Without Measure (WOM) 365

July 27, 2007

Your Friends Make You Fat…Not!

Filed under: fitness,health,self esteem,size acceptance — directisaa @ 4:14 pm

The newest tidbits of expertise on obesity from one segment of the medical world published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (vol 357, 370-379, 2007) are, not surprisingly, painfully flawed and guilty of the same underlying prejudice against fat people that plagues the medical community in general. If you break down their findings, two dangerous messages come across loud and clear:

1. Being around fat people will increase your chances of getting fat, so you better not hang out with fat people; and
2. If you’re fat, you’re going to lose all your friends if you don’t lose weight, so you better get thin as soon as possible!

Even the Chicago Sun-Times had a problem with the new research in this article. They concluded that the NEJM research “may also contribute to prejudice against overweight people.” I agree.

The new research hangs on that blemish of science, the Body Mass Index (BMI), which has never been an indicator of health and the research also makes sweeping generalizations about social networking influencing eating habits.

Common sense always provides answers where research fails, because research can be influenced by the researchers’ assumptions and prejudices.

Common sense says your friends don’t make choices for you. You decide what what you want to do with your life, even if you decide to agree to what your friends suggest you do. The assumption the medical community wants you to make is that all fat people make poor food choices and overeat with abandon, so you’d better get away from their social influence or by gum, they’ll make you lazy, ugly and stupid, too!

It’s a silly assumption but too many doctors and medical professionals make leaps of logic like that every day.

Common sense says everyone is an individual and individuals make individual choices. It may be hard for some people to understand but people of all shapes and sizes can be fit, eat healthy and be productive and active members of society. By the same reasoning, people of ALL shapes and sizes (including thin ones) can also lack fitness, have un-healthy habits and not be productive and active members of society. For some reason, some people don’t like to hear that — but it’s the truth.

Common sense says that you choose your friends based on whether they’re good friends or not.

There’s another term for choosing your friends based on appearance…it’s called “discrimination.”



  1. If it’s a struggle to convince doctors of this that fat friends don’t make you fat —imagine how hard it is to convince all the little girls in elementary school of this wisdom. Or their “well-meaning” parents!

    Comment by Jenivieve — August 11, 2007 @ 4:11 am | Reply

  2. i would like to say i was calling dicks sporting goods store because i tried to get extra wide shoes and basicly they told me fat people dont need athletic shoes and to shop someplace else please email me for more information or if you dont mind me calling to explain the whole thing i would love to talk to someone

    mark davis

    Comment by mark davis — August 14, 2007 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  3. Listen, I am a very bitter fat woman. I have suffered countless DECADES of discrimination by people in universities and the workplace – people who should have KNOWN better but for whatever reason chose to treat me like DIRT.

    This prejudice against fat people should be made against the law just like any OTHER hurtful form of discrimination has been!

    Comment by Dharma — November 10, 2007 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

  4. Obesity is contagious!


    The statistical data collected over the years by the Researchers at Harvard Medical School only shows correlation, and NOT causality.

    When the sun rises, the rooster crows!

    Does the crowing of the rooster cause the sun to rise? Me thinks not!

    There is only a correlation between roosters crowing and sunrises, but one does not cause the other. That is, the crowing of the rooster does not cause the sun to rise, but only that the rooster crows when he sees the sun rise.

    If roosters were to become extinct, the sun would still rise in the morning as usual. Actually, the sun does not really rise and set, it’s only the Earth’s rotation that causes the sun to appear to rise and set.

    Like, HELLO Harvard! The Earth is not flat, and it is not the center of the cosmos! HELLO!!!

    So, having friends who are fat does not make you fat. Thus there is no causality. Perhaps the correlations are due to the fact that we fat people tend choose other fat people as friends, because we feel more comfortable being around other fat people.

    Yes, I’m a fat person myself, a very fat person at 5 ft 6 in and weighing in at 395 pounds, only 5 pounds short of the big four-double-oh.

    No, I don’t sit on my big fat ass all day long eating chocolate Bon-Bons or pigging out on junk foods. I do my own cooking at home, and I eat lots of fresh fruit, plenty of vegetables, chicken or fish. I very seldom have red meat, and I actually prefer fish over meat. I really can’t afford to eat out. It’s cheaper to eat at home and do my own cooking. So, I don’t chow down at a Burger King, or Mc Donalds, or any of those fast food joints.

    Yeah, I did have a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving. Big freakin’ hairy deal! Maybe once a week, I’ll go to the Village Inn for a pot of coffee, and a slice of peach pie with a small scoop of ice cream on top. So sue me!

    I don’t obsess over every bite of food I eat, and I like to enjoy my food without any feelings of guilt. I approach eating with innocents. When I’m hungry I eat, and when I feel comfortably satisfied, I stop until about five hours later when it’s time for another meal.

    The so-called research by the Harvard Medical School is nothing more than pseudo science, plane ol’ freakin’ bull crap!!!

    There’s a lot of pseudo scientific nonsense being put out by the medical “experts” these days. Their research is to science, as Alchemy is to Chemistry, or as Astrology is to Astronomy.

    There is also another correlation that I have noticed, and really frightening one at that!

    The Nazi regime’ in the 1930s and 1940s also embraced pseudo science. Hitler consulted with Astrologers, and did Ronald and Nancy Reagan during the 1980s.

    And now, the so-called medical experts are putting out their own pseudo scientific bull crap to justify even more prejudice and hatred toward us fat people.

    We fat people have become the new “N” word.

    The Nazis are on the march again, the goons are on the rampage!

    Now, when does the band strike up Der Führer Forever?

    Comment by Fat Man — December 3, 2007 @ 4:40 am | Reply

  5. Clearly friends cannot make you fat.
    You may choose to blame your friends or eat with them so you don’t take responsibilty solely for eating and gaining weight, but definately hanging out with fat people will not make you get fat.

    Comment by Melissa — February 9, 2008 @ 11:55 pm | Reply

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