Maintenance Phase: Fat Camps
January 4, 2022 8:31 AM - Subscribe

How America's oldest fat camp — and the inspiration for Disney's "Heavyweights" — became the symbol of a health intervention that enjoys worldwide popularity despite no evidence that it improves anyone's health. Support the show (

Buckle up fans, this is going to be a rough one. CONTENT WARNING.
posted by bq (10 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
After finishing this episode, I can’t emphasize enough, CONTENT WARNING for fat phobia, sexual assault, eating disorders, and self-harm.
posted by bq at 10:03 AM on January 4, 2022

On a lighter note, here is a vintage photo of ladies doing push-ups with terrible form in high heels.
posted by bq at 10:08 AM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

I just subscribed to this podcast, it’s great! I have a special kid in my life whose parents have struggled with their weight, and this reminded me to check in with the kid and offer support and to figure out a way to tactfully suggest this podcast to the parents. The foster care UK story was just devestating.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:10 PM on January 4, 2022

I enjoyed that when I looked at that twitter photo, half the rest of the page was MeFi favorite Jorts the Cat.

I kind of wish this episode hadn't focused so much on the one camp. I was left with questions. How popular are the camps now vs. the past? Are they all run the same way? How do they market themselves? Illuminating nonetheless.
posted by Comet Bug at 9:41 PM on January 4, 2022

I've started catching up on Maintenance Phase after a hiatus, so I can't remember if it was this one or another one that they said that might turn into a miniseries of sorts, but I could see them doing more than one on this topic, especially if they get people willing to talk about their own experiences. (On reflection, it might have been the fat suit one--I peeked at the comments on the Patreon, and quite a few people brought up "Dad Bod" Thor in Avengers: Endgame.) They did talk at the beginning about the UK version.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:26 AM on January 5, 2022

This was just harrowing for me. I can’t stop thinking of those kids in the UK who were removed from their home and thrown into the foster system. I wish I could tell them this stranger halfway across the world cares about them.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 9:24 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Hard to listen to, but fascinating too. And enraging in that all this suffering is being inflicted when it doesn't work anyway.
posted by emjaybee at 10:58 AM on January 6, 2022

This was a tough listen, especially that clip from the documentary where the parents were calling their daughter lazy because that seemed to be the only thing they had left to blame. "We don't fry anything." No, but people's bodies are different, even in the same family. To shame a child like that is awful, to do it on TV is unforgivable.
posted by crossoverman at 2:05 AM on January 7, 2022

I don't think inflicting this level of suffering would be okay even if it did "work."
posted by humbug at 7:48 AM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I just discovered this podcast and I'm working my way through past episodes. The two hosts are fantastic and are able to break down the subject each week into something that's both hugely entertaining yet packed full of facts. The Ed McMahon episode was a tour de force.
posted by essexjan at 9:12 AM on January 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

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