Doctor: “No Fat People in Auschwitz”

Obesity treatment

Obesity treatment?

Here is yet another example of how prejudiced a physician can behave as a result of a calorie fixation. And how little it helps people with problems:

Worried patient was told “no fat people in Auschwitz” (Google translated from Swedish)

In summary a patient asked her doctor about possible medical causes for her weight gain. The doctor told her not to worry about such things. Weight gain was just a matter of how much food she ate. Then the doctor asked her if she had seen pictures from the concentration camp Auschwitz, and if she had seen any fat prisoners there.

I wonder if the doctor have said the same thing if the patient had become overweight due to a more obvious medical problem, for example cortisone treatment?

The sensible way to lose weight is to try to correct the causes of becoming overweight. Not to ignore the causes and count calories while desperately trying to ignore one’s hunger.

In other words: there’s a more natural, pleasant and smarter way to lose weight than playing concentration camp. Fortunately more and more people have realized that.

Have you ever met a similarly prejudiced doctor?

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34 Comments

Top Comments

  1. Andy
    It is amazing how the doctor in the story does not know the difference between malnutrition and a healthy diet.
    Read more →
  2. Sunny
    Good point Craig... same here! Ever since I adopted this lifestyle I eat waaaay less than I used too. No more sneaking snacks in between meals. I just eat a normal sized plate of breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love being on a diet that doesn't leave me hungry all day! :D
    Read more →

All Comments

  1. Andy
    It is amazing how the doctor in the story does not know the difference between malnutrition and a healthy diet.
  2. Craig Crawford
    Since going LCHF I can eat a large omelette made with butter and channel island milk and cheese, spinach, rocket lettuce, watercress toppings and not be hungry until late evening!
    Reply: #4
  3. Sunny
    WOW! This makes me think of a conversation I had with my professor yesterday about how even if somebody is vastly intelligent and knowledgeable, it does not mean that they are wise or mature. Calorie wars aside, this is just a ridiculous thing to say to a patient concerning weightloss. I have never had a Dr. say anything like this too me but if one did I think I would start rolling on the floor with laughter.
  4. Sunny
    Good point Craig... same here! Ever since I adopted this lifestyle I eat waaaay less than I used too. No more sneaking snacks in between meals. I just eat a normal sized plate of breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love being on a diet that doesn't leave me hungry all day! :D
  5. Margaret
    Whoa! Now there's a case of obesity prejudice if I ever saw one! Only a really toxic mind could even come up with something like that to say to a patient, no matter what your scientific beliefs about weight issues is!
  6. Mariola
    Here in Spain is also a very common and easy words from doctors!!! It's a shame.....
  7. The guillotine results in rapid weight loss, I hear.

    What a stupid doctor.

    (On a serious note, the doctor does not adequately grasp that of course one can eat a below-maintenance level of Calories if there are no more Calories to eat, but where there are unlimited Calories available, that's a different matter entirely. These neurotransmitters, hormones, and genes? They really do have something to do with behaviour.)

  8. Cindy
    This is just like my story. I was 4 months post partum and started gaining weight and feeling nauseous. I got one of those body bugg devices and recorded what I ate carefully. I was burning WAY more than I was taking in. First doctor told me to walk more (despite the fact that my average steps per day were at about 14,000) and eat less (clearly I was lying about what I was eating). Second doctor told me that the body bugg was clearly inaccurate that I wasn't burning as much as it recorded and that I needed to move more and eat less. Neither one of them dealt with my nausea. Finally I went to a third doctor and I re-learned about SIBO (was diagnosed with it back in 2006 and just took antibiotics). I learned about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and about Wilson's Temperature Syndrome. Did you guess that the third doctor was a naturopath? She changed my life. I have never felt better in my life. 3 months after I started the diet, I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy. Not only did the gastroenterologist not find anything new wrong, it showed that my esophagus and stomach were healing. There was no sign of Barrett's esophagus like there was 4 years earlier. Seriously wish I could go back to the first two doctors and rip them a new one because not only am I feeling better, I am down 40 pounds.
    Reply: #9
  9. That's a great story, Cindy. I'm glad you found a doctor who was not an imbecile.
  10. For goodness sakes, have they not heard of Hippocrates? Let your food be your medicine? Ring a bell at all medical "professionals"?

    They seem to think that prescribed chemicals 2 mg or 20 mg or 200 mg at a time ... are supposed to have more impact on us than what we eat 20 g at a time or 200 g, or even 2 Kg a day.

