I Think I’ve Caught The Fat Contagion!!! (Signs & Symptoms Elucidated)

by Golda Poretsky, H.H.C.

Just by reading my blog, you, dear reader, are taking your life into your own hands!!!

You’ve probably seen the recent pseudoscience reports that obesity (gasp!) is contagious (double gasp!!) and by having fat friends and relatives you’re increasing your risk of catching THE OBESITY!!!


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Sorry, I just fainted from fear!  But worry not, I’m back.

I’m not going to go into the details (because more fabulous researchers than I have already debunked these reports) but, in a nutshell, these reports about “contagious obesity” are based on faulty science that infers causation from mere correlation.

In other words, as Dr. Jon Robison pointed out in his review of this b.s., it’s like finding that bald men have more heart attacks, assuming that baldness is causing the heart attacks, and then prescribing rogaine as prevention against heart attacks.

Just to give the Fatty Contagion Theory some social context, using contagion (or germ) theory to make a particular group appear threatening and “other” is part of a longstanding and hideous tradition.  It’s been a popular principle behind insidious social crusades like anti-gay discrimination and racial segregation.  Whether the theory is that you’re going to catch a perceived illness or lifestyle or whether a particular group are carriers of a harmful illness, contagion theory just paints a thin veneer of “concern for your health” over a much nastier sentiment of “I hate your group and I’m going to find a reason to cast you out of society.”

Personally, I have a theory for why the Fatty Contagion Theory is getting some press lately.  You see, us fat folks are getting extra loud and proud.  We’re holding Kiss-In‘s, creating awesome fashion events, winning Oscars, telling diet pushers to suck it, and variously telling the world that one can be fat and all manner of awesome all at once.

What’s obvious to me is that the real contagion of fatness is Fat Pride.  I get emails from people every week who have caught a virulent strain of Fat Pride.  It’s a dangerous contagion for sure.  It’s resistant to all the known remedies for Fat Pride, including diet pills, surgery, and even shaming.  It is sweeping the nation and if we don’t do something about it soon, we will all be consumed by these horrendous symptoms.

Symptoms Of Fat Pride:

  • liking ourselves
  • thinking fatness is hot
  • stopping dieting
  • wearing awesome clothes
  • creating awesome clothes
  • liking how we look
  • fighting fat shaming
  • fighting fat discrimination.

These are just some of the symptoms.  There have been other reported cases involving yelling “Kiss Me.  I’m Fat!” but such reports have not been corroborated.

Please leave a comment below if you believe you have become yet another statistic in this dangerous Fat Pride epidemic!

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Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. To learn more about Golda and her work, click here.

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10 thoughts on “I Think I’ve Caught The Fat Contagion!!! (Signs & Symptoms Elucidated)

  1. *Gasp* I knew there was something wrong with me! Guess I’ll just have to live with this fat pride… maybe make a game out of seeing how many people I can affect/ infect.

      1. @Golda Poretsky, H.H.C.,

        YES! That is perfect! My new name shall be FA Jami and I will spread fat acceptance like the plauge! It will be brilliant!

  2. Great post. I read an article about the Fat Contagion a week or so ago. It did the predictable things: it presented the pseudoscience as science and uncritically accepted the assumption that it’s better to be thin than to be fat. It went on to talk about what individual people should do about these findings, and the phrase they used was something like, “So does this mean you should dump all of your fat friends?”

    Setting aside the callousness of even suggesting such a thing, what really bugged me about it was this: The assumption there is that everybody reading the article is thin. Meaning… what, exactly? That they don’t think fat people can read? That they acknowledge that fat people might possibly know how to read, but wouldn’t read something as cool as their particular publication? That they aren’t interested in having fat people as part of their readership? That they care only about how the so-called fat contagion affects the lives of thin people? I had such a sense of This Article Is Not For You.

    1. @Michele, I think that’s such a great point. You do get the feeling when reading the article that the writers assume that the reader is thin and therefore would be thinking about the dangers of having fat friends. It’s true– there are so many awful assumptions wrapped up in a piece like that.

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