An interview on ITV breakfast show, This Morning, has sparked almost 2000 complaints for the network.
Warning: This piece deals with the topic of restrictive diets and calorie counting that some may find triggering. For information on support available, see the bottom of this piece.
The interview in question was with Dr Michael Mosley, who appeared on the show in February to advocate for an 800-calories-a-day diet to ‘lose lockdown pounds.’
In the interview, Dr Mosley claimed that ‘rapid weightloss’ on a diet of 800-1000 calories a day can be ‘safe and effective,’ comments that immediately sparked backlash.
As Dr Mosley shared some recipe options for this low-calorie diet, hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary certainly appeared to be questioning it themselves. Giggling, Alison said “I can’t wait to come round to your house, Dr Mosely,” while Dermot laughed.
Dr Mosely appeared on This Morning to discuss ‘rapid weight loss.’
Now, the broadcasting authority in the UK, Ofcom, has confirmed that it has received a total of 1,932 in relation to the interview. It will now look at the programme to determine whether any further investigation is required.
At the time, the interview received backlash on Twitter, with many people expressing concern that promoting such a low-calorie diet could be extremely damaging and triggering for those who may be battling eating disorders.
One person writes “There is no way This Morning are promoting eating 800-1000 calories a day on Eating Disorder Awareness week. So irresponsible.”
there is no way This Morning are promoting eating 800-1000 calories a day on Eating Disorder Awareness week. so irresponsible 🤦🏼♀️ #ThisMorning
— 𝙶𝚁𝙰𝙲𝙴 𝚂𝙼𝙸𝚃𝙷 ✨ (@gracelsmith_) February 26, 2021
Another said “Angry to see this section of the show encouraging adults to eat no more than 800 calories calories a day to ‘lose lockdown pounds’, quickly. Normalising calorie restriction such as this can be the start of life-risking eating disorders for many.”
@thismorning angry to see this section of the show encouraging adults to eat no more than 800 calories calories a day to ‘lose lockdown pounds’, quickly. Normalising calorie restriction such as this, can be the start of life risking eating disorders for many #beat #thismorning pic.twitter.com/ZgK8Uy8y7o
— Rosie Mellor (@rosiemellorr) February 26, 2021
Another comment “Absolutely abhorrent that they’ve given this man a platform to advise people to stick to 800-1000 calories a day if they want to lose weight. This is so so dangerous and really fucking irresponsible.”
Absolutely abhorrent that they’ve given this man a platform to advise people to stick to 800-1000 calories a day if they want to lose weight. This is so so dangerous and really fucking irresponsible. #thismorning pic.twitter.com/2G2nSUkQYw
— Hayley Hill (@hayleyheartsxo) February 26, 2021
This isn’t the first time that Dr Mosely’s weight loss methods have faced backlash.
He was involved in the controversial Channel 4 show, Lose A Stone in 21 Days, which saw participants take part in the same 800-calorie diet in order to lose weight.
Speaking about the show at the time, Channel 4 told Metro “The series examines the evidenced link between Covid-19 and the very real threat it poses to those who have a BMI in the obese or overweight categories, as highlighted by a recent study led by Liverpool University and involving Imperial College London that found obese people are around 37 per cent more likely to die if they catch Covid-19.”
It continued “All episodes clearly state that a short-term 800-1000 calorie diet is only suitable for people whose BMI puts them in the overweight or obese categories and that it should be done with proper medical supervision. The health and welfare of each contributor is of paramount importance to both Channel 4 and the production company and strict guidelines were followed before, during and after filming.”
It added “A number of health checks were undertaken on contributors before they embarked on the regime and support is ongoing. The continuity announcer directed viewers to programme support information after the broadcast.”
Meanwhile, eating disorder charity Beat advised that anyone who is battling an eating disorder should avoid watching the show.
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