    And not so much. 2 Kg a day of "this" vs. "that", over time, causes a significant difference.

  11. Jan
    Yes I had a doctor say that to me only a few years ago, and he told me to cut out fats. He is retired now, thankfully.
  12. Galina L.
    I believe it is better to have a doctor who is not naturally thin.
  13. This could give rise to a whole school of medicine, the Auschwitz School:
    Hepatitis C infection lowers cholesterol. Why take statins if you can find a dirty needle?
    HIV/AIDS of course will become the cure for obesity, along with anorexia nervosa.
    In fact, I have a great idea - Doctors can't prescribe concentration camps (at least under the current regime), but they can prescribe drugs.
    Have you ever seen a fat speedfreak?
    Hey, it worked in the 50s and 60s.
  14. Galina L.
    Actually, you can encounter the concentration camp argument regularly during discussions about diets for a weight loss. It is used in order to make a point that to loose weight your just have to stop exercising gluttony like German prisoners . They were helped by their captors, but you can be hard on yourself in a similar way to get the same result.
  15. Emma
    No source, sorry, but as I know of, most of the concentration camp prisoners who arrived fat died of malnutrition and the ones that survived where those who were fit and whip thin in the first place.

    One would think that the fat ones would be those to survive, as they had the most energy storages, but no. Their bodies couldn't access the fat storages very efficiently (that's why they'd been plump before) and they probably succumbed in the hard labor, deceases and inhuman conditions before the thin fit ones.

  16. mezzo
    If a doctor said anything like that to me i would sign off his register immediately. Not only because he quite obviously hasn't a clue about nutrition but mostly because he appears to have no respect for the prisoners at Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Such comparisons are totally out of order.
  17. izzimac
    I recently have discoverd that I am a sufferer of a chronic disease called Lipoedema and it turns out I have had since puberty .I have asked many doctors over my 51 years why I find it diffucult to
    a. To loose weight despite eating healthily and exercising
    b. Why even when my ribs are sticking out do I still not fail into the BMI , height weight ratio

    I have always been repeatly told that there were "No Fat People in Auschwitz" or a similar connotation.. so I was being treated like a liar and an addict. I adopted the low carb way of eating about a year ago yes it has help me to loose weight and I feel better for it , and I am happy to eat this way for the rest of my life, but its not going to take my Lipoedema away or all those years of mental turmoil where I blamed myself for doing something to my body. But hopefully it will allow my body to heal... as I started cutting out carbs I realised that my body has been intolerant to them in particular wheat and I recently realised my body doesnt like dairy either .. God help the next Dr that utters those words to me !!!.

  18. Michelle
    I've been told this too and left the surgery crying. This was 20 years ago when I was on a constant binge cycle. Even back then I knew that these poor people were not healthy, so why was my doctor telling me to stop eating? Why did I come away with a diet sheet that not only left me hungry, but made my skin flake and my mood terrible?

    I'm glad I gave myself permission to trust myself and become my own scientist. It has taken a long time, but I'm nearly there.

    I had a binge last weekend (easter, another excuse and another sugar festival as Halloween is). Every time I do this and start eating LCHF again, it takes a shorter time to start feeling the benefits. I feel so calm, not hungry, clear headed and in control. Each time I return to LCHF after a binge it proves to me what this diet is; the right one.

    Thanks everyone :)

  19. The camps were full of mainly Jewish people, who as far as I know do not have a high occurrence of fat disorders, such as Dercums or Lipoedema.
    Time to read up doctor and stop living in the time of the Nazis!
  20. Zepp
    There is a very easy explanation to this.. if one couldnt manage 1000 Kcal/day and hard labour.. one get put in the gas chamber!

    Soo.. the concentration exampel is more a proof of that CICO is not a valid explanation for anything.

  21. Mike
    Saw my doctor last month. He was happy with the weight I've lost, happy about the improvements in my blood lipids, and happy about the drop in my blood pressure. When I told him how I did it he said "It's good to reduce carbs, but make sure you stick to very lean protein." I wanted to ask him what exactly my body is supposed to run on while I do that, but I didn't. I just smiled.

    It will be a few years before even half of the doctors out their recognize that LCHF is the magic bullet for some (but not all) folks.

  22. mahas
    Hi Andreas and others.

