“Dr. Phil” McGraw had an intense show on Wednesday debating whether there was a correlation between obesity and health problems.
Dr. Phil spoke with a guest and multiple experts about a crisis facing the nation in an episode titled, “Has the Body Positivity Movement Gone Too Far?” Dr. Phil asked his “body positivity” activist guest, “Would you agree that being obese or being morbidly obese puts you at risk for diseases at a higher level than if you were at a lesser weight and everything else was constant?”
Lexi the activist replied, “I would disagree with you from my personal experience, and from what I know working in the body positivity movement for the past few years, and hearing other people’s accounts.”
Dr. Phil responded with a litany of damning statistics.
“So you would reject the science?” Dr. Phil asked. “The current science says that you are seven times higher risk for diabetes, certain kinds of cancer, sleep apnea, six times higher for high blood pressure, four times higher for arthritis, three times higher for asthma, that you’re higher risk for high cholesterol, inflammation, coronary artery disease. And if you have high blood pressure, you’re 200 to 300 percent more at risk for a stroke.”
Lexi claimed, “I have none of those issues. I have no indicators of those issues being anywhere on the horizon. I am perfectly healthy. Even if I weren’t, I’m obviously still entitled to dignity and respect, which is my main pillar of belief and what I talk about most often.”
She then pivoted to target the race and gender of the scientists who have done the research.
“Despite what you believe the science to reflect, you are very obviously rejecting the truth, which is that there is science that opposes that belief. There are so many scientists and so many doctors who are middle-aged white men. And my body is very different,” she said.
While Dr. Phil treated the guest with respect, he brought up his own family history of struggling with obesity.
“My issue is if somebody that is overweight is out telling people this is not a high risk situation. And I say that because of the science, and it means something to me,” Dr. Phil explained. “Because I’ve buried a nephew that was morbidly obese at 50. I’ve buried a nephew that was morbidly obese in his 40s. I’ve buried two aunts that were morbidly obese in their 40s. My entire family has been morbidly obese, and I’ve buried them all in their 40s and 50s.”
He concluded, “I think it is dangerous for people to be out there saying this is not an at-risk condition. And I do not endorse it.”