Skip to Content

Oregon University offers another ‘fat studies’ course

Campus Reform reported that Oregon State University will offer a spring course on “fat studies” because it is a “social justice issue”.

Published: August 11, 2017, 10:01 am

    Read more

    According to a syllabus for the course obtained by Campus Reform, students should be taught about how “weight-based oppression” leads to discrimination.

    The course, taught by Professor Patti Lou-Watkins, will focus on “body image disorders, particularly as they relate to weight bias and physical activity”. Lou- Watkins has written extensively on being fat in academic journals and books.

    “I grew to embrace feminist pedagogy in terms of course content as well as classroom practices,” she said.

    Students 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”.

    The three-credit course is also not the only one focusing on fat at OSU. The institution offers another class about “Women, Weight, and Body Image” similarly examining “weightism as a system of oppression that interacts with other systems of oppression” such as “sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and ageism”.

    The intersectionality focus of the course implies that female, Black, Hispanic and LGBTQ individuals are subjected to a “system of oppression” because of their body size as well as their skin colour.

    Adherents of such ideas have argued that white Western male culture is “fatphobic”.

    Additionally, Fat Studies “employs a multi-disciplinary approach spanning the behavioral sciences and humanities.”

    In a 2013 article in European Health Psychologist, for instance, Lou-Watkins argues against the “war on obesity” because those who attempt to lose weight suffer alleged psychological consequences.

    Watkins maintains that dieting does not work. “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,” she writes.

    “Indeed, as the ‘War on Obesity’ has escalated, so has weight-based bias and discrimination,” Lou-Watkins adds, noting that “weight bias is particularly evident among healthcare professionals, compromising the well-being of their patients.”

    Lou-Watkins did not elaborate on the risks of being overweight however. Body size isn’t a good indicator of health, she argues, because morbidly obese individuals may be healthy.

    “My course now frames body image disturbances more as a function of oppressive societal structures than of individual pathology.”

    In yet another article, Lou-Watkins expresses satisfaction that “the field of fat studies has undergone tremendous growth in recent years, with colleges now offering courses in this area”.

    Students enrolling in her Fat Studies course will be presented with opportunities to explore “forms of activism used to counter weightism perpetuated throughout various societal institutions”.

    Lou-Watkins has offered the Fat Studies course in previous semesters at Oregon State University in Corvallis, as well, according to The Daily Caller.

    Research showed that a very large percentage of discussions about obesity on social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, are of a fat shaming nature. A high-profile example is Reddit’s fatpeoplehate forum, which was recently closed down because their members joked about overweight people.

    The escalating obesity rate in the USA has made obesity prevention a top public health priority. Data collected, yielding 2.2 million posts were coded through Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, yielding popular themes and the most retweeted content.

    “Qualitative analyses of selected posts add insight into the nature of the public dialogue and motivations for participation. Twitter represented the most common channel. Twitter and Facebook were dominated by derogatory and misogynist sentiment, pointing to weight stigmatization,” the research revealed.

    In a study of 2 436 people, extreme obesity was associated with 21 times greater risk of suicidal behavior and 12 times greater risk of suicide attempts.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Americas

    Democratic Party in the US disintegrating

    Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Donna Brazile has charged the Clinton campaign of essentially rigging the 2016 primaries as well as being responsible for a staffer's murder before the election.

    Twitter’s suspension of Trump account raises serious questions

    President Donald Trump's personal Twitter account was shut down on Thursday after a disgruntled Twitter employee had deactivated the account the company said. But does Twitter's explanation make sense?

    US Air Force preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers on alert

    The US Air Force at Barksdale Air Fore Base, near Bossier City, Louisiana — is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.

    Fake news beyond the headlines

    Mainstream media news content does no longer contain anything relevant beyond the screaming headlines designed to generate clicks.

    Culture wars: Hollywood mogul outed as serial sexual predator

    Hollywood's top globalist propagandist Harvey Weinstein, has been exposed not only as a serial sexual predator, but also as someone with a deceitful and duplicitous media in tow.

    Dawkins, other prominent leftists express contempt for Vegas victims

    The evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins tweeted his contempt for white Americans and the Second Amendment of the US Constitution after learning about the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

    How stupid are American Democratic lawmakers?

    WashingtonThree Democrats from the House of Representatives have sent a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) demanding an investigation into Sputnik Radio, "used as part of the Kremlin’s effort to influence the 2016 presidential election".

    Trump-DACA deal ‘biggest amnesty in American history’

    WashingtonFox News host Tucker Carlson warned on Thursday night that the Trump-DACA deal with Democrats will be the "biggest amnesty in American history". Worse still, president Trump will get nothing in return, Carlson said.

    California lawmakers introduce bill enabling the spread of HIV

    San Francisco Democratic Senator Scott Wiener is working full time to make infecting others with HIV, a minor transgression. Those who knowingly spread HIV may in future only face a misdemeanor charge.

    US Air Force sends out sprayer aircraft in wake of hurricane Harvey

    The Pentagon has dispatched C-130H Sprayers from the Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing residing in Youngstown, Ohio to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

    Go to archive