Fitness trainers are Nazis, and healthy diets for children are akin to child molestation, students at St Olaf’s college in Minnesota were told at a recent talk given by obesity acceptance speaker Sonalee Rashatwar.

“I truly believe that a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex,” Rashatwar told students during the two hour talk on “radical fat liberation,” organized by St. Olaf College’s Wellness Center, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and Center for Equity and Inclusion.

She went on to link anti-obesity measures to Nazism, saying: “I do not think it’s surprising that the man who shot up Christchurch, New Zealand was also a fitness instructor.” The shooting was “a clear communication that there’s still an idealized body. Nazis really love this idea of an idealized body, and so it makes a lot of sense to me that a fitness instructor…might also think about an idealized body in this thin white supremacist way,” she said.

“I experience diet culture as a form of assault because it impacts the way that I experience my body,” she added.

Rashatwar, who describes herself on her website as “a fat queer non-binary therapist working as a sexual violence crisis counselor, specializing in treating sexual trauma, body image issues, racial or immigrant identity issues, and South Asian family systems, while offering fat and body positive sexual healthcare,” first made waves in March 2018 with a similar talk at the University of Vermont.

At that event she instagramed images of posters featuring her quotes stuck approvingly around campus. One simply read “Literally throw your scale in the trash.”

Posting on the platform under the name @thefatsextherapist, she regularly makes declarations on what constitutes fatphobia. Examples include: “avoiding eye contact with fat people in public,” and “equating thinness and health.” Similarly, she decries “diet culture and fatphobia” as “forms of sexual violence.”

She also considers herself a medical expert; one Instagram post reads: “the morning after pill’s weight limit is an example of medical fatphobia.”

She returned to this theme during her talk at St Olafs, where she announced: “We should be critical of the use of science and the production of knowledge to continue promoting this idea that certain bodies are fit, able, and desirable. Is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure, or is it my experience of weight stigma?”

Fatphobic science is “often actually eugenic science. Eugenic science is Nazi science,” she added.

Will Douty, a student who attended the lecture and who has lost over 100 pounds in weight told Campus Reform: “The entire speech was very troubling to me. I know from personal experience that health is absolutely connected with weight… When you decide to give up and claim that doctors are lying to you and you’re perfect the way you are, all you truly end up with is repressed emotions and an early funeral.

“I can guarantee that maintaining healthy eating habits will help me live a much longer and healthier life than I was originally on track to have. Your life can only improve if you take responsibility for yourself.”