Ivy League Universities Embrace ‘Fat Studies’ Courses, Ignoring Public Health Concerns


Brown University’s pre-college program is offering a course on fatphobia, which will explore the “social, medical, and cultural implications of fatness” in the emerging field of “Fat Studies.” The weeklong class, titled “The F-Word: Examining the Science, Culture, and Politics of Fatness,” will apply various theoretical lenses to the study of fatness, including feminist, reader-response, historical, and race lenses.

The course is part of a trend in Ivy League universities, with Cornell University offering a freshman seminar on QTBIPOC care and Princeton University holding a course on “FAT: The F-Word and the Public Body.” These courses reflect the dominance of leftist perspectives in humanities departments, with phrases like “systems of oppression” and anti-capitalist rhetoric ubiquitous in course descriptions.

The humanities have been taken over by Marxist and postmodern perspectives, leading to courses that explore topics like the “pathologization of fatness in the medical community.” This is partly due to the market forces underlying academia’s incentive structure and the nature of intellectualism.

Academics are incentivized to continue researching and publishing about social justice-oriented topics, which are seen as morally praiseworthy. However, this approach can be misguided and detrimental, as seen in Brown’s new course. The description features a sentence condemning the anti-fat sentiment of authorities, but fails to address the public health implications of obesity.

The course raises the question: is obesity a public health problem or a social justice issue? While it’s important to be accepting of people with various body types, it’s also necessary to provide medical care to help people live longer and healthier lives. Denizens of the Far Left often prioritize virtue signaling over actual help, and their approach can be offensive and performative.

Carter Schroppe
Carter Schroppe
Editorial Intern.

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