounds (0.71 kg) on average.

It’s important to note that the study was a survey and not a thorough experiment, so we can’t be sure that “fat shaming” actually caused the weight gain, or the extent to which these people were actually shamed. This is already an important consideration that casts doubt on the experimental design.

After collecting the data, the researchers ventured a guess as to why these people might have gained weight: “Previous studies have found that people who experience discrimination report comfort eating. Stress responses to discrimination can increase appetite, particularly for unhealthy, energy-dense food.”

My Take

Everyone responds differently to adversity, and “negative encouragement.”

From the moment I stepped on a football field or basketball court, some kids responded quite well when a coach got in their face and yelled “You fucked up son, get off the court and do it better next time!” They were motivated by this pressure and used it as fuel to tear shit up next time through. Other kids would lose all confidence when the coach got in their face. They would be so scared of screwing up again that they would play nervously and suck as a consequence.

I don’t think “fat shaming” is any different: some people are motivated by this negative encouragement, and take it as a challenge. They start skipping dessert instead of skipping workouts. Other people are put down by it, and actually retreat further into whatever vice or mistake they’re being called out on. They cancel their gym membership and order Papa John’s.

And, when it comes to “fat shaming,” you have to realize that we’re dealing with a particular segment of the population. Obese people are, on average, not going to be champions of life, with sky-high confidence and the propensity to take on any challenge you throw their way. Let’s be honest: most non-obese people don’t even possess those virtues. And for the obese, the poor eating and exercise habits that got them where they are are most likely a direct reflection of a poor inner self image.

Put simply: they’re probably not in a good place mentally if they’re sitting at 30+ percent body fat. For this reason, I have to agree with the sentiments conveyed in the study. “Fat shaming” will most likely not have a positive effect on your average fat person. However, I have to laugh at some of the behaviors they classified as “fat shaming.”For example: “people act as if they think you are not clever”—that’s not because of your belly.

So sure, “fat shaming” may work on some of your buddies who are strong at heart, but just let their diet and exercise slip because of an intense work schedule, but on average it’s probably better to inform and encourage.

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133 thoughts on “A New Study Claims That Fat Shaming Doesn’t Work”

  1. Of course it doesn’t work. Obesity is a disease that has to fixed with proper diet, exercise and lifestyle habits. If people could just un-fat themselves everyone would have a six pack.

    1. It does work sometimes. Unfatting yourself, and fattening yourself, both stem from your motivations in life. Shame is one way to motivate someone. Well placed, applicable, factual shame about obesity can help people realize how destructive they are to themselves and the healthcare system. Especially in countries with socialized medicine.

  2. I think a lot of food in the US has certain chemicals that lead to obesity, such as corn syrup. And the countries that don’t have a lot of fat women tend to have a lot of fat men.

    1. Ive read up on this. The food industry knows damn well what they are doing and they have learned from the tobacco industry how to get in front of opposition before it shows up.

      1. Honestly, the food industry is selling all those products like Slim Fast and Lean Cuisine. During the wintertime, people eat Hungry-Man products, and in the summer they switch to Lean Cuisine to attempt to get skinny.

        1. I saw that they sell people the food that gets them fat and the food to make them thin. Those yoplait yogurts women love have as much sugar as a snickers bar and the same sugar as two donuts.

        2. Breakfast has become a lazy meal in the US. Most people are “too busy” to wake up and cook eggs and bacon/sausage. Instead, they grab a yogurt and some sort of carb (bagel, croissant, etc). The worst part is most people view this as more healthy than two eggs and some bacon. Don’t forget that most people drink some sort of juice and put sugar in their coffee.
          The people that skip that meal all together aren’t any better since they don’t kickstart their metabolism.

        3. Boiled egg, piece of toast and fruit. 1/2cup cottage cheese, fruit, piece of toast. We started this kickstart metabolism nonsense and it has gone downhill from there. Same as six small meals a day, that ain’t working either.

    2. It´s not any better with other cuisines, though. When walking through the Turkish districts in Vienna I cannot but be astonished as to how many fat older Turkish men and women there are, the latter one – o sweet irony – still covering themselves when they are already 50 year old fat barrels

      1. What do the young ones look like? This is the problem in N.A. The young are sooooooo overweight.

  3. Yeah after I graduated college my cousin “fat shamed” me. I knew I was getting fat, but I told myself that fat people can’t do pull-ups and I can. After I looked at the pictures, I realized I was fat and I dieted to lose the weight. Now I look better than ever

    1. This is one topic where providing personal anecdotes about your trimphant response to fat shaming is relevant.

    2. If you noticed the fat shaming didn’t work, only when you came to the realization you needed to change were you really to lose the weight. Same experience here.

      1. Without “fat shaming”, I don’t think I would have ever came to the realization that I needed to lose weight.

  4. Fat people are lazy. Anyone can lose weight it only requires a calorie deficit. Most people don’t even know how many calories they are eating. They eat fast food, don’t work out and drink gallons of soft drinks. Obesity has ruined women. They are mostly fat slobs now.

      1. Yep being in shape now is the equivalent of being a racist. Your fitness, muscle and athleticism offends fat slobs. Look at fit mom and how she was attacked by fat single mom’s. Let’s talk about fit shaming. How I and others who work out are accused of using steroids or having no life and living in the gym. This country is backwards. Making money makes you a greedy theif who oppresses workers and being in shape and or muscular makes you a drug user who is being mean to fat people and making them feel inferior simply by walking in a room.

