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Urgelt on Prejudice and Obesity

I actually don’t really know who Urgelt is. All I know is that he has quite a following on YouTube, reads poetry, and generally (from the clips I’ve seen) makes some pretty insightful comments.

In response to a recent post on Fat-Jokes, reader Razwell, a friend and follower of Urgelt, suggested I watch the following short YouTube clip of Urgelt speaking on Prejudice and Obesity.

I did and I thought I would repost it here, as several readers may find this of interest (subscribers will have to head to my site to watch this):

Although, regular readers will know that I don’t necessarily share all of Urgelt’s views (especially not when it comes to considering everyone, who carries some extra weight ‘diseased’ or recommending ‘weight-loss’ to anyone, who happens to have a higher BMI), his comments are nevertheless extraordinarily compassionate and insightful.

Appreciate all comments,

Edmonton, Alberta


  1. He’s right about the social prejudice. However, I believe that the disease model adds to both the social bias and the job discrimination. The health risks associated with having a higher than average BMI are being greatly exaggerated, especially in the media but also in the medical community.

    Of course employers are going to discriminate if they think that fat people are inherently ill. I think that people who support the disease model on one hand and bemoan the employment bias on the other need to examine their logic, because if you support the disease model, you are contributing to the job discrimination.

    Social discrimination is a slightly different animal, but again, all of this “epidemic of obesity” and “eliminate childhood obesity” rhetoric feeds it.

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  2. Really great post!! The extent to which obesity prejudice exists is mind boggling.

    Urgelt raises an interesting point ‘If doctors won’t help, who will…?’ and this opens the floodgates to an important and engaging debate.

    What CAN doctors do when there are no pharmacological interventions available, when bariatric surgery/ surgeons are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to reach, and when the time and effort is exponentially greater to lose weight, than that involved in eating highly palatable food? Put into the complicated mix is the fact that we naturally seek out highly rewarding food, and further, is the fact that individual differences will make a person more or less prone to developingo overweight.

    Yesterday’s post, you mentioned a fascinating discovery with regard to neuronal scarring- this emphasizes the point that obesity becomes an issue even at the mollecular, neurocognitive level.

    Obesity is a disease, and a complicated one at that. The same kinds of medieval fears that were associated with medicine in the dark ages- prejudice and magical thinking being the keystones- seems to be repeating itself now in the 21st Century with obesity. It’s time to get enlightened.

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  3. Obesity has become a marker for local socio-economic status. Icing on the cake that African American and Hispanic women are disproportionately among the rangs of the obese. Nothing more than sanctioned adult bullying.

    As for the doctors, they don’t get trained well in sensitivity dealing with patients. After some bad experiences telling patients “Why don’t you eat less and get some exercise,” (not scientifically-based advice anyway) most give up on saying anything.

    People feel vulnerable in the doctor’s office and want to be treated with some consideration. Good luck getting that in today’s US without big bucks paid up front. In the meantime, bad advice and big bucks in diabetes and blood pressure drugs will flow.

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  4. CLEARLY, here in Canada, obesity treatment is NOT a priority of our Federal Government.

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  5. Awesome post, Dr. Sharma. :))

    I hope Urgelt and myself were of help to get the message out there. Hopefully the views will change eventually toward obese people.

    Take care,


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  6. Wow, thanks for sharing this video! I love how calm, factual and cogent he is — he says so many good things that people need to know. I totally agree with DeeLeigh about the disease model contributing to low-status and justification to think of obese people as “less than”, but with that one exception, I’m so glad he made this youtube piece.

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