Monday, December 12, 2011

Daiya Cheese posts video that promotes fat hate - Updated!

UPDATE: Today I talked with Greg, the CEO, and Andre from Daiya cheese and I left our conversation feeling the company is in the process of taking appropriate measures to resolve the hurtful video posting on facebook and make sure situations like this do not happen again. I will be sure to blog about follow through of these measures and feel very confident that the company is sincerely good and will remedy the situation.

Daiya cheese just posted a video on their facebook page titled “Being FAT is now illegal in Japan” and then asked, “Should this be adopted in North America?” People have been commenting like mad, both upset and agreeing. Many comments were downright insulting and inappropriate. Daiya then did a post saying they did not want to offend anyone, just encourage a discussion. They obviously still do not get it.

By posting this video, Daiya is leading a discussion that promotes hatred. The idea of making fat people illegal contributes to stereotypes that we are all lazy and eat unhealthy. It contributes to the shaming of fat people and tells us they we need to change. It does not ask important questions; such as can you be fit and fat? The answer is YES!

You can see this when reading the comments by others. I get so enraged seeing how rampant fat hatred is and how quickly our concerns are dismissed and made fun of. People are not just speaking their mind; they are attacking me. I have been fat as long as I have been conscious of my existence, been fit majority of that time and vegan over 15 years. I have experienced people’s stereotypes and have been targeted for my size in ways you could not imagine. This includes, ironically, having a hamburger thrown at me during a mcdonalds protest and names slung at me by a car passing me as a bike up a huge hill.

Corporations have been profiting from people’s insecurities and promote unhealthy diets and unattainable bodies. As a result, our society is filled with eating disorders and bad body image. There is a solution. Promoting a healthy diet and exercise, along with body confidence, will contribute to a healthier population. A person’s size has no relevance in the talk about health. As a society, we should focus on health at every size and respect for every person.

On Daiya’s wall I posted that they should educate themselves about this issue, and even volunteered myself to be contacted to do so. Their response? A thank you for my post and that I can email them at any time. What! Wasn’t I already contacting them? And isn’t it their responsibility to educate themselves and correct their ignorance? I try to give companies a chance for a positive response since I have been at the other side of controversy before, but their response it not acceptable. Please join me in telling Daiya their post and behavior is irresponsible and not acceptable. Daiya should educate themselves why this post is considered offensive to so many and make a true apology. Email them at

And if you personally would like to know more about this topic, feel free to contact me, or check out some of the links below.

Big Fat Facts

Health At Every Size

Dances with Fat Blog


Jodie said...

"A person's size has no relevance in the talk about health."

That's not true. Obesity in and of itself in an independent risk factor for heart disease, which means that even if you have normal cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure and workout every day, you are still at higher risk for heart disease than someone who has none of those factors. I've talked about the issue on my blog:

Outlawing "fat people" certainly isn't the answer, but neither is ignoring the real health risks, either, of which yes, "size" is one, if it's being defined as overweight/obese/BMI (yes, BMI isn't perfect, but it's the measurement that statistics are based on, so is relevant).

Chelsea said...

First of all, if a person is fit and fat, there is no healthy way to lose weight. Secondly, majority of people who try to diet end up gaining more than their original weight and leads to very unhealthy yo-yo dieting.

"Fat, active people have half the mortality rate of thin sedentary people, and the same mortality rate as thin active people." -Big Fat Facts

Jodie said...

Chelsea, "mortality" is 100% for everyone at some point, so a fact such as "Fat, active people have half the mortality rate of thin sedentary people, and the same mortality rate as thin active people." is awfully misleading and likely taken out of context, where it likely refers to mortality rates after an adverse health event. Not having a life-threatening health event is much better in the first place, is it not?

(If that quote refers to the 2006 study published in The Lancet regarding weight and outcomes after a heart attack, I wrote about that, as well, here:

Most of us don't start life as overweight or obese, and for many, weight can be lost healthfully and stay that way. I'm not at all saying that those of us who aren't able to should beat ourselves up, (and that includes me) but we shouldn't be spreading untruthful or misleading health information, either.

Chelsea said...

Really, you want to accuse me of spreading misleading information? There are plenty of doctors out there who supports the notion of being healthy and fat and studies that support it as well. Promoting healthy at every size is definitely not a negative thing and can also promote people having healthy mental states as well. And anyone who uses BMI as a measurement of health concerns me.