        1. That mom’s body wasn’t even that impressive. It was not fat & that’s about it. That’s what makes it even more sad, lol.

        2. That is the essential nature of socialism. Scapegoat those that do well and punish them for their hard work.

      2. The avg person in the early 1900’s till the late 70’s ate 3000-plus calories, yet their obesity rates were very low. They had an abundance of food due to the use of the Haber process (specifically pertaining to the processing of ammonia and nitrogen to be used as fertilizer).
        So why didn’t the balloon up for nearly a century? They were more active. It was simpler to burn energy, because nearly every task was labor intensive. Even household tasks took more energy, leading to women that were generally more fit.
        Our technocratic society was always going to lead to shit-headed gluttony, when combined with our massive capability of food production, and the disruption of personal integrity.
        I have little hope for the common man and women; they simply make too many damn excuses for why the act like irresponsible children (this goes double for women).
        Get up off your ass, stop picking at your smartphone, get the fuck off Facebook/Tinder/Twitter/etc. and start moving your ass. That fucking simple. You are ultimately responsible for yourself, and yourself only. No one else is going to lift those weights for you, they won’t run the miles, nor put in the work.
        It’s not some vicarious process.
        I know this is basically an echo chamber, and there is no need to get sanctimonious on a site that values the importance of self-improvement. But when it comes to personal responsibility, it bothers me to no end that people (again, mostly women) shift the blame instead of becoming self-aware, and improving themselves.

        1. i think even more than amount of calories or even energy burnt, it was the kind of food they were eating. i make it a rule of thumb to never eat anything that wasn’t available 500 years ago, with the exception of protein shakes.

        2. Your explanation is obviously incomplete, because not all sedentary people get fat. And come to think of it, not all fat people sit around all day. Can your theory even explain why people put on weight as opposed to height? Both would be equally compatible with the second law of thermodynamics, which you are (perhaps unwittingly) invoking.
          You are right, this is a sanctimonious echo chamber. But the awareness you speak of is lacking. You have no idea of the etiology of obesity yet you presume to advise others.

        3. Please enlighten us on the root cause of obesity. I am not speaking of the entirety of obesity, such as hypothyroidism, inability to reduce the size of adipose tissue, leptin over/underproduction (although this has many caveats), and other medical issues that cannot be taken care of by diet and exercise alone.
          These are outliers and not the majority. Of course, we do have to contend with obesity related diseases being passed off via hereditary means to future generations, thereby possibly increasing the difficultly for each subsequent generation to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Yet again, this becomes the responsibility of the parent to try their damnedest to not pollute the gene pool. But responsibility be damned.
          How would people expand/contract vertically if they expended more/less energy? The second law of thermodynamics is inapplicable in that situation, and is completely insane when talking about bio-mechanics and physiology.
          Get your pseudo-science out of here.

        4. Read Taubes and Lustig. Or if you haven’t the time, you can watch them on YouTube.
          Re the second law, I mention it because you imply that obesity is explained by positive energy balance when that is only the result, not the cause.
          Best wishes.

      3. i’ll second that bro, these 9 bitches that i know only eat a potato in a year, however, lo and behold, not only did they not die from starvation but they even gained 60 pounds!!! fat ……. err i mean god really does work in a mysterious way.

      1. To be fair – and I am NOT denying the necessity of self-responsibility
        here – it is NOT always entirely the person’s fault these days.
        Their fault for not making the best of their situation, of course, but given the amount of hormone disrupting chemicals in pesticides, plastics, all sorts of household chemicals and indeed everywhere, as well as the huge amount of shitty health advice, plenty of women may genuinely have thyroid problems affecting their health.
        Moreover, Women these days have way to much oestrogen with the birth control pill, which affects their thyroid too.
        That being said, if you have a shitty situation, you do what you can to fix it. You don’t wallow in it, but try to be better.
        Plenty of guys realise the horror that modern living is for our testosterone levels, yet we don’t try and change people’s opinions of our weaknesses, so much as we try to solves the problems causing our weakness.
        And that is the futility of “fat-acceptance” and all other similar
        movements: They consider it too hard to change themselves, and yet try to change the opinions of the world. Thus they abdicate responsibility for the only thing in life they have any control over, themselves, to pursue the Sisyphean task of trying to control the world around them.
        Utter madness!

        1. “They consider it too hard to change themselves, and yet try to change the opinions of the world. ”
          BOOM. Right there, women would rather change what beautiful is rather then go to the hard work of reversing the damage they have done to their body. You don’t see men posting around about how a bear gut and being 40% body fat is being beautiful.

        2. How about we start a “beer gut acceptance movement” and try to shame the entire God damned planet into not having “fascist” and “unrealistic” beauty standards which leave out “real men”, for a “Ken doll” look that almost no man can achieve. Don’t they know just how judgemental it is,
          and how many young men get depressed about their bellies?
          Real men have curves mother fucker, and can probably balance a beer can on their gut.
          Real man.
          OMG pretty much NO ONE looks like that. Totally unrealistic, fascist, matriarchal beauty standards. A Ken Doll… Not a real man. Real men drink beer and have curves. Better accept it, judgemental bitches!

