The Cry Of The Fat Scientists

The Cry Of The Fat Scientists

Theo (Chelsea) Newbold is a chemist. And fat. A fat chemist. A fat female chemist.

This is not me saying so. This is the preeminent science journal in the world saying it. Nature herself says it. It must therefore be true.

Before you NPR listeners go off about “ad hominems”, understand that you are wrong. That’s a fallacy when an argument is dismissed because a fat female chemist is making it. We are not making that argument. The point of this prestigious science article, in our best journal, is to discuss the fatness of fat female chemists and other fat scientists. And what that fatness means to science.

Now one day, early in her career, Newbold was looking for a lab coat, these being de rigueur for chemists of whatever BMI. Nature tells us Newbold “couldn’t find one that fitted at the campus shop, which stocked only up to a size XL. Newbold needed a 3XL. Without a lab coat, they couldn’t start their chemistry class.”

“They”, Nature said, “their”, when speaking of Newbold directly. So often do they do this in the article that it can’t be a mistake. From which we conclude to do modern science one must use poor grammar.

A sociologist with the delightful name of Cat Pausé (yes) said, “In a world overflowing with messages about the dangers of obesity and never-ending lists of ways to lose weight, it should be no surprise that weight bias is as prominent in science as in every other field.”

It’s likely the world is overflowing with messages about the dangers of obesity, because being obese isn’t good for you. This is worth mentioning because, as Nature tell us—and we really shouldn’t laugh—that “Pausé was interviewed for this article before her sudden death in March.”

According to pictures on her Wikipedia page, our Cat was positively circular. She was 42 when she died. Cat was “an American academic specialising in fat studies and a fat activist.” Wiki dryly notes that “Her cause of death has not been made public.”

Back to Nature:

Yet weight bias — defined as prejudice towards people with higher body weight — has received little attention. Whereas searching for Twitter hashtags such as #queerinSTEM and #blackinSTEM reveals thousands of tweets, #fatinSTEM and #fatinacademia each yield only a single message — a sign that even those researchers who are comfortable with their size face significant stigma.

There is no higher being in our culture than the Victim. And the fat want in on Victim calculus, both arguing that being fat is detrimental, and also that being fat is perfectly healthy. Which, if so, makes them non-Victims.

But whatever. We no longer expect consistency in arguments from the regime.

I confirmed Nature’s lament. I looked up on Twitter “#fatinSTEM” and “#fatinacademia” but only found five or so references, all but one to the Nature article. But with a little bit o’ luck, this post will join right in.

Here’s my favorite parts:

Creating a workplace that is accepting of all body sizes is straightforward, says Robert Rosencrans, a neuroendocrinology MD–PhD student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham — by bucking the narrative around weight, health and morality….

To Robert Rosencrans…the problem begins with the language used to discuss the issue. It’s commonly referred to as the obesity epidemic, yet, Rosencrans says, the issue doesn’t meet the true definition of an epidemic. He doesn’t deny that average body weights around the world have risen, but “there’s never been exponential growth in the number of people with a BMI over some arbitrary cut-off point”, Rosencrans says. Yet calling it an epidemic frames larger people as inherently diseased and a menace, he says.

Not an epidemic? Here’s the CDC data from 2020:

If you’re squeamish, don’t examine the charts by race.

It’s probably churlish of me to remind the reader that one way not to get sick is not to be fat and, according to Rosencrans, becoming a menace.

We also learn of one Mads Tang-Christensen, some sort of scientist or other, who, we are told, “has an obesity diagnosis”.

Which makes his fat official. Because you can’t know you’re fat without the official stamp—a very large stamp, presumably—of approval from Experts.

Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.

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  1. Hun

    Rosencrans is also an interesting name.

  2. Hagfish Bagpipe

    Thanks for giving us the skinny on fat. Big girls blubbering and whaling about how they’re such huge victims looks like a massive new social justice wedge rolling over slim opposition. But — and that’s a big but — since the left is famous for eating it’s own, when the crunch comes fat chance they won’t be at the top of the menu.

  3. PaulH

    To quote Caesar, “Let me have men about me that are fat… Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.”

  4. Ann Cherry

    Cat Pause’ (she/her) is featured prominently in “UNDERCOVER: Crowder Infiltrates “FAT STUDIES” Conference | Louder with Crowder”. 17 minutes. Cat wants us to acknowledge the role that Science™ has played in the oppression of Fat People.

  5. JDaveF

    Obesity is by far the number one modifiable risk factor for Covid-19 hospitalization and death, with 80% of those hospitalized, and those dying being obese. Yet not a word from the “Experts” about losing weight as a mitigation strategy for Covid-19, because they’re terrified of the fat-activists. Michelle Obama’s “Just Move” campaign would be cancelled in 2022 for “fat-shaming”, and Ms. Obama’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts suspended for “Violating the terms of service”.