Jodie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chelsea said...

I am tired of fat hate and people trying to make judgments concerning people's size. I have chosen to no longer publish comments that I perceive as negative, since they are unhealthy. I will call out people and companies on what I feel is fatphobia, and regardless of what people argue, I know you can be fit and fat. I have read medical studies supporting my conclusions and I have seen how harmful anti-fat messages can be. I believe in health at every size, and even more so I believe in respect for every person.

Anonymous said...

excellent blog topic. I left Daiya facebook page and will never buy their product again simply for the reasons you outlined in you blog post. shame on them. Thank you for your very well-written blog post on this topic.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you and am glad you shut down the comments full of people labeling what they perceive as healthy. Biased, biased, biased! There is enough of this on the facebook page as it is. I am shocked and appalled by the employee(s) posting on Daiya. I sincerely doubt that upper management told them to post what they did.

For the record, myself and many others have contacted Daiya both by e-mail and through their website form (their website lists no phone number!) and none of us have received even one reply!

However I did manage to get their phone number from someone that still has a package of their cheese. I will not be buying it until they remove the negligent posting and end all the hatred on their page. The whole thing is grossly unprofessional. Please feel free to call their number and ask to speak to someone at a high level - and pass the number around if need be and get something done:

1 877 324 9211

Chelsea said...

I also sent Daiya a separate email and they responded, but only what they said on facebok and nothing personal to what I was saying, besides that they read my blog post. I feel their facebook apology was considerably lacking and they still obviously did not get that a person's size is not directly related to health and fitness. Nor did they acknowledge the fatphobic comments they initiated with their post. So disappointing!

Robin Raven said...

Wonderful article, Chelsea. As much as they scare and sadden me, I am starting to pity bigots who just want to cheer "fat is bad" and close their ears to anything else, no matter how evidenced by science and research. That does not mean I will ever stop speaking up for love, tolerance and truth. Thanks for being a voice for good. I am happy to have discovered your blog. :)

Chelsea said...

In these comments, someone pointed out that obesity is in itself a risk factor for heart disease. Here is a link to a blog that covers the answer to this question very nicely. Over 95% of diets fail and most people ended up more unhealthy after a diet and gaining more weight. When weight loss is taken out of the equation and the focus is simply on being active and eating healthy, weight loss often does not happen, but their health is improved dramatically. Encouraging anything else can be harmful. Anyway, here is that link.

Anonymous said...

Hi it's me again i already made an anonymous comment on your blog and am back. I was not only distressed about what happened at the Daiya website and the fat hatred, but also distressed at most of the uneducated comments people left on your blog. It irritates me that most people think fat is a four letter word as it simply is not true that fat always means unfit, and skinny does not mean fit and healthy either. I thought this article might interest you and I will leave it up to you to post on your blog or not, you might not want to open that can of worms again lol. Anyway I myself am somewhat overweight because of corticosteroids that I need for an illness, perhaps people don't think about this either, but in terms of fitness, I am extremely fit and have excellent cardiovascular health and do yoga and weights as well. Most people, though, are surprised when they see how fit I am and that frankly is sad, as I said, I am by no means obese but i am not skinny either and am on steroids (the kind that make you gain weight, not the anabolic kind that weightlifters use to get muscular). I am way more fit that the slimmer and much younger and dare I say, lazier, girls around me. The fat hatred needs to stop it's getting our of hand. Thanks again for you well written blog on this topic, here is the link to the article. Kelly.

internet radio said...

I have to say, I enjoyed the video really much, as I hate fat and go for low-fat healthy products only. I think the video is right to the purpose in North America - obesity is the disease of the whole nation and a healthy lifestyle has to be promoted!

Chelsea said...

One of the problem with your statement (cause there are a lot!) is you are assuming that a person's size and lifestyle are directly correlated. It is not! We all know someone in our life who is thin and doesn't exercise and eats poorly. The same can be true about a fat person; that they can eat healthy and exercise regularly. I personally was super fit (bicycling more than 100 miles per week and much more) and ate a healthy vegan diet. You can promote a healthy lifestyle for every body without fat shaming or living in ignorance.