        3. no woman in her right mind will openly admit that they’ll go “anything goes” when judging men. you only find out that truth by keen observation on what women preached and what they did or when women chatting among themselves and forgetting that a man is within earshot.
          women are self-righteous dishonest beings, they always want to claim the higher moral ground, their “logic” and sense of “fairness” is something like : “i don’t judge you for being 6′,
          6 pack, 6 figure income, so it’s only fair that you don’t judge me for being 5′, 200 lbs and now you should kneel down to ask for my hand in marriage”.

        1. I find I just can’t get “big boned” for any “big boned” girls. Don’t judge me for it. I was born this way.

    1. “Most people don’t even know how many calories they are eating.”
      No cheetah knows how many calories it is eating.
      Neither did most of your ancestors.
      Here is all you need to know:
      Meat, eggs and work builds muscle.
      Starches, sugar and sloth builds fat.
      Table pushes for reps reduces weight.
      Subscribe to my newsletter for just $19.99/mo. and I’ll send you an email the first of every to remind you.

      1. I love the cheetah analogy. Cheetah’s don’t know how much they eat, but they are extremely active and need to move to survive. We discuss in my Exercise Science in Health/Disease class how society has changed to a point where we don’t need to move. He have to deliberately take time out of our day to exercise, whereas it was a necessary part of survival back in the day. Genetics affects weight somewhat, but obesity is certainly caused by excess caloric intake without utilizing those calories through movement. People attribute way too much to genetics instead of chalking it up to their laziness, poor nutrition, and lack of activity. People need to just try and be less sedentary. Being sedentary and inactive is one of the greatest risk factors of disease. Yet people for some reason don’t want to move. They are more interested in waiting for the miracle new supplement being pushed by greedy bastards, like Dr. Oz, and the newest fad diet on how you can lose weight by eating only chocolate or some shit like that.

        1. Genetics affects weight somewhat, but obesity is certainly caused by excess caloric intake without utilizing those calories through movement.

          This is certainly wrong. How did you arrive at this conclusion?

        2. Energy surplus=gain weight. Basic math. If you burn off 2000 calories a day and take in 1000 calories extra, you will store those 1000 calories. 3500 calories=1 lb. Stay in a calorie surplus over time= weight gain. How is this wrong?

        3. It’s wrong because basic math doesn’t apply to a complex organism like the human body. It’s similar to how Newtonian physics doesn’t directly apply to the universe. Fat and carbohydrates can both be measured in calories but the body metabolizes each differently. This is what determines fat gain or loss. A calorie deficit will just make you tired.

      2. I like the sound of your analogy, but c’mon bud, ever see a fruitarian? Tell me, go ahead and tell me, that those sugar scoffing kids are fat.
        Or rice eating Asians, for that matter.
        Wheat does seem to make you fat, at least over a life time. But like it or not, the most fattening things we eat today are not sugar or starch – but FAT.
        The lie is that it’s saturated animal fat that makes us fat. But unsaturated vegetable fats genuinely do make us fat. Ever notice people munching rice and fruit never put on much weight, but people eating DEEP FRIED chips and doughnuts and all that, do? That’s when carbs make us fat.

        1. You’re right though, as concerns meat and eggs being good for muscle building. A vegan fruitarian may be thin, but very rarely strong, let alone well-muscled.

        2. ” . . .ever see a fruitarian?”
          Obesity isn’t the only health damaging metabolic disorder.
          ” . . .unsaturated vegetable fats genuinely do make us fat.”
          They are highly problematic.
          “Ever notice people munching rice and fruit never put on much weight . . .?”
          No, actually, I haven’t, and was at my personal fattest as a rice and fruit eater (no wheat, I’m a celiac).
          ” . . .DEEP FRIED chips . . .”
          Fried starches are problematic. I remember when they were almost universally fried in tallow and lard (and HFCS didn’t exist) and people who ate them in more than small amounts got fat. The fat cop is a stereotype of the donuts fried in animal fat washed down with real sugar Coke days.
          It was that stereotype that played a large role in convincing many that it was the animal fat that was the problem.
          Actually, it was a class bigotry that led to that conclusion. The obese were predominantly poor . . . and rednecks.
          Note that starving rednecks labor for a living, while the skinny people had the desk jobs and all the food they could eat.
          The exact opposite of the way blame is assigned today.

    2. Not anyone. You can’t speak generally because you have some exceptions. I mean there’re those 1% (just a small number) of people with diseases, some awful genetics or even people who suffer from some psychological / physical trauma (it also affects the metabolism). You must hire a specialist to literally cure them. The rest of course are just not responsible and mostly lazy people with a weak mentality (sorry for being sincere with my point).

    3. Actually calories are not really relevant. It is actually the nutrient content of the food that you eat and how the body metabolizes certain nutrients. A calorie is really just a measure of the energy quotient of an object and doesn’t directly translate into how much energy your body can get from the object.
      You mentioned soft drinks. They are loaded with refined sugar. Long story short, your body metabolizes sugar into fat and stores it in fat cells. It is the over consumption of sugary products that invariably leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other horrific diseases.

