EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: 'Diet culture' course teaches UVA students to call people 'fat' to avoid being 'fatphobic'

The professor also argued that people are 'not responsible for [their] weight.'

Campus Reform obtained exclusive audio and other material from the lecture.

On Feb. 27 students in a University of Virginia Exercise and Nutrition Medicine course were informed that refraining from using the word “fat” is “inherently fatphobic,” and that people are “not responsible for [their] weight.”

Campus Reform obtained exclusive audio and other material from the guest lecture by Dietitian and UVA data analyst Stephanie Brennhofer.

In the lecture, titled “Diet Culture & Weight Stigma,” Brennhofer stated that the terms “overweight” and “obese” should not be used, and that “fat” is the “appropriate descriptor” because it “does not medicalize somebody’s body.”

[RELATED: Professor says people are healthy at any size]

”My philosophy is I think it’s unethical to tell you how to lose weight,” Brennhofer went on to say, “because you’re not going to be able to do it long-term ... So I feel like I’m actually doing you a disservice and worsening your health by telling you what to do to lose weight because I know you’re not going to be able to do it long-term.”

She also argued that “the word ‘fat’ is actually inherently fatphobic” due to the fact that it “signals to fat people – and really everybody – that [being fat] is bad. All ‘fat’ does is describe somebody’s body shape.” 

Brennhofer proceeded to tell the class that patients “do not need to be weighed at every [doctor’s] office visit,” explaining that she refuses to be weighed when she goes to routine appointments. 

When students in the class asked how she responds to clients who ask for her help losing weight, she answered that individuals are not responsible for their own weight because their weight rarely has to do with how they’ve chosen to live. Rather, it is simply their genetics.

[RELATED: Fat studies is the field that teaches students to view obesity as ‘oppression’]

“I actually think it’s super liberating to feel like I’m not responsible for my weight,” said Brennhofer, “I actually find that to be kind of a cool thing … It’s not a failure of my own or anything, it just is what it is, and I feel like that should be a good thing.”

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly. 

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