A 'Fat Studies' Scholar No Longer Fits the Picture

When Kathleen LeBesco gave a talk at an academic meeting last fall about how, as an overweight professor, she influenced her students' ideas about body size, there was only one problem: She wasn't fat.

Ms. LeBesco is a leading player in an emerging academic field called fat studies. But over the last year and a half she has lost 70 pounds — putting her in the uncomfortable position of being at the forefront of a field for which she no longer fits the profile.

"I made