    Dont get me wrong but... I can understand the doc's point. Sometimes people want some pills-solution, aspirin like solution, some easy-to-go solution. They do not want to listen if it means to do some change of lifestyle. It can be very annoying to listen to it day after day.

    It is not a docs fault. Usually these people do not get obese during one evening or event during one year. Even if you offer to them some kind of solution they usually do not follow it ( I am not for counting calories, not at all, I am on LCHF, but you can not dismiss that there are other ways how to lose fat or weight and these worked - even if it means to struggle for the rest of people's life , there are hardly manageable for long time but still it is better then nothing ). Obesity is a big problem, we all know that, but it is not the doc's fault that people want to manage this issue usually when it is almost too late, it is getting harder with every kg of fat. Do not forget that 85-90% of cases of obese people is caused by their lifestyle. That is what we know for sure or nobody dismissed that so far

    I am not dismissing that his "parable" is ethical. It is not. But do not forget that it is not the doc's lifestyle that should be changed.

    Reply: #23
  23. And what "lifestyle" does one learn by modelling Auschwitz prisoners?
  24. Mike, it's good that your doctor is supporting you in restricting carbohydrate, but doesn't it concern you that he doesn't have the reasoning skills to understand that you can't survive on a diet simultaneously low in both carbohydrate and fat?

    At least the doctors who believe in high-carbohydrate and the "a Calorie is a Calorie" mantra can do arithmetic.

    In my own experience (in British Columbia, Canada), when I said I am eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, the three medical doctors I said that to, to my surprise, didn't object. I got the distinct feeling at least two of the three approved, but didn't recommend it proactively for whatever reason: perhaps unwillingness to go out on a limb, perhaps just general uncertainty over which diet is right, perhaps concern that I might not be able to stick to it (that's an issue I'm working on).

    Who knows? But none so far have balked at me for using the words "high fat". People in other professions --- both medical and non-medical --- have ... but not the doctors so far.

  25. Mike
    My doc told me "lean meat" because he's still on the cut-saturated-fat bandwagon. It's cool. One day he'll come around. Or not. Either way I've done my research and I make the final decision about what I eat.

    Now, if the doc tries to claim it was HIS advice that led to my success I'll have to correct him :)

  26. Ah, I suppose that kind of makes sense if he expected you to get your energy from olive oil or nuts or something like that.
  27. What a staggering failure of medicine, science and ethics. I seriously don't even know where to begin with this...
  28. yuma
    Are we supposed to see the concentration camp victims as a model of health?

    This doctor is a crypto-nazi!

  29. Karen
    I agree with Ketopia. This is so profoundly and breathtakingly offensive.
  30. "Have you ever met a similarly prejudiced doctor?"

    Outside of the Low-Carb Cruise (coming up again in only 3 weeks!), I have only met 2 MDs who where not similarly prejudiced.

    And *neither* of them were at the VA medical center.

  31. Galina L.
    "Have you ever met a similarly prejudiced doctor?"

    My GP and GY/OB nurse (they don't work together) both told me they read nutritional blogs, and my dentist is on Atkins after giving birth to her doter. All my doctors support my LC diet, one of the reasons is they saw how my health and all health markers dramatically turned for the best. GY nurse told me some of her patients with hot flashes got relieve by severely reducing carbs in their diets.
    People not blind and death, and doctors are just people like me and you.

  32. Jacqui
    as a jew all this conversation was very offensive and very very sad, please note somehow that hundreds of thousands of jews were starved to death!!! the doctor who said this was an idiot but we using the example to have a "conversation" about nutrition is not acceptable.
  33. Marion Hermannsen
    I lived in Ireland for 6 years and didn't meet a single health professional who had the first clue about nutrition. My GP, a lovely man in his mid-forties, was morbidly obese as well as his colleague. Irish people after a certain age tend to be quite overweight and the national diet is very high in refined carbs, toast, biscuits, the usual crap. Yet everywhere you go, you hear the High Carb Low Fat message.

    I've now moved to Germany and although bread is still a huge staple in the average diet, my GP is fully on board with LCHF. Although media is as bad with High Carb Low Fat as anywhere else in Europe.

  34. eugene kruger
    My diabetic doctor (I have Type 2) said the same thing to me fiveyears ago and had me consult a dietician. Result? - weight gain and doubling my medication after 4 years. Now however, after 9 monthds on a LCHF eating lifestyle, I've shed 15kg and halved my medication with an average fasting blood sugar of 4,4!
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