  5. “And, when it comes to “fat shaming,” you have to realize that we’re
    dealing with a particular segment of the population. Obese people are,
    on average, not going to be champions of life, with sky-high confidence
    and the propensity to take on any challenge you throw their way .” very well articulated statement. i had an obese cousin who would come home and binge every time someone insulted her weight. i obviously couldnt understand the logic behind it, but clearly she is not the only one who resorts to this behavior when criticized. ive yet to see a motivational tactic that can be universally applied to the entire population.

    1. “i had an obese cousin who would come home and binge every time someone insulted her weight. i obviously couldnt understand the logic behind it…”
      That’s b/c there isn’t logic behind it, what there is, is emotion. While not a popular opinion around here, the truth is that, if “fat shaming” actually worked, we’d have a nation full of skinny people.
      À bientôt,

  6. So much of this is culture and diet. Its really obvious when you compare obesity rates between countries like the US (50%) and Japan (5%). Reverse culture shock for Americans who has lived overseas.

  7. Fat shaming is like criminal justice. Although the percentage of falsely imprisoned people is important and false imprisonment is horrible, its also important that at least some criminals are imprisoned and hopefully turned around. In other words if most fatties don’t respond to shaming, but some do, consider it a life saved and a good deed done.
    ” Fat shaming: the worst way society can treat a suicidal public resource hogging slob, except for all the other ways. ”
    Banning soda with laws and using other legal pressure is much worse than fat shaming.

    1. “Banning soda with laws and using other legal pressure is much worse than fat shaming.”
      Strange how the same people who are so concerned about fat shaming, don’t seem to be bothered at all by nanny statists like Michelle Obama and Michael Bloomberg literally trying to control their diets.

  8. Fat-shaming is not really necessary – only a healthy outlook of everyone simply knowing that being fat is not good. And that kind of perception should permeate society at all levels.
    As far as shaming and other pressure tactics for achieving goals go: Everyone is different, but as a rule of thumb – if you are not far away from the goal, you are more likely to be motivated by pressure tactics – if you are obese and have a long way ahead of you, the shaming is better left to yourself instead of society. This will only create discouragement.
    But on the other hand fat-acceptance is even worse. It is the same as alcoholism-, drug-abuse-, failure-in-life-acceptance. Those attitudes are only destructive.

  9. I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that obesity results mainly from low self-esteem. Some people overeat and underexercise because they think so highly of themselves; they believe that they deserve all the tasty, high-calorie treats they want, shouldn’t have to be bothered with the inconvenience of exercise, and think they are so attractive they can afford to be overweight. One obese co-worker of mine (BMI >40) had full-blown narcissistic personality disorder, and enough self-esteem for a hundred people. Of course, I’ve known obese people with low self-esteem as well. It’s hard to generalize. It’s also hard to stay in shape while eating processed foods, drinking lots of alcohol, and not exercising.

      1. had any of you red pillers ever noticed that most if not all women are against fat-shaming only if it directed to women? and have no qualm whatsoever to quickly point out that this or that guy is short because he’s less than 6′?

        1. Ah, yes. Women can judge men on things they have little to no control over (height, penis size, jawline, cheekbones, hairline, etc.), but don’t you dare judge women on something that can be fixed with just a little discipline.

        2. “Ah, yes. Women can judge men on things they have little to no control over (height, penis size, jawline, cheekbones, hairline, etc.), but don’t you dare judge women on something that can be fixed with just a little discipline.”
          ain’t that the truth! and blue pillers refer to women as the “fairer” sex, what a joke! it’ll be way more realistic to refer to women as the fatter sex and/or the shorter sex – that’s why they always want taller men to make up for their own height deficiency.

        3. “Ah, yes. Women can judge men on things they have little to no control over (height, penis size, jawline, cheekbones, hairline, etc.), but don’t you dare judge women on something that can be fixed with just a little discipline.”
          but of course no woman in her right mind will openly admit that they’ll go “anything goes” when judging men. you only find out that truth by keen observation on what women preached and what they did or when women chatting among themselves and forgetting that a man is within earshot.
          women are self-righteous dishonest beings, they always want to claim the higher moral ground, their “logic” and sense of “fairness” is something like : “i don’t judge you for being 6′, 6 pack, 6 figure income, so it’s only fair that you don’t judge me for being 5′, 200 lbs and now you should kneel down to ask for my hand in marriage”.

  10. I think alot of the obesity comes down to the chemicals we are putting in food and water that affect thyroid function. Getting fat has alot to do with simply having a low metabolism which is controlled mostly by thyroid hormones(no coincidence that bodybuilders take overdose amounts of the hormones to burn off the last bits of fat).

    1. Thyroid can be stimulated by taking vitamin D3. But that’s not the same thing as portion control. If you’re a woman who eats like a man then you’re going to get chunky. The sexes are different by nature. Women have less muscle mass, and carry weight differently than men.

    2. It really is just calories in versus calories expended. You can get more technical when you get into preserving muscle mass during weight loss, which is why bodybuilders use insulin and occasionally anvar etc…, but with our without drugs, they run a calorie deficit and eat around 1g pel lb lean body mass which is the real key to getting lean and not turning skinny fat.

      1. They’ve already disproved the calorie in vs calorie out by testing different diets in 90% fat vs 90% protein 90% carb. Fat caused the most weight loss while the carb diet actually caused weight gain. We aren’t merely a fire burning inputs, its a much more complicated system.

