Big Fat College Credits
According to this article, it's an emerging field (although you know that some copy editor almost had a stroke avoiding "growing"). However, as Stephen Balch says, "Ethnic studies, women's studies, queer studies - they're all about vindicating the grievances of some particular group.... But if the purpose is to vindicate fatness, to make fatness seem better in the eyes of society, then that purpose begs a fundamental intellectual question."
I attend one of the colleges mentioned in the article but had never noticed the course on obesity, probably because I never look at the courses offered outside of my program. The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee professor is described as being skeptical about the "war on obesity" (I'm assuming those are air quotes attributed to the professor, not the writer, but it's not really clear) and the idea of a professor who has a combative agenda for an entire semester does not sound appealing. Also, speaking from experience, those UWM deskchair things that are definitely foot soldiers in the war on obesity, with or without air quotes.
Is the study of fatness in an academic institution as legitimate as Native American studies or GLBT studies? Are such courses just trying to justify being chubby or encouraging diversity? After reading Mr. Balch's quote above, does it justify kicking him hard in the groin more only if you subsitute the word "black" or "gay" for "fat"? Would you sign up to go to Fat Class?