About The Documentary:
There are an estimated 17 million women in the USA that have the fat disorder lipedema and don’t know it, and many more globally. Filmmaker and patient Catherine Seo brings us on a journey of discovery, as she explores this misunderstood and commonly misdiagnosed disease.
When her own lipedema diagnosis was overlooked, Catherine’s seemingly inexplicable weight gain during peri-menopause led to complications, several surgeries, and eventually to incapacitating pain and threatened mobility. Catherine knew there was more to what was happening than just regular “FAT”. Her surgeon could not explain the worsening symptoms, and simply attributed it to her weight. When he would not investigate other possible explanations, she knew that if there was an answer, she was going to have to be the one to find it.
During her inquiry and research, Catherine traveled across the US and to Europe and the UK, looking for the answers to her many questions, interviewing experts and patients as she went along. She began to understand why many patients never receive the care and help they need, regardless of their tremendous efforts to achieve wellness. She heard many stories about the prevalence of Anti-Fat bias in healthcare and also of the innovation of a handful of doctors in treating this disease. As the pieces came together, a bigger story emerged. The documentary, The Disease They Call FAT, is that story. Produced by Lipedema Simplified Productions in partnership with the Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research & Treatment.
Get Involved! Join the Lipedema Project Community
A collaborative partnership between the Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research & Treatment at Mount Sinai Beth Israel and Lipedema Simplified, LLC, the Lipedema Project is a comprehensive transmedia program to increase awareness and provide education, research and treatment for lipedema.
Lipedema is a disease involving abnormal fat deposition that can result in pain, immobility and lymphatic disturbances. With obesity reaching epidemic proportions and anti-fat bias prevalent in healthcare, it becomes critical that patients are correctly diagnosed and that resources are invested in understanding this disease and how it can be treated. The Friedman Center is committed to raising awareness, providing education, and funding research to identify treatment and a cure for lipedema.
Dr. Mark Smith
Mark L. Smith, MD, FACS
Director, The Friedman Center
Dr. Mark L. Smith is Chief of Plastic Surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel and Director of the Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research and Treatment. He is an expert in the field of cancer & lymphatic surgery and is double-fellowship trained in Microsurgery and Craniofacial Surgery.
He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As an international volunteer for the past 2 decades, he has performed reconstructive surgery and taught local surgeons in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central America and South America.
Dr. Mark Smith, Executive Producer
Catherine Seo, PhD
Director, Lipedema Simplified, LLC
Catherine Seo, PhDc is Founder and Director of Lipedema Simplified LLC, and the director and producer of the documentary The Disease They Call FAT. When confronted with almost certain immobility and complications from misdiagnosed lipedema, she traveled the world interviewing other patients, doctors, surgeons and experts looking for answers. The documentary is this story.
Catherine had her PhD from Fielding Graduate University in Media Psychology. Her research is focused on empowering women who experience the distortions of body image as represented in the media applying self-compassion and other meditation techniques. The Disease They Call FAT is her first documentary, but definitely not her last.
Catherine Seo, Director & Producer
About The Lipedema Project
The Lipedema Project was founded in 2014 by Dr. Mark L. Smith, MD, FACS and Catherine Seo, PhD to begin the research and treatment for lipedema, a chronic fat disorder. Lipedema is a disease involving abnormal fat deposition that can result in pain, immobility, and lymphatic disturbances. Lipedema progresses over time often developing lymphedema, a chronic condition called lipolymphedema.
With obesity reaching epidemic proportions and anti-fat bias prevalent in healthcare, it becomes critical that patients are correctly diagnosed, that resources are invested in understanding this disease and how it can be treated, and that patients have the support, knowledge, and options to manage these chronic conditions.
Currently, The Lipedema Project, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization devoted to increasing awareness and providing education, research, and treatment for lipedema through online and face-to-face programs and building community.
The lipedema documentary is available for viewing on Facebook, Lipedema – The Disease They Call FAT.
The book is available on Amazon, Lipedema – The Disease They Call FAT: An Overview for Clinicians.