Health

University Of Minnesota Hosts Anti-Diet Fat Activist

| by Michael Allen
Virgie TovarVirgie Tovar

A fat activist slammed weight loss programs and said heavy people are subject to bigotry during her talk for the University of Minnesota on May 6, which is reportedly "International No Diet Day."

"Weight loss is not a realistic goal for most people," Virgie Tovar told the small crowd via Skype, notes The Minnesota Republic.

Tovar said 80 to 90 percent of people regain the weight lost while on a diet (assuming they quit the diet), adding, "the body you have now is the only body you will ever have."

According to Tovar, the so-called diet culture is a "white heteronormative society" and "exercise and diets are constructs."

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"Fat phobia is a form of bigotry, is a form of discrimination,” Tovar said, claiming society is "fat phobic."

She listed forms of discrimination that included how people choose sex partners, the design of chairs and fat shaming while taking public transportation, which she has personally experienced.

Tovar did not mention weight-related causes of death such as "heart failure or diabetes."

Her talk was "devoid of actual diet statistics," the Minnesota Republic reports.

"Theoretically all dieting is disordered eating," Tovar stated.

The event, "Dispelling Myths: Fat, Fatphobia, and Challenging Social Stereotypes," was reportedly sponsored in part by the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health and its Office for Equity and Diversity.

Tovar's website bears the slogan: "Lose Hate Not Weight," and states that she "holds a Master's degree in Human Sexuality with a focus on the intersections of body size, race and gender," and taught "'Female Sexuality' at the University of California at Berkeley."

The University of Minnesota website page promoting the event stated:

Virgie Tovar and Kathy Kater will speak about the history of diet culture and break down the myths and social stereotypes around oppression and the medical model of fatness, expanding the diversity discourse on campus to include size.

We will end with a Q&A session and discuss action steps to combat fatphobia in your own life and within the campus community.

Limited pizza will be provided starting at 10:45 for attendees.

Sources: The Minnesota Republic, Virgie Tovar, University of Minnesota / Photo credit: VirgieTovar/Twitter

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