Lipedema-The Disease They Call FAT

a film by Catherine Seo

Film now available for online streaming, download or on DVD

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About The Documentary:

The Disease They Call FAT, Lipedema 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.

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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

Dr Mark L. 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

Catherine Seo, PhD

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

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