      2. I actually tell women (and some men) to forget the scale. People are so caught up in “weight loss” that they don’t realize that 5lbs of muscle and 5lbs of fat are the same weight…the muscle just takes up less mass. It’s how you look and feel.
        Many women get into a combo of cardio and weights…so I tell them to forget the scale completely. On the other side..too much cardio starts to burn off muscle as well as fat.
        Also, that their body is a system and they need to track what they eat, how much they eat and how often (times). Each person is a little different so you can’t follow an exact, cookie cutter diet.

        1. I am a believer in “If it fits your macros” and overall calorie counting. Depending on activity, and lean body mass, the macro ratios and exact calories for maintenance/loss/gain can be established.
          Where people get tripped up is looking at two people of the same weight where one has a high % of lean mass versus the other who is more fat. Lean body mass burns calories and allows the more in shape person to eat, which is why stength training is tied to longterm weight control. Cardio burns calories, but does nothing for long term maintenance or allowing for larger portions.
          The reality is the lean strong guy is putting in the work and eating less. Cardio is good, but not for long term control.

  11. We all read what Thomas Edison did to restore the confidence of his assistant who broke the first light bulb by accident. He obviously didn’t think shaming was the right answer.
    I think obese people feel bad enough about their condition and don’t need unsolicited reminders from others. I don’t know what the success rate is for support groups like Overeaters Anonymous but I suspect they get better results from encouraging each other than from shaming.

    1. Thats the theory behind “how to win friends and influence people “.Dale Carnegie was apparently considered an expert in human behavior ( as well as in individual and team motivation ) and taught courses aimed at improving interpersonal skills and leadership ability.

    2. I don’t know about Overeaters Anonymous but Alcoholics Anonymous has a 99 percent FAILURE rate

    1. I think by challenging the narrative that seems to be “accepted” today..that everyone should be accepted “as is”.
      If you truly care for anyone, then you’ll speak out or speak up when you see it happening (especially if someone starts to complain).
      I don’t mind taking my time to educate people or even write out a schedule for them (exercise and diet) but I tell them “ultimately, it’s up to you to change…if you want it”.

  12. This article couldn’t have come at a better time. I just got an email from a fitness guru (selling a product of course) sharing her story on fat shaming:
    “What’s your most embarrassing
    I got a dooooooozy for
    I had a really horrible
    (actually, evil) ex-boyfriend Steven
    manipulated me into taking
    pictures of me wearing a really ugly bikini.
    He said, “I want you to see
    what the world sees, your butt and legs are
    full of fat and turn me
    When I tell that story, I
    always tear up, and I find myself wanting
    to track the loser
    However, I didn’t burn those
    embarrassing pictures: I kept them,
    proving everyone wrong, and
    using them now to change the lives of women of all
    If you want to know how, hear
    more about it, and see how it inspired me
    to get a size 2 butt and body,
    then go here now…”

  13. It’s bullshit, if you encourage behavior you get more of it, you discourage it you get less of it, simple social science, this study is clearly catering to specific political and social ideologies.

    1. True. However, the problem is that “being fat” isn’t a behavior. It’s a constellation of behaviors, as well as habits, attitudes, dispositions, chemical responses.
      Barring the rare case of a genuine hormonal disorder, obesity is the physical symptom of poor mental health. Trying to shame someone into not being obese is about as effective as trying to shame someone into not being depressed, not being manic, not being anxious, or not having PTSD.

      1. “Being fat” is a state, but nobody comes into this world as a big-fat-fatty. its the behaviors that make them that way: sitting on their asses, eating garbage, and eating just too damn much. These are conscious decisions and a far cry from involuntary states like manic depression or PTSD.

        1. “Being fat” is a state, but nobody comes into this world as a big-fat-fatty”
          i beg to digress , my cousin was born 80 pounds overweight and wielded a claymore in each hand, the doctor said it was a sign from god, so……………

        2. It’s easy to say to a fat person “Why do you keep eating fatty foods? Don’t you realize what you’re eating? All you need to do is stop eating!” You could also say something to someone with PTSD “Why do you keep thinking about your trauma? Don’t you realize what you’re thinking? All you need to do is stop thinking about it!”
          Again, obesity is a physical symptom of poor mental health. Obese people are stuck in a pattern of coping unhealthily with pre-existing problems and/or the problems arising from obesity itself. This is similar to alcoholism. (Refined sugar, like alcohol, triggers reward and addiction areas of the brain).
          While nothing about PTSD is addictive, it similarly arises from an inability to healthily cope with some traumatic event. It may be triggered by some external event, but it gets perpetuated and reinforced by the patient’s mental behavior. This might sound strange, but it’s the premise behind cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps people with a variety of disorders to learn healthy coping strategies, while also helping them to unlearn unhealthy ones.

        3. Here’s the big difference: No one is arguing that people with PTSD are just fine and people just need to be patient. No one is arguing that alcoholics need to be accommodated and that we need to adjust our perception of “normal drinking”. In fact, lots of alcoholics and people with PTSD will tell you their lives are jacked and that they need help.
          BUT OBESE PEOPLE….it’s a glandular problem, I’m just “big”, its because of societal pressure, everyone just needs to change their definition of what ideal body composition is….BULLSHIT.
          If you’re fat and don’t give a damn if you die in a week, that’s your business. But when it jacks up OTHER PEOPLE’S medical costs, makes OTHER PEOPLE take up slack on work you’re too fat to do, and you’re gonna tell me that I’M THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM???
          …put down the donut, fat-ass, you’re not sick, or diseased, or depressed, you’re just lazy.

