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Fat People Have No Willpower, Says Professor in Irresponsible Tweet

Fat People Have No Willpower, Says Professor in Irresponsible Tweet

If you have a BMI over 30, you may want to think twice about studying evolutionary psychology at NYU. (Actually, you should think twice about studying evolutionary psychology, period. But whatever.) Or maybe just consider never, every studying under Geoffry Miller.

According to Jezebel, Miller – who is an evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico and lecturer at New York University – tweeted:

Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth

Seriously, people. Everyone knows that all that fat just gunks up the thought channels in your brain so the smart thoughts can’t get through!

Miller later apologized and noted that his tweet represents neither his selection criteria or the selection criteria of any university. I might believe the bit about universities, but his own personal criteria? I have my doubts. I mean, he typed out that tweet and sent it out into the Internet ether. I’m skeptical that he would do that unless he believed what it, even just a little bit.

But forget this guy. He’s just one in a more wide-spread problem of fat phobia. Speaking from personal experience I can say that, yes, people do treat you differently when you’re overweight or obese. I don’t think it’s always intentional. But it happens.

And it happens in possibly the worst possible place: the doctor’s office. A recent study indicates that one third of third-year medical students at the Wake Forest School of Medicine have an unconscious bias against obese patients. (Even though this study is pretty limited, it falls in line with other studies on the subject.)

This is obviously a problem. According to an NPR interview with David Miller, the study’s author, assumptions associated with obesity can effect the treatments doctors offer.

“If doctors assume obese patients are lazy or lack willpower, they will be less likely to spend time counseling patients about lifestyle changes they could make,” he said. “Doctors also may be less likely to recommend formal weight loss programs if they assume their patient is unlikely to follow through. “

Sound familiar? People make inappropriate assumptions about a person’s ability because of their weight. It should go without saying that your weight has no bearing on your intellectual ability. In fact, there are a lot of different reasons why someone might be overweight or obese, nor is being overweight or slightly obese necessarily a sign of ill health. It’s just a bias without foundation in reality.

Geoffry Miller may have lacked the willpower to stop himself from hitting the send button, but his casual fat shaming is really just the tip of the iceberg.

 

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Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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113 comments

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6:25PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

oh wow!

9:50AM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

Ravenna C. ___ good information

_____ I did not know that about the sugars.

Also, the copper.

I can't take iron cause it makes me nauseous.

But I am going to read up on the copper & hopefully I can take it.

9:34PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

There is no caloric difference between the two sugars but glucose is readily absorbed and allows the brain to signal that we’ve had enough food.

Simply put, fructose leads our bodies to store more calories as fat, and leads us to overeat because we don’t feel full.

A USDA study that compared rats fed a high-fructose diet to those fed glucose found disastrous results from the fructose diet. The male rats did not reach adulthood, had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy — which means their hearts enlarged until they exploded — and their testicles didn’t develop properly. Female rats were not as dramatically affected, but they were unable to produce live babies. The results were exacerbated by copper deficiency, a fairly common deficiency in Americans. Dr. Meira Field, who led the study, notes that while "every cell in the body can metabolize glucose … fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high-fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic."

9:31PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

The obesity epidemic is a symptom of the poisons that our bodies can't tolerate. I posted part of this on another thread but it bears repeating, especially because I truly hate that the propaganda machine that is the United Corporations of America has been so successful.

HFCS was introduced in 1970. By 1990, consumption of it HAD INCREASED 1000 PERCENT.

HFCS is now found in almost all caloric sweeteners which are added to foods and beverages in the U.S. It can be found in soft drinks and fruit drinks, candied and canned fruits, dairy products like ice cream and yogurt, bread and baked goods, cereals, jellies, ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressing — even vitamins and supplements — and overwhelmingly in foods marketed to children. In short, HFCS is found in most processed foods, and it is difficult to avoid. Every American consumes an average of 60 pounds of HFCS a year.

HFCS’s connection to obesity, diabetes and heart disease lies in the way our bodies react to the substance. Unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production, both key processes in appetite regulation and fat storage. Instead, fructose forms the backbone for triacylglycerols. Elevated levels of triacylglycerols prevent leptin from reaching the brain and are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Why does that matter? Without leptin, the brain doesn’t send out the signal to stop eating. There is no caloric difference between the two suga

6:10PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

Tara B. ____ Everything in your comment is ABSOLUTELY TRUE !

& yes the food stamp issue is true !!!

NO HELP FROM THE SAME GOVERNMENT THAT ALLOWS FOOD COMPANIES TO SELL INEXPENSIVE FOODS THAT ARE POISONING OUR BODIES.

IF IT'S STRESSING OUR LIVER FUNCTION, THEN IT IS STRESSING MANY MORE OF OUR BODY'S ORGANS.

ONCE OUR THYROID IS ATTACKED ALL HELL CAN BUST LOOSE.

6:09PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

WITH NEW TOXINS BEING ADDED SO FAST TO OUR FOODS & EVEN OUR TAP WATER,
THERE WILL BE NO TELLING UNFORTUNATELY; FOR A LONG TIME WHAT BODY ORGANS ARE AFFECTED.

ALSO, WHAT’S SCARY IS THAT THE TOXINS MAY EVEN BE AFFECTING THE PITUITARY GLAND.

ONE OF THE HORMONES SECRETED FROM THE PITUITARY GLAND HELP CONTROL THYROID GLAND FUNCTION.

MANY FORMS OF SOY ARE USED IN MOST PACKAGE FOODS.

SOME SCIENTISTS ARE STARTING TO RESEARCH THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS FROM INGESTING SOY.

ONE OF WHICH COULD BE DAMAGE TO SEX HORMONES IN FETUSES.

5:25PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

Suba G. ____ Great Post ! : metabolic/endocrine disorders.

YOU GOT THAT RIGHT.!

The media usually targets judgement similar to the stupidity of Geoffry Miller's comment.

:-))

4:10PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

As several posters here pointed out, food or willpower are not the only factors critical in weight loss. There are many metabolic/endocrine disorders that prevent weight loss, & some may go undiagnosed due to lack of healthcare, and the unconscious bias of doctors.

4:05PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

People's willpower is different when it comes to different things. I have seen many fat people who completed dissertations, and others who successfully lost weight but didn't have time for anything else. Some may do both.

3:56PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

I am sick of seeing people waddle around and complain about their illnesses; buck up and slim down

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