Newspaper Ad Mocks Obese Women

This is one of those vulgar things that you see only in the big city. When I saw a similar ad last week, I expected it to quietly die, but now that it’s back again, I’ll take it as an opportunity  to call it as I see it.

This full page ad ran today on the back of Metro New York, a free daily newspaper available throughout the city near commuter trains. The company behind the ad,, is an online dating service for cheaters – espoused adulterers – you read it right. I first saw this ad’s companion that showed the fat lady by herself on the day after Halloween. The caption said, “Did your wife scare you last night?”  But, honestly, I couldn’t figure it out.  Was the fat lady supposed to be the wife or the tart?  I mean wives rarely wear Fredrick’s of Hollywood lingerie, and so she must be the tart, and then I know guys (and girls) who prefer lots of soft flesh. Their moms were usually very loving and very fat too.

But, the creators of these ads should thank their lucky stars that they were not born fat. They don’t realize that very fat people may be impaired, like anyone with a genetic condition. They don’t know that genes contribute to obesity and to body weight in general, and that scientists have identified 20+ gene sites associated with obesity and fat distribution. Stankard’s 1980s studies of identical twins – reared apart and together – showed that height, weight and BMI are so closely correlated across time, that their path suggests a co-variation that has everything to do with genetics and very little relation to childhood environment.

Individuals vary greatly in the way they store and burn body fat, and weight changes lead to metabolic adaptations designed to promote maintenance.  When very fat people lose weight, their metabolic rates drops severely in order to promote the return of unwanted pounds, but in studies where normal weight people intentionally gained weight, their bodies fought it by revving up metabolism to the point where the new weight couldn’t be maintained. I’m not talking about middle age spread that comes from overeating and a sedentary lifestyle. I’m talking about people who have to try very hard just to keep from getting even bigger. God forbid that Ashley Madison or Metro NY would have to walk a mile in their shoes.

Your thoughts: What should we do about these despicable ads?

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