  6. Rob

    There is no obesity epidemic – the numbers are screwed by changing the definition of obese from a BMI above 32.5 to a BMI above 30 and by the increasing age of the population. There was no clinical evidence to make this change and there is still no correlation between obesity and death – in fact the highest death rate in the US is people with low BMI.

    People who died of COVID were older people – the correlation between increased weight and increased age is almost linear. This is probably because underweight people die younger. Read the CDC data on BMI and age of death and you will note that the class called “overweight” is the longest lived class, with “normal” and “obese” having similar age of death ranges. It used to be referred to as the obesity paradox – now it is simply ignored.

    The change in the classification of obesity was made at the same time as changes in the classification of “high” blood pressure, “high” cholesterol and “high” blood sugar. The result of this was to classify over 60% of adults over 50 as having a diagnosed “illness” nearly all of whom have no clinical symptoms, but who are now on prescription drugs.

    How many readers of this blog are diagnosed as pre-hypertensive, or pre-diabetic, or are prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs with no diagnosis of arterial disease?

    The tyranny of “experts” began with the medicalization of aging making almost everyone “sick” by some non-clinical measure, creating a nation of people ripe for the whatever scare story comes up next.

  7. Uncle Mike

    She had more chins than a Chinese phone book.

  8. awildgoose

    Well, the large and in charge crowd are certainly well prepared for the coming famines.

  9. Forbes

    As Rob notes above, the changing definitions are, at bottom, a scam to get more people prescribed pharmaceuticals for the associated cardio or vascular syndrome/diagnoses. Overweight, high blood pressure, arterial inflammation are but excuses for scripts–as opposed to responsibility for and adjustments to personal behavior regarding activity levels, exercise, nutrition, amount/type of food consumed, etc.

    With fat folks as with others, we have, again, dysfunctional, aberrant behavior characterized as a “lifestyle” that cannot be criticized–much less addressed in any but the most charitable, supportive manner.

  10. Yes, it is the extremes of the upside down quadratic curve that maps to deaths. If you are way under or overweight, you are more likely to die. That, though, does not mean that your weight caused your death; it just means that you have other conditions present also that affect it. When food is scarce, just who do you think will last longest, everything else necessary and sufficient being present? Hint, it will not be the ‘fat’; for they have reserves that the skinny don’t have. They will not be burning their muscle at the same rate to make sugar so their brains and red blood cells can survive. Mammalian muscle, by the way, burns fat for energy whenever possible.

    BMI is a terrible metric (it can make those with large bone mass or those who are body builders “obese” depending on their height). In the old days, you either used calipers to measure skin thickness or put them into a tub and measured the volume of water displaced. That, though, is more work than taking someone’s height and weight, now-a-days in clothes and shoes. Since taking away mercury BP cuffs, folk are a lot more sloppy with those measurements, too.

  11. Hun

    “BMI is a terrible metric (it can make those with large bone mass or those who are body builders “obese” depending on their height)”

    Are you fat, because this is some serious fat logic. Nobody has bone mass so big that it would significantly skew BMI and make it not valid.

    Body builders, yes, but they are relatively rare outliers.

  12. Gunther Heinz

    Oh chronic mister-baiters! Your turn at getting some pity is fast arriving!

  13. Fat or not; the premise of the BMI is incorrect, in my opinion. Therefore, I reject it.

  14. That said, I lost a lot of weight, having gained a lot after taking corticosteroids many years ago. I’ve been able to mostly keep it off, too.

  15. Hun

    BMI is inaccurate, but still useful. You can have a skinnyfat man with a relatively big unhealthy gut, with a BMI of less than 25. However, there is no way you could confuse someone with BMI over 30 with a healthy person (except some bodybuilders). And at BMI > 35, you are almost guaranteed to have a sassy landwhale with high blood pressure.

  16. Cary Cotterman

    Funny, how a couple of people here deny the health risks of being fat, and even trot out the golden oldie, “big bones”. The first thing any fat person has to do is accept the fact that it’s unhealthy, and accept responsibility. It’s not the fault of society, or genes, or men, or McDonald’s, or supermodels, or big bones. In the overwhelming majority of cases it’s our own fault because we shove too much food in our faces and sit around on our fat asses too much. The only secret to weight loss is to consume fewer calories than we expend. All expounding, spin, and excuses to the contrary are pure nonsense.

