Blaming Fat

Let's Stop Blaming Fat For Disease!

posted on: October 09, 2018. posted in: Weight loss

We've had a question sent to us privately...

"Can I ask a question?. My dad died from liver cancer at 56. The cirrhosis in his liver was so bad that they presumed he was an alcoholic and had been for years. My dad drank at Xmas and the occasional party, nothing else. They concluded that because men carry weight more around the mid section, the fat was stored in and around organs. The fat in his liver caused the cirrhosis.... the cirrhosis led to cancer... the cancer killed him. So how can you be fat and that is healthy?"

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad 😥

Thank you for letting me answer this publicly, because the answer is a really important one and I don't want it getting lost in a thread.

Let's break this down.

Your dad had fat in his liver.

Those fat caused cirrhosis.

The cirrhosis caused cancer.

The cancer took your dad's life.

You and the doctors can then conclude...

"Fat killed your dad."

"Fat is bad."

"Fat cannot be healthy."

So the thing that is clear and visible and right there to be seen and blamed for your dad's death is FAT.

That horrible, evil, lazy, greedy, nasty, yellow substance that accumulates in our bodies, causing our obesity and leading us to diabetes, heart disease and yes cancer and early mortality.

The evidence of your dad's "fatty liver" is only going to add weight and credibility to the belief that fat, the substance, is the cause of disease...

So we need to encourage, even shame fat people into losing weight, losing this evil substance, to protect their health.

The focus in on fat.

Fat. Fat. Fat.


And that's why the posts on our fan page have challenged your belief system and led you to rightly question what I'm saying when I claim...

"Fat isn't to blame for disease."

So why am I claiming this?


Somewhere out there, someone lost their dad to lung cancer at the same time you lost your dad to liver cancer.

The path of their lung cancer followed a similar progression to your father's.

But instead of the origin being traced back to fat deposits on his liver, the origin was traced back to chemical deposits on his lungs, caused by smoking.

Again, the focus is on the substance.

The chemicals in the cigarette.

Because it's easier to blame substances, like FAT and like TAR, than it is to blame the behaviours and emotions and psychology that lead to the build up of those substances.

So in both examples...

Let's not stop at FAT.

Let's not stop at TAR.

Let's go back further.

Let's look at what caused the accumulation of that fat and of that tar, in both your father's and this other person's body.

Both examples point to LIFESTYLE.

If we go further back, before the accumulation of fat in your dad's liver, we see a stressful and sedentary lifestyle.

The combination of stress and a lack of rigorous physical activity caused a chronic caloric surplus, which your dad's body dealt with by packing all those excess calories around and even inside his organs.

The fatty liver is a middle stage in your dad's liver cancer, not an origin. The origin is in the behaviour (being sedentary) and the emotions and psychology (being stressed), that started him on the road to cancer.


If we go further back, before the accumulation of tar in the other man's lungs, we see a life that lacks connection and purpose, sewing the emotional and psychological seeds of dependency.

That combination of a lack of connection and purpose led this man to take up smoking, because for the short time he got a dopamine hit from each cigarette, a little hole in his life was made full again.

The tar in his lungs is a middle stage in his lung cancer, not an origin. The origin is in the behaviour (smoking cigarettes) and the emotions and psychology (a lack of connection and purpose), that started him on the road to cancer.

My point is this...

In both examples, doctors need something that they can SEE and MEASURE and QUANTIFY to blame for the cause of disease, in this case cancer.

This is how doctor's minds work.

Blame the substance.

The amount of fat.

Or the amount of tar.

Which is why doctors will always pull out people's fatty hearts and fatty livers or blackened lungs and show them off for all to see, showing where they clearly lay the blame for the deaths from heart disease, liver and lung cancer.

But it's not the substance.

It's the behaviour, and the emotions and psychology that drive that behaviour, that cause cancer.

All of which is hard to SEE and MEASURE and QUANTIFY, so the true origins of disease get replaced for substances that accumulate further down the line.

Like fat.

Like tar.

It's a bit like blaming the sinking of a ship on the water (the substance) rather than the poor maintenance of the ship (the behaviour) due to high stress levels (the emotions and psychology) of the sailors.

The water is an inanimate object.

It has no responsibility for the sinking of the ship, just as the fat and the tar have no responsibility for disease.

The origin is in the behaviour, emotions and psychology that created the holes enabling the water to come in... or the fat... or the tar.

This makes water, fat and tar SYMPTOMS of the real problem, rather than the CAUSE of the problem.


Sadly, this situation gets worse.

The moment doctors zoom into the middle of this progression, and blame the substance rather than the behaviours, emotions and psychology driving the accumulation of the substance...

They stigmatise the substance.

Fat is an inanimate object.

Tar is an inanimate object.

But they're both treated and hated and shamed as though they were living breathing, nasty things.

This isn't such a problem with tar.

Because people aren't made of tar.

But they are made of FAT.

There isn't a human alive on this planet who isn't made of a significant amount of fat, even the leanest of us.

So the more fat people gain, often naturally and healthily (subcutaneously, under the skin), the more they are hated and shamed and made out to be nasty people, because they're made of this supposedly nasty substance that causes disease.

There are millions of bigger people out there, carrying lots of natural excess fat under their skin (subcutaneously), who are active and fit and live a low stress lifestyle and who have no fat deposits in their liver and maintain a low risk of liver cancer...

But they'll be treated like criminals, conning the NHS out of millions of pounds, because of their shape and size, before they have even stepped foot in a hospital.

This is the issue I have with blaming fat for disease.

It becomes all too easy to blame a whole section of society, who might be perfectly healthy and happy and at at low risk of disease, simply by judging their shape and size.

It's not big ships or small ships that sink.

It's poorly maintained ships.

A big, heavy ship that is well maintained will sail longer than a smaller, lighter ship that is poorly maintained.

And exercise is proven to reduce the accumulation of fat inside the liver, just as good maintenance is proven reduce the accumulation of water inside a ship.

Regardless of the size of the body.

Regardless of the size of the ship.

So just as when a ship sinks we should be looking for ways to improve and encourage the behaviours, emotions and psychology that lead to good ship maintenance... rather than shaming water...

When someone like your dad dies of cancer we should be looking for ways to improve and encourage the behaviours, emotions and psychology that lead to good body maintenance... rather than shaming fat.

Good body maintenance and good ship maintenance can and does occur, regardless of size. So let's stop focusing on size, and start focusing on looking after ourselves (and each other)...

Regardless of our size.


p.s. For anyone out there who feels stigmatise for their shape or size, please join our FREE Diet Rehab™ group, where we're helping people discover life free from obesity stigma.

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