Fat-Shaming Roundup

At the end of this page, the visitor will find a dozen or so links to past Childhood Obesity News posts on the subject of fat-shaming, after some remarks about other items that have appeared since that list was compiled.

This is a good place to mention a sassy harangue by a writer known as Soler, that employs some rough language. The impetus for Soler’s explosive self-expression was social media coverage of popular vocal artist Lizzo. The singer was photographed doing something that numerous critics equated with the “mindless glorification” of obesity. She had the unbearable audacity to wear a bikini at the beach. A member of the public complained that the sight of Lizzo was as offensive as gazing upon “open wounds, leprosy, or other diseases.”

Soler’s anger is also provoked by several common practices found in our society, such as judging a person’s health based on their appearance, a habit almost as intrusive and unjustifiable as the common male habit of rating a woman’s appearance on a scale of 1 to 10. In the realm of numbers, Soler reminds readers, “It costs $0.00 to mind your business.”

Seriously worse

But that leads to a societal ill that is infinitely more harmful — medical professionals who do not mind their business, when what they literally get paid for is to provide an informed opinion about their patient’s physical condition. The author gives several examples of women known to her, who have gone to doctors because of various physical problems.

Among a certain (hopefully small) segment of the profession, there is a tendency to dismiss any and all symptoms as resulting from being overweight. There actually are doctors who will tell a person in distress to go away, lose weight, and then come back if the other problem still persists. A misdiagnosis can at least be an honest mistake, but this is something worse. It’s an outright refusal to even attempt a legitimate diagnosis.

Child shaming

A while back, a gym in Texas caught flack for a print advertisement that pictured a boy with the caption, “My fat may be funny to you but it’s killing me,” and a girl with the caption, “It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.” Probably the most offense was caused by the repeated word “WARNING!” in red block letters. The ad was widely criticized, especially since the establishment was a franchise of the respected Gold’s Gym chain.

The business issued a public apology and acknowledged that fat-shaming does not really provide motivation to children or adults. Reporter Melissa Stranger elaborated,

People who become the victims of fat shaming or body shaming are more likely to avoid exercise or consume more calories in order to cope with the stress of being fat shamed or body shamed. And in kids, who are still developing ideas of what health looks and feels like, and who are more susceptible to harmful body-image ideals, this is especially detrimental.

Take a look at some of our posts on the subject:

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “The Reason You Hate Fat People Isn’t Because You Care About Their Health,” Medium.com, 02/09/20
Source: “A major gym franchise fat shamed children in its new ads to draw in younger members,” Insider.com, 05/10/17
Image by @WendyMolyneux via Twitter

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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