        4. I completely agree with you that “fat acceptance” is foolish. It coddles fat people, promotes weakness, and stunts personal growth (i.e. fat people getting their shit together).
          I also agree that the disease model of obesity is faulty, as too many fat people use “disease” to mean “a condition over which I have no control.” This is counterproductive because fat people need to take control of their lives in order to achieve meaningful, sustained weight loss.
          What I dispute is the veracity and utility of insisting upon a model in which fat people (or anyone else) is entirely rational. People are only quasi-rational, given that their actions are, if not determined, then at least affected and constrained by physiology.
          We see how physiology affects behavior in alcoholics. An alcoholic has to choose to drink everything he drinks. And yet, his desire to drink is not rational, but comes as a result of his body’s physical response to its chemical conditioning. Fat people are often depressed and are addicted to food.

  14. Being overweight is like being a drug addict: you may think you’re only hurting yourself but any future health problems will affect your family and the rest of society.
    A lot of the blame belongs to schools forcing kids to sit with bad posture for 40 hours a week (growing up, I liked to eat loads like my dad who had a very physical job. He got strong, I got podgy!). The food industry is also to blame.
    Being obese says a lot about you. I find it really hard to take very fat people seriously. An older man who has a bit of a stomach might just like good food but past a certain point it’s like carrying a big sign around saying ‘I’m greedy, can’t control my desires and I’m lazy with no self-respect’.
    It’s obvious that a well dressed fit young man will get better service than a 200kg slob with food stains on his T-shirt. Service staff are human and their disgust will show through no matter how professional they are.

  15. The Skinny on Fat Shaming. It doesn’t work. If it did work, we’d be a nation full of think/fit people. So what does that mean?
    1. If you yourself are fat, you already know. Find a way to exercise more*–if all you can do at the start is walk a mile or half a mile, start with that, and build. The important thing is to do something to fight back as a man.
    2. If you see someone else who is fat, and is trying to do something about it, your two options should be either (a) try to encourage them, or (b) leave them alone.
    3. The “Fat is Fit” or “Fat is Beautiful” crowd? They’re pretty much fair game. Guys (normal ones) are not going to be attracted to obese women. If the heavies have a problem with that, they can go argue with their bio-mechanical creators. Remember that Dove “real beauty” campaign? That wasn’t ‘real beauty’. That was a bunch of fat women in their underwear that none of us would bang put in an ad by a soap manufacturer who is trying to sell soap to fat ladies by telling them it’s okay to be fat.
    À bientôt,
    *I’m not your doctor. In fact, I’m not a doctor at all, unless you count “witch doctor”. If you have some secret heart condition that mean you will die after three jumping jacks, then talk it over with an *actual* doctor.

  16. “The people who said they were shamed reported gaining about 2 pounds
    (0.95 kg) on average. The people who didn’t reported losing about 1.6
    pounds (0.71 kg) on average.”
    That is a weight range I can span in an hour, never mind four years. Without knowing the protocol for weighing the whole thing is nearly meaningless.
    Knowing the protocol it’s, well, still pretty much meaningless, the variation being so small. What it actually shows is that these people were obese, but in metabolic balance; weight stable.
    Or, to put it in behavioural terms, on average they were not overeating beyond maintenance.

    1. The study is bullshit. Gaining 1 kg in a year for an obese person is very good. It means they stabilized their weight. Studies with self reporting are meaningless when it comes to things related to self esteem.

  17. It’s my thyroid, hormones, metabolism. Actually, it’s everything except me stuffing my piehole.

  18. The author makes some valid points. Different people react to different inputs in different ways. We certainly should continue to signal that it is not socially acceptable to be fat in any circumstances, while tailoring solutions to fit individual situations. I am curious about the role high fructose corn syrup and other additives may play in this recent phenomenon. The poorest Americans seem to be the fattest.

    1. Good points. As time goes on, it is becoming increasingly obvious that many foods are very bad for people…and yes, high fructose (aka corn syrup) is one of the main culprits. That, coupled with preservatives in food.
      But, the food companies don’t want people to know these facts because it affects their profit margins.
      Exercise and diet go hand in hand – my opinion. You won’t see the full results (and feel better) without practicing both.

  19. Not an easy battle but totally worth it for optimal strength and vitality. I encourage everyone to watch Dr. Lustig’s video ”The Truth About Sugar.”

  20. “Yes, let’s encourage obesity — the number two cause of death in America behind tobacco (but quickly moving to first).” — modern society

  21. Even if excessive criticism would “make things worse”, it does not negate the fact that people try to adhere to society’s standards. More than often what is meant by shaming is not being constantly mocked, but merely the expectation of norms. To blur the lines is a feminist tactic employed to make their pathology seem more acceptable.

    1. Good point. The acceptable norms must be pointed out.
      Of course, feminists would claim we are preaching conformity. But conformity is not adhering to social norms, it is cowardly burying your own values to avoid standing out. So there need to be values in the first place.

