Professor John Birkbeck has surfaced in New Zealand newspapers again, telling fat people that it’s all their own fault that they are fat. The New Zealand Herald devoted not just one article to him, but two – one a fairly standard profile of a retiring academic: The truth is – size matters, and another seizing the opportunity to berate fat people: Expert – it’s your fault if you’re a fatty. Some choice tidbits from the articles:
“While acknowledging that some may have a genetic propensity to obesity, he said: “You can’t get over-fat without eating more calories than you expend.”
Birkbeck even cited concentration camps to illustrate his point.
“You do not see fat people in concentration camps. Why? Because they get hardly anything to eat and they have to do a lot of work.”
“In a dictatorship, you say ‘everybody that comes back in a year’s time with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30 will be shot’ – and you’ll find hardly anyone has a BMI over 30.
“But you can’t do that in society, so what we have to do is find a way to cajole and coerce. And I don’t think they’ve done enough of that.”
“I think where we can make things uncomfortable for the seriously fat, we should do so with a clear conscience.”
Umm…. wow. Let’s put this into one sentence. We can rid society of the evil of obesity by putting people in concentration camps and starving them or by killing them if they don’t lose weight.
(The NZ Herald links it to women, of course. Take a look at the photos they use to illustrate their articles.)
Leaving aside the ghastly offensiveness of using Holocaust victims to make an unrelated point, that’s an awful lot of fat hatred going on there.