The curriculum of a new “Fat Studies” course that starts at Oregon State University (OSU) next spring teaches that “weightism” makes it difficult for obese Americans to succeed – making it a serious civil rights issue.
According to the teaching on the campus located in Corvallis, Oregon, those suffering from obesity are victims of oppressive societal constraints.
“[The course will examine] body weight, shape, and size as an area of human difference subject to privilege and discrimination that intersects with other systems of oppression based on gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation and ability,” Campus Reform quoted the course syllabus.
More victimization politics from the lectern?
OSU professor Patti Lou-Watkins is the instructor of the controversial course, which will teach students that human beings can be healthy and functional at any body weight.
As an activist for the “Health At Every Size” (HAES) movement, she consummately discounted the effectiveness of dieting, insisting that the condition of one’s health is not determined by a person’s body size, arguing that even morbidly obese people can be in a healthy physical state.
“The validity of HAES is supported by research over the past decade that reveals the continued ineffectiveness of dieting interventions targeting weight loss, along with the potential for harm associated with these strategies,” Watkin declared in her 2013 article titled "Health at any size: An end to the war on obesity?" published in European Health Psychologist.
Even though lowering body weight to avoid harmful medical conditions has proven successful for countless Americans, Lou-Watkins says the practice is more of a societal construct than a medical necessity for good health.
“I grew to embrace feminist pedagogy in terms of course content – as well as classroom practices,” the OSU faculty member recounted. “My course now frames body image disturbances more as a function of oppressive societal structures than of individual pathology.”
Breeding more ‘social justice’ activists
“Fatphobia” is also the focus of another course taught on the progressive OSU campus.
“Another course, entitled ‘Women, Weight, and Body Image,’ exams ‘weightism’ through the intersectionality lens,” Breitbart reported. “This means that individuals who are both overweight and a member of another minority group (female, Black, Hispanic, LGBTQ, etc.) are subjected to a system of oppression directed both at their body size and their minority status.”
It is pointed out that the three-credit course is geared to fight multiple “oppressive” mindsets.
“[It examines] weightism as a system of oppression that interacts with other systems of oppression, [such as] sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, ableism and ageism,” the course syllabus declares, according to Campus Reform.
In recent years, the so-called discriminatory treatment of overweight people in Western culture has been targeted by Left-leaning activists, who have labeled such behavior as “fatphobic.”
“Advocates for this line of thinking about weight often argue that airplanes seats are not built for overweight individuals,” Breitbart’s Tom Ciccotta explained. “They use this and other examples such as the social stigma around being overweight as evidence of the ‘fatphobia’ that they believe permeates throughout Western society.”
The primary objective of the Fat Studies course is to indoctrinate students in the belief that so-called “weight-based oppression” is the up and coming “social justice issue.”
Several years ago, Lou-Watkins pointed out that the field targeting discrimination of overweight people was already beginning to proliferate on college and university campuses across America.
“The field of Fat Studies has undergone tremendous growth in recent years, with colleges now offering courses in this area,” she expressed in an article back in 2012.
The following year, Lou-Watkins contended that more harm than good was done in the nation’s “war on obesity,” arguing that detrimental psychological consequences are suffered by Americans who try to lose weight.
“Indeed, as the ‘War on Obesity’ has escalated, so has weight-based bias and discrimination,” the OSU professor asserted in her 2013 article. “Weight bias is particularly evident among healthcare professionals – compromising the well-being of their patients.”
She went on to pull from some sources that overweight Americans actually live longer than those with an average body weight.
“The recent release of meta-analytic results underscore the fallacy of using weight as a proxy for health in that ‘Grade 1 Obesity’ was not associated with higher mortality than ‘normal’ weight,” Lou-Watkins noted. “Even more striking, ‘overweight’ was significantly associated with lower mortality relative to ‘normal’ weight.”
The activist professor then talked about the leaps and bounds that the HAES movement has made in Iceland, where she said that last decade, public health officials exerted their institutional weight bias through “weight-based mores” – a practice she says have given way to fight “fatphobia” on the remote North Atlantic island nation.
“Six years later [in 2013] Iceland is poised to be the first country to afford legal protection against weight discrimination.” Lou-Watkins announced. “A proposal to include a ban on weight-based discrimination in the nation’s constitution has received praise from the Academy of Eating Disorders.”
She argued that Germany was as bad as the U.S. in perpetuating weight-based discrimination.
“In Germany, weight bias has risen over the past decade, with the government participating in the ‘War on Obesity’ through various practices and rhetoric,” Lou-Watkins added. “Due to its collectivist culture, fat hatred may be more fervent in Germany than in the U.S.”
Even though Lou-Watkins’ Fat Studies course is new for next year at OSU, The Daily Caller reports that she has taught numerous classes in previous years that were also geared to weed out “weightism.”