    2. Yep, agree. It’s funny. Growing up I use to hear about how being overweight wasn’t good for anyone. We used to have public announcement (commercials) on TV regarding obesity. Everyone was on the same page because doctors claim “it’s unhealthy to be that big”.
      That was several decades ago.
      Today, I don’t see any of these announcements…just more commercials for junk food, weight loss products and too many drug commercials. Plus, the new narrative on how you should “accept” everyone “just how they are”….even if it means they are killing themselves?
      I shake my head…it’s hilarious. The patients are running the asylum.

  22. I used to weigh 245 at my heaviest. I now weight about 180 and have a six pack.
    I’ll tell you that there was no “fat pride” in my thinking. I hated every minute of it and was full of anger.
    I ended up losing the weight. Rather than believing that I am entitled to respect and admiration and accolades, I made a decision to change and take action. Rather than blame society and change other people via “equality” fair treatment” laws, I changed myself.
    Simple as that.

    1. Great work, Biggs. I too lost 50 lbs under similar circumstances. You have to get sick of it and just demonstrate iron-fisted discipline all men are capable of doing. Cut out the stupid excuses, the carbs, the sugars, the fats/fried products and just keep your caloric intake very low for a prolonged period.
      Look at pictures of your forebears dating prior the fast-food era. How many were obese? That pretty much refutes the “bad genes” argument.

  23. People on here should read Gary Taubes. Calorie counting doesn’t work and neither goes exercise. Fat people have been lied to about what is causing there problem, and many have yo-yo dieted for years. Telling them to eat less move more should earn you a fat smack in the mouth. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about do yourself a favour and google it. Try insulin metabolism, metabolic syndrome or ketogenic diet, etc. it can benefit you even if you’re not overweight.
    On the other hand I find it hard to believe how, with all the information out there on the link between high carb diets and obesity, and conversely on the success people have had with Atkins, paleo, etc., the overweight can still feel so disempowered in many cases. I work with fat middle aged women and men who still persevere with trying to eat less or cut back on dietary fat. There is no excuse for this kind of ignorance.
    So on the whole shaming is futile. Giving people information is the way to go, although its no guarantee they will act on it.

    1. Agree….many people have been lied to because it sells more products related to “weight loss”. That term, alone, should be banned and people should get rid of their scales.
      My advice is to forget the scale, eat right and exercise (to look and feel better) – of course there is more to it – but that’s the general point.
      People are so brain washed into “weight loss” when the focus should be on foods (what to eat, how often, how much, and exercise (some cardio, some weights, or other).
      The industry wants you to focus on weight because that’s their meal ticket (so to say) to sell you more products.

      1. I agree with what you say except for forgetting the scale. To a large degree the scale matters in the case of most people, and especially at weights over 200 pounds. For a guy of average height (say 5′ 10″) 200 pounds is too heavy, even heavily muscled guys have trouble hitting 200 pounds at lower body fat levels.
        I don’t know how many times I’ve heard somebody (men and women) say “I’m still at 210 pounds but I think its because I’ve lost fat and gained muscle”….umm no, its because you are still fat.
        Scale matters, waist size matters. Most guys need to get well below 200 pounds and get a 32-34 waist before they can say the scale no longer matters…just my take.

        1. I say “forget the scale” as a more psychology tactic for women (not necessarily for men) but could work for either.
          The industry, today, relies heavily on people using the scale (only) and hoping that they are using it to further promote their products. I think as long as the individual is really serious about change…then anything could be used.

      2. I will say that there’s been research that indicates that scale monitoring, with no other “deliberate” lifestyle changes, can actually result in weight loss. I take that from Tim Ferriss’s “Four Hour Body” manual, though I don’t have the page citation handy atm.
        The idea is that if people are subconsciously aware of and logging their weight regularly, they will make different diet decisions during the course of the day. Easier to pass on dessert during a night out if you’re already thinking about the next morning’s weigh-in, I suppose.

        1. Sure. I’d say if an individual is really serious about change then any type of plan would (and should) work. It’s all about the individual wanting real change and putting in the real work when it comes down to it.

    2. ‘Calorie counting doesn’t work and neither does exercise.’
      Sorry, but that’s bullshit.
      The amount of calories eaten has risen and the amount of exercise has declined. And hey presto, the size of people has increased.
      You can quibble about the exact manner the calorie are taken in, whether carbs or fats but the fact is that people who don’t eat a lot of calories and regularly exercise are not fat.

      1. Correlation does not equal causation. As is the case with lab mice, when you restrict calories sedentary behaviour follows. It’s called homeostasis. Hence exercise and eating less doesnt work. But calorie consumption has been increasing, granted. Is it because people are just greedy, or is it that their fat cells are stealing a part of what they eat and never burning it? This is what happens in insulin resistance: the brain thinks you’re starving but the fat cells keep storing because of elevated levels of the hormone. And then the satiety hormone, leptin, isnt produced because it cant be while insulin is still around in the brain. This condition comes about in prone individuals because they eat too much carbohydrate, especially high GI sugars and flours. As Robert Lustig points out, people have followed the food pyramid over the last 30 years, cutting fat and upping sugar. That’s still just a correlation, but at least we understand the mechanism by which a causal link might be established. How exercise can result in weight loss is far from clear. No studies support the hypothesis.

