Susanna Reid has slammed a weight loss guru’s call to ban obese people from fast food restaurants as ‘fat-shaming at its worst’.
The GMB presenter spoke to Steve Miller on this morning’s episode, and wasted no time in criticising his radical idea to police those that eat out at restaurants and what they eat.
‘This is fat shaming at its worst, isn’t it?’ Susanna told him.
‘Are you suggesting that if I’m overweight, and I turn up at my favourite restaurant, there’s going to be a fat-shaming security guard on the door, who says, “nope, you’re not allowed in. You’re not on the list – on the thin list.”’
Steve – who previously said Bake Off should come with a health warning and people should talk to their food to prevent them from overeating – dismissed the notion as ‘daft’ and said we need to ‘turn fat-shaming into life-saving’, stating facts about the increasing obesity crisis.
‘What I’m thinking is that for those people that are a BMI of 40 plus, and we’re talking really quite big there, is to make sure we look after those people to save their life, potentially […] and refuse to serve junk food to those people,’ he responded.
Steve Miller has continued to share radical ideas to curb obesity (Picture: ITV)
Susanna then countered that the same person could go to the takeaway app and eat from their home, and that shaming is not the way to get overweight people to listen – particularly those who see food as a source of comfort.
‘We have to have some behaviour change in the UK, and if that means being cruel to be kind sometimes, a bit of tough love, then that’s what we’re gonna have to do,’ Steve continued.
‘It’s not about being horrible to people, it’s about actually reversing these obesity numbers.’
The group soon devolved into a heated debate (Picture: ITV)
Ateh Jewel lost four stone after finding means to deal with comfort eating (Picture: ITV)
When Adil Ray later pointed out that being ‘cruel to be kind’ is essentially fat-shaming, Steve dismissed it saying that he ‘wasn’t fat-shaming’ and that people need to ‘get over it’.
Ateh Jewel also joined the conversation, arguing that Steve’s ‘dangerous’ narrative around fat-shaming would not working – explaining how she put on weight due to comfort eating, and eventually lost four stone thanks to being taught about her feeding issue.
‘Personal responsibility is absolutely key,’ she said. ‘This is a very dangerous situation – I agree with Steve on that point, but as soon as I started doing things like sparked joy in me, I started doing ballet, yoga, mindfulness, journaling… I lost four stone in four months.
‘We should be focusing on coping mechanisms, we should be focusing on positivity. Shame is what stops people from reaching for help.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.