  17. Great writing. The obesity epidemic is not bad habits or laziness. It was foisted on us by the FDA, which at the behest of industrial Big Food, promoted low animal (fat and protein) composition diets and pushed carbohydrates instead. Although getting half to 70 percent of us on prescription drugs may have been a factor, this is not as clearly causal. Download my book free for references:

  18. @ Rob: My mother was 5’5″ tall and weighed about 320. That gave her a BMI of 53, certainly obese. She lived in an apartment a half floor up from the ground and was gasping for air at the top of the stairs. After a meal with her, my brother, and me, she had to lean on the counter in front of the sink to wash those few dishes, and take a break halfway through (yes, both my brother and I tried to get her to let us do the dishes). She died of congestive heart failure at 59. Yes, I know that the plural of anecdote is not data but, regardless, it’s not rational to contend that her morbid obesity did not lead to her early death. It also had massive negative impact on her ability to enjoy her life (other than when she was eating) prior to her death.

    I’ve seen many fat acceptance and “healthy at any size” videos and, while no one deserves to be insulted or shamed for their body size, it’s ridiculous to contend that there are no negative consequences to obesity. The “obesity paradox” is not ignored, it is widely disputed for a variety of reasons and recent studies eliminating the confounding variables of smoking (smokers tend to be leaner than non-smokers), weight loss CAUSED by serious disease, and other, the normal BMI range has the lowest premature death rate. BMI as a single number isn’t dispositive but it’s definitely and demonstrably indicative.

  19. vince

    @Rob The tyranny of “experts” —
    also began with ” John D.Rockefeller hiring a contractor named Abraham Flexner to submit a report to Congress in 1910. This report “concluded” that there were too many doctors and medical schools in America, and that all the natural healing modalities which had existed for hundreds of years were unscientific quackery. The report called for the standardization of medical education, whereby only the AMA (another monopoly) would be allowed to grant medical school licensure in the U.S.”

  20. C.R.Dickson

    I never met a fat chemist in my lifetime. However, when fat females do appear, I always think of these two Arthur Godfrey hits (1947-48). I actually listened to these 78 rpm recordings while growing up as a toddler in the 50’s,:
    Arthur Godfrey – Too Fat Polka
    This was a follow up recording, but it’s not clear fat is involved:
    Arthur Godfrey – Slap ‘Er Down Agin, Paw

  21. Jim

    As a 26 year old paratrooper, 6’3” and 195 lbs I was at BMI 24 and change. I was warned not to gain anymore weight or I would get put on a program. I had max PT scores, 11 minute two mile, 100 plus push ups and sit-ups. No one would say I was fat. No one would say I was unhealthy. BMI seemed to me an over-simplification of assessing health.

  22. PhilH

    Great conversation! My takeaway is that having a few extra pounds on your belly will not kill you, although it may make you cringe when you look in the mirror. What is a fat activist anyway?

  23. Sander van der Wal

    The people defining BMI, inventing new ways to get people to stuff the mouths even more, inventing new drugs, are also academics.

    As the academics are running out of normal people to make live miserable, they turn on each other.

  24. Jim Fedako

    Regarding BMI, in their day, cyclist Lance Armstrong and sprinter Usain Bolt were both a bottle of Gatorade from being over the dreaded 25 score. Also, as a 6-foot male, I could show up at my doctor’s office weighing 137 and I wouldn’t be considered underweight.

  25. Johnno

    I imagine that by now the FATs have at least started to receive increased accomodation for various XL sizes in the coffin and cremation jar industries…

    In the post-vexxine age, business has apparently been booming. I should put all my investments into that moving forward. It is the only industry you can count on, and they can also solve the future archaeologist problem by printing the correct she/zer/heem pronouns on the container.

  26. TommyGavin

    BMI is a worthless metric. However, using my own eyes, I can see that there is a “fat problem” in America, regardless. This fat problem leads to many, many issues and prescriptions to “correct” the high BP, diabetes, etc. yet we cannot say the truth, and what needs to happen because we might upset our Phizer Gods. It’s really not that complicated…go for a walk, don’t eat like an idiot, drink water, get some sunshine. Anything more than that is a bonus. If EVERYONE did just that, the pharmaceutical cartel would cease to exist.

  27. Vermont Crank

    This is O.T.

    While on vacation in Maine I read your great book “Everything you believe is wrong”

    I was spending time with some old friends (liberals) and I stole your ideas about climate change and had them flummoxed when I said it is our actions that accounted for the great weather we had – three beautiful weeks in late June and early July – and that all those people traveling to Maine for vacation sure burned a lot of fossil fuel and I thanked them for that and reiterated the point that it was the burning of all that fossil fuel that accounted for the great weather.

    They had no come back and I poured my own self some more wine while failing to suppress a big grin.


    That book kicks ass and I must say your patience in laying out your various arguments was admirable.

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