According to wikipedia, a fat camp, weight loss camp, or fat farm is a “residential program where overweight or obese people go to lose weight through exercise and lifestyle changes.”
Body positivity activists believe that fat camp and weight loss camp programs are fatphobic. It goes against their movement of accepting all body sizes and physical abilities, regardless of whether the weight is medically unhealthy.
However most residential weight loss programs (such as Cat Smiley Boot Camp) are not appearance focused. The goal is to improve the functionality and health of the body through improved fitness and nutrition choices. Therefore we should be able to abbreviate (per wikipedia definition), in theory, to refer to our weight loss camp as a fat camp. In fact, many of our customers do! After-all, it’s a place where women – who are outside of healthy weight range – go to lose weight through exercise and lifestyle changes.
Sensitivity to the word
Body positivity activists often don’t realize that weight loss camps are health focused, not appearance focused. They believe that ‘living in a larger body’ and being ‘plus sized’ is a permanent state that should be accepted, not changed.
This article says it the best; “Fat has been so demonized that any mention of the f-word is usually met with denial.”Wikipedia states the goal of fat camp is to “help participants lose weight, raise self-confidence and self-image, while teaching them healthy life skills and choices”. Exactly what any residential fitness camp or wellness retreat offering a weight loss program offers…
So are fat camps still a thing?
Yep, they are. But the word is triggering, so weight loss camps don’t use it in their marketing or websites as a way to describe their program.
Ironically, their potential customers still search for the keyword – it’s a more popular google search than ‘weight loss camp.’