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Are overweight stars setting a bad example?

Overweight celebrities are making dangerous weight gain appear acceptable, a medical expert is warning. Do you agree?

Professor Michael McMahon says the higher profile of larger role models such as James Corden, Eamonn Holmes, Ruth Jones and Beth Ditto means obesity is now perceