A Book That Doesn’t Do Much, Continued

Mr. Lambert asks the rhetorical question, “Why on earth would anybody want to stay fat?” and the practical question, “Why do you so often do things that are counterproductive to that?” and the deeply challenging question, “Do you believe that deep down you don’t deserve to be thin?

True, there is a need to identify conflicting motivations, because cognitive dissonance is never helpful. Also:

DO YOU REALISE THAT YOUR PROBLEM MAY NOT STEM FROM YOU BEING FAT AT ALL? As human beings we possess anchors deep within us. This book lets you know that power and respect are gained through attitude and behavior, regardless of your size.

Huh? Anchors? Maybe it is not necessary to lose weight, but only to learn a few authoritative body language moves, to keep people in line. At any rate, this book might, possibly, be someone’s idea of a joke. Or maybe it was conceived as the ideal “passive income” vehicle.

Exploitation much?

On February 9, 2010, then-First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Let’s Move! campaign. Lambert’s Why Not Stay Fat? hit the street 10 days later. The book seems to have been first published as a PDF file, so a rush job could conceivably been done within that timeframe. It was almost as if someone had responded to an ad that said “Want to become rich and famous? Cash in on a promising current trend!”

Almost 10 years later, employing a trick that is a startling reversal of traditional marketplace dynamics, used copies of the book were offered for almost twice the cost of new copies. There were no Amazon star ratings or customer reviews, nor are there today. This is the author’s choice, but why? Who doesn’t want a major selling platform to show their reviews? From the advertising material and store page, we have some clues about what’s inside. Oddly, the subject tags are Cooking, Photography, and Education.

Lambert also published another book on the psychology of weight loss. From the ad, it sounds like the standard strategies that are shared by numerous media outlets for free. But the copy is pitched toward the acquisition mentality. It says, “Regain your sense of self control by investing in this book, and you will be rewarded by the investment you make to your health via natural weight loss.” The word “invest” is there twice in the same sentence! The book is quite pricey and again, there don’t seem to be any reader reviews.

Anyway, getting back to “Why Not Stay Fat?” — the title is a philosophical question of impossible scope. People have spent decades in towers or caves pondering such matters, and have earned advanced degrees by addressing them. Why do anything? It is an existential conundrum worthy of consideration. One approach might be, “Why Not NOT Stay Fat?”

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Why Not Stay Fat? — Overweight? So What,” Booktopia.com.au, 2010
Source: “Pubmatch Profile,” Web.archive.org, 2016
Source: “Psychology Of Weight Loss,” Dymocks.com.au, undated
Image by Zorilla/CC BY 2.0

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

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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