The Fat Doctor Asher Larmie: Fat stigma is more dangerous than obesity
To be labelled as the UK’s “most outrageous” doctor takes some doing.
But for Dr Asher Larmie – the self-styled “Fat Doctor” and a transmasculine weight-inclusive GP – his decision to actively court criticism and controversy is all part of his plan to raise awareness and ignite debate to combat weight stigma and promote weight-inclusive care.
Indeed, if you follow him on Instagram you’ll be fully aware of the many controversial and contrarian positions he takes around nutrition, weight management, diet culture and other divisive issues closely linked to body composition, disease prevention and physical and mental health.
Yet, like so much of what you see and hear on social media, should you really take everything at face value?
For instance, does Dr Larmie really believe that the food you eat has no impact on whether you gain or lose weight? Does he genuinely think that most people are incapable of losing weight, and even if they do are destined to put it all back on – with more besides – to leave them in bigger and heavier than when they started? And if so, isn’t this just because motivation, discipline and adherence drops off after initial weight-loss stalls, rather than a physiological inability of humans to consistently lose weight over the long term?
We sat down with The Fat Doctor to discover what he really believes about diet, nutrition, body composition, weight and fat stigma, what is just a show for social media, and why he is subject to an on-going General Medical Council investigation into his suitability to practice medicine.
And as more and more people discover him and his fat-positive and body-positivity views that being overweight is not inherently unhealthy, we asked him whether he is at all concerned that he might be wrong, and so therefore encouraging followers to give up any aspirations of losing excess body weight which could lead them to an early grave?