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Atheism and the fat acceptance movement

Obesity is primarily caused by poor dietary and exercise habits.[1]

Two of the major risk factors for becoming obese according to the Mayo Clinic are poor dietary choices and inactivity.[2] In the United States, most individuals are overweight due to their dietary and exercise habits.[3] See also: Bariatric science

Currently, a significant portion of the atheist community is overweight/obese as can be seen by the articles cited below:

Atheist organizations/groups and obesity:

Secular geographic areas and obesity:

China has the largest atheist population in the world.[4] In 2014, the British medical journal Lancet reported that the Chinese now have the second highest obesity rate in the world.[5][6]

A recent study published in the Obesity Reviews journal, found that Chinese teenagers' rate of diabetes was four times that of their American peers.[7] See: Atheism and obesity

Irreligion, age groups and obesity:

Atheists supporting the fat acceptance movement

While there are many atheists who recognize the vast amount of medical data indicating the harmful effects of being overweight, there have been atheists who have engaged in denialism and have very much agreed with the fat acceptance movement. Furthermore, atheists have been interviewed by major news outlets and advocated the fat acceptance movement.[8]

Greta Christina

Picture of Greta Christina in 2007.

Greta Christina is a popular atheist, feminist blogger at Freethought Blogs. In addition, she is an atheist speaker and author. She is in a same-sex marriage with a woman named Ingrid.[9]

For years, Greta Christina was overweight and very much agreed with the fat acceptance movement and largely dismissed the abundant medical science data indicating the negative health effects of being overweight. Her fat acceptance beliefs were altered though when she had a serious knee problem which prompted her to lose her excess weight.[10] However, in November of 2016 she was overweight again.[11]

Within the feminist movement, there a branch of feminism called fat feminism.[12] The lesbian population in the Western World has a significantly higher rate of obesity (see: Lesbianism and obesity).

Today, Christina has a more limited agreement with the fat acceptance movement, but still considers herself apart of it.[10]

Greta Christina wrote in 2010:

And while I have huge disagreements with the fat acceptance movement -- especially with its more extreme denialist edges -- I still think many of its ideas are important, and perceptive, and entirely fair. I have serious disagreements with FA, but I am still very much shaped by it, and I would like to think of myself as an ally of the movement, and even as a member of it.

It's just that they don't feel the same way about me.[13]

As noted above, the lesbian population in the Western World has a significantly higher rate of obesity (see: Lesbianism and obesity). For example, In 2013, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that 75% of American lesbians are obese[14][15] In April 2007, the American Journal of Public Health analyzed data from 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and the data suggested that American lesbian women were 2.69 times more likely to be overweight and 2.47 times more likely to be obese than all other female sexual orientation groups. [16] The abstract for this study indicated that "lesbians are at greater risk for morbidity and mortality linked to overweight and obesity." [16]

Skepchick writer and feminist Heina Dadabhoy

Skepchick writer and feminist Heina Dadabhoy has written about "fat phobia", fat-hating and also wrote about a television episode "What I did like was seeing a bad fatty positively represented on mainstream-enough television".[17] She has written a number of fat acceptance blog posts.[18]

The atheist fat acceptance website Fierce, Freethinking Fatties

A prominent atheist fat acceptance website is the website Fierce, Freethinking Fatties and the representatives of the website have been interviewed by major news outlets such as the BBC, NBC, Village Voice, China International Radio (see: China and obesity) and the Huffington Post.[8][19]

Atheism, politics and the fat acceptance movement

The 20% of overweight people who are able to achieve permanent weight loss typically report doing it through engaging in high levels of physical activity, eating a low-calorie, low-fat diet, eating breakfast regularly, self-monitoring weight, and maintaining a consistent eating pattern across weekdays and weekends.[20]

Since the majority of atheists are on the left side of the political spectrum (see: Atheism and politics), politically left leaning atheists (such as feminists) who subscribe to fat acceptance movement ideology typically subscribe to the fat acceptance movement's identity politics type complaints of "thin privilege".[21][22][23] Rather than take responsibility for their health choices, they would rather wallow in self-pity and play the victim (As noted above, most individuals are overweight due to their dietary and exercise habits[1]).

Atheism, obesity and hypocrisy

Atheists often champion mainstream medicine and disparage osteopathy, integrative medicine, chiropractic healthcare and other alternative medicine approaches.[24][25]

Yet, despite the health risks of obesity and despite the fact that exercise science, nutritional science and medical science have a number of effective treatments for obesity, a significant amount of prominent atheists are obese/overweight (see: Atheism and obesity).

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines biology as "a branch of knowledge that deals with organisms and vital processes."[26] One of the most basic vital processes relating to human biology is eating. Given that overweight atheists typically champion evolutionary pseudoscience, it is not surprising that many have not mastered regulating their daily food intake.

For more information on atheist hypocrisy, please see: Atheist hypocrisy

Risk factors for obesity and the Bible on gluttony and sloth

Two of the major risk factors for becoming obese according to the Mayo Clinic are poor dietary choices and inactivity.[2]

The Bible declares that gluttony and sloth are sins.[27][28] Furthermore, the Bible declares the physical body of Christians to be temples of the Holy Spirit.[29] There have been no prominent Christian leaders in the world advocating the fat acceptance movement.

Paul-Henri Thiry was an early advocate of atheism in Europe.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Thiry "used his great wealth to throw the dinner parties for which he is famous."[30]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 *Causes of obesity - Mayo Clinic
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. As Obesity Rises, Chinese Kids Are Almost as Fat as Americans, Wall Street Journal Chinarealtime, May 29, 2014
  4. Chubby China: Nation of 300 Million Overweight People
  5. Obesity is a growing concern in China By Pang Li,, September 14, 2012
  6. 8.0 8.1 Fierce, Freethinking Fatties - Press
  8. 10.0 10.1 Caught Between Fat and Thin: When a Fat Acceptance Advocate Takes Off the Pounds by Greta Christina
  9. The World We're in Now - Greta Christina - Skepticon 9, November 2016 video posted at YouTube
  10. Willett, Julie (2010). TheAmerican Beauty Industry Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 0313359490. , page 14
  11. Caught Between Fat and Thin: When a Fat Acceptance Advocate Takes Off the Pounds by Greta Christina
  12. Feds Spend $1.5 Million to Study Why Lesbians Are Fat - CNS News
  13. Feds Spend $1.5 million to Study Obese Lesbians
  14. 16.0 16.1 Overweight and Obesity in Sexual-Minority Women: Evidence From Population-Based Data, Ulrike Boehmer, Deborah J. Bowen, Greta R. Bauer, American Journal of Public Health, 2007 Jun;97(6):1134-40. E pub 2007 Apr 26.
  15. [Pretty Little Lies: Why I Loved the Fat Lady Episode of ‘Louie]
  16. Heina Dadabhoy - fat acceptance blog post
  17. Fierce, Freethinking Fatties - Our Philosophy
  18. Long-term weight loss maintenance, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005 July; 82(1 Suppl):222S-225S.
  19. Thin Privilege. Yes, It Does Exist, June 3, 2010, Fierce Freethinking Fatties website
  20. Fatphobia and Body Dissatisfaction: Different Conversations - Skepchick website
  21. 20+ Examples of Thin Privilege - Everyday feminism
  22. Medicine vs. quackery by Atheist Austin Cline
  23. - A million gods - tags: medicine, quackery
  26. Sloth - Open Bible
  28. Paul-Henri Thiry - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy