UCLA Students Forced To Take Mandatory ‘Fat Positivity’ Class

In a move that has sparked considerable controversy, UCLA has mandated a ‘fat positivity’ class for its students, raising questions about the role of higher education in shaping societal norms and personal health narratives. The course, which is part of the medical school’s curriculum on structural racism and health equity, posits that weight loss is largely ineffective and promotes acceptance of all body types—a stance that has conservatives up in arms over what they see as an encroachment of progressive ideology into academic rigor.

The mandatory class at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine is titled “Health Equity: Obesity Management,” but its content goes far beyond traditional medical education. According to reports from Modernity News and the New York Post, the course teaches that efforts to lose weight are futile and that obesity should not be viewed as a negative health outcome. This perspective directly challenges long-standing medical advice regarding the risks associated with obesity, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

As part of the required course, all first year medical students are made to read an essay by ‘fat liberationist’ Marquisele Mercedes (pictured), who uses made up terms like “fatphobia” to argue that the medical profession is biased against fat people, and that trying to lose weight to be more healthy is a “hopeless endeavor” because it is a disability that cannot be reversed.

Critics argue that this approach undermines personal responsibility for health and could potentially lead to increased healthcare costs due to preventable diseases. They contend that while it’s important to treat individuals with respect regardless of their size, it’s equally crucial to acknowledge the well-documented health risks associated with obesity. The conservative viewpoint emphasizes individual accountability and often views such courses as an attempt to shift responsibility away from personal choices and onto societal structures.

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The course content reportedly includes discussions on “weight stigma” and “fatphobia,” framing them as social justice issues. MSN reports that students are taught about “structural racism” in relation to healthcare outcomes for obese patients. While addressing discrimination in healthcare is vital, some conservatives feel that conflating weight management with systemic racism dilutes the focus on other pressing racial disparities within the medical system.

Moreover, there is concern among conservatives about the broader implications of mandating such courses. They argue that universities should be bastions of free thought where multiple perspectives are explored rather than institutions enforcing a singular worldview—especially one they perceive as controversial or unscientific.

The debate over UCLA’s ‘fat positivity’ class reflects a larger cultural clash over values such as freedom of speech versus compelled speech within educational settings. For many conservatives, higher education should prioritize critical thinking skills over ideological conformity. They fear that courses like these may represent a slippery slope toward an educational environment where dissenting opinions are not just discouraged but actively suppressed.

This controversy also touches upon another conservative cornerstone: fiscal responsibility. Critics question whether tuition dollars should fund courses promoting ideas they believe lack sufficient scientific backing or practical application in improving public health outcomes.

In defense of their curriculum choices, UCLA might argue that they are attempting to foster a more inclusive environment by challenging traditional notions about body image and health. However, without presenting balanced viewpoints or acknowledging the complexity of obesity-related issues—including genetics, lifestyle choices, and socioeconomic factors—conservatives worry these classes may do more harm than good by oversimplifying complex health issues.

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As this story unfolds, it will undoubtedly continue to ignite passionate debates on campuses across America about academic freedom versus ideological indoctrination—and what role universities should play in shaping future generations’ beliefs about themselves and society at large.


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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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