Linking obesity to willpower 'damages young women', says Badass Women presenter

Linking obesity to willpower 'damages young women', says Badass Women presenter

Monday, January 7, 2019

Badass Women’s Hour presenter Harriet Minter clashed with a nutritionist on air over her comments on obesity.

Nutritionist Monica Price joined Minter to discuss January dieting, but riled up the presenter when she spoke about body image.

“You’ve got to think about your health. We’re thinking, ‘am I going to lose weight?’

“You’re looking at your body and thinking, ‘am I fat? Am I going to lose weight? Do I need to do do something about it?’” said Ms Price.

Some 26% of adults in England are obese, according to government statistics, and Ms Price said it would put strain on the NHS.


'If you don't like your image, do something about it'

“The statistics are, one in four adults in the UK are suffering from obesity,” she said.

“This is a huge problem, and it’s going to be a huge problem with our national health service…

“You’ve got to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I either like this image or I don’t like this image’. If you don’t like this image, you’ve got to do something about it.”

“I fundamentally disagree with that and I think it’s incredibly dangerous for you to say that,” retorted Minter.

“There are thousands of young girls out there looking in the mirror with bodies that are perfectly fabulous, and saying ‘I don’t like this body’.

“And they are starving themselves. How dangerous to say that. It shouldn’t be about whether you look in the mirror and say ‘I like my body’.

“It should be about teaching young girls to say ‘I do like my body, it runs fast, I like that it moves, I like that it breathes for me everyday’.”


'Terrible advice'

File image: Pixabay

As the presenter and guest continued to clash, Ms Price pointed out some of the conditions that could be caused by obesity.

“You are going to be more prone to diabetes or coronary heart disease or stroke, so there’s no point saying long term it won’t affect your body, it will,” she said.

But Minter argued that someone’s weight that not the only indicator of their health.

“Lots of other things affect your body, your genetics, your age, your lifestyle… we don’t put the same moral emphasis on them that we do on weight,” she responded.

The debate culminated when Price said people should be held accountable if they are obese.

“There was a call to classify obesity as a disease, it’s not a disease,” she said.

“You are a human being, you control how much food you put into your mouth. It’s all about willpower and self-control.”

“It’s not about willpower, I’ve never heard such a load of rubbish,” Minter argued.

“It’s that sort of thing that damages young women.

“I’ve had people like you talk to me since I was aged seven.

“ It didn’t work. I went on another diet after that, and another diet after that, and do you know where I ended up? In an eating disorder clinic with an eating disorder.

“So thank you for your terrible advice, get out of my radio show. We’re done.”