        1. ‘Correlation does not equal causation. ‘
          True, but in every nation and every culture in every era of history, when people have had fewer calories and more work, they have been thinner.
          And when they have more calories and less physical work, they get fatter.
          Sorry, but more calories going in than going out means weight gain, more going out than in means weight loss. That’s the fact of the matter.
          Sure, you can point out the varying degrees of crapness in the modern diet, with sugars replacing fats, but the fact remains that if people eat fewer calories and do more exercise, they will lose weight. Exercise burns calories, resulting in weight loss, to claim ‘How exercise can result in weight loss is far from clear. No studies support the hypothesis.’ is straightforward bullshit.

        2. That’s your story and you’re sticking to it. If you ever need to lose weight I hope you’ll be ready to look at the science.

        3. science is way overrated if you ever need to lose weight then concentration camp is the solution baby! just look at those good old black n’ white pictures back from adolf’s golden days.
          give me 100 camp guards and 50 fat fembitches, come back to me in 6 months and i’ll give you 50 slender fembitches!

  24. I used to be fat. I have the diagnosed disease most fat people claim they have but don’t. (hypothyroidism) I was 200 pounds. If a fat person tells you their thyroid is slow. Tell them to show you their Synthriod. If they weren’t prescribed synthriod, then they are lying. I ate healthy and took my pills as prescribed and the weight melted off me. Now I’m 140. (im 64 inches)

  25. I dropped 30# and feel effing awesome. For me its all about the quality of food. I eat far more fruits and vegetables now then ever before. I rarely eat restaurant food anymore and if I do I stick with salads.
    Case in point. I’m on a wood fired oven pizza thing right now. I built my own oven in the backyard, have been working on my sauce and dough recipes and really have nailed them finally. I can eat a whole pizza, not feel full, not feel like Im going to throw up, and not gaining weight either because I know everything going into my food. Last weekend I goofed. I bought a delivery pizza (first time in half a year) and ate half of it and spent the next 12 hours with my stomach not being very happy.
    The quality of food…. If you can get a hold of the ingredient lists of the top 3 pizza delivery places you will be SHOCKED. Its ALL artificial crap. They all use antibiotics in their food! They ALL use cellulose (wood pulp) to stretch out their flour use. This stuff was not meant for human consumption on a regular basis.
    No fried foods, almond milk instead of regular milk in my coffee, lots of fruits and veggies, and I drink a lot of water now too. I got rid of (mostly) beer from my diet. No more 32oz huge mugs at my local drinking hole (sometimes 2 or 3 of them!). I’ll do one 16oz and keep it at that, or do a mixed drink sometimes. I make my own burgers with organic ground beef, which is far more enjoyable than any fast food burgers.
    A healthy diet also consists of eating a lot of poosy too.

  26. Fat people are revolting. They embody sloth and gluttony. To shame them is healthy, it isn’t meant to help them lose weight, it is meant to hold them up as figures of ridicule and mockery to act as examples of what to avoid to everyone else.
    Don’t want to be ‘shamed’? Then don’t act in a shameful manner.
    And if anyone thinks I’m being ‘unkind’ or whatever, go fuck yourself then put down that extra large coke and go for a walk.

    1. “Fat people are revolting.”
      much much more so when it comes to fat women, at least fat men don’t feel that they are entitled to any woman’s love excepting their own mothers just because they’re fat and fat men don’t even attempt to change what women find attractive in men.
      same thing can’t be said for fat women or women in general, they attempted and succeeded in not only changing but even outlawing what men generally gravitates to, namely, casual no-strings-attached sex with consented women and hence the ban on prostitution.
      now women want to take it 1 step further in banning porn and perhaps next they’ll try to make it a felony for a man to date a woman who is more than 3 years his junior. ever heard of bitches talked about “age-appropriate”?

      1. ‘ever heard of bitches talked about “age-appropriate” dating?’
        Right up to the moment that the topic of ‘cougar’ woman is broached. At which point the language magically changes…….
        Best thing is to ignore the feminists with their shame tactics, don’t engage, ignore and never, ever use their terms and language.

  27. Another good article, Jefe. You nailed it, here.
    I’m the type that if a friend I trusted fat-shamed me it would push me to get out of whatever slump I was in that lead me there.

  28. The purpose of fat shaming is not to shame fat people into losing weight. The purpose of fat shaming is to hold fat people up for public ridicule so that those people who are not yet fat will be discouraged from getting fat.

    1. at least fat men don’t feel that they are entitled to any woman’s
      love excepting their own mothers just because they’re fat and fat men
      don’t even attempt to change what women find attractive in men.
      the same thing can’t be said for fat women or women in general, they attempted and succeeded in not only changing but even outlawing what men generally gravitates to, namely, casual no-strings-attached sex with consented women and hence the ban on prostitution.
      now women want to take it 1 step further by banning porn and perhaps next they’ll even try to make it a felony for a man to date a woman who is more than 3 years his junior. ever heard of bitches talked about “age-appropriate” dating?

  29. Most fatties claiming medical conditions don’t understand that they got medical conditions because they’re fat NOT the other way around. When you’re freaking 300+lbs, complications bound to happen. But fatties will used just about every excuse in the book to justify their lazy ways and shtty eating habit.

  30. but there’s a big difference between being fat and naturally curvy and it’s not always about being lazy some people have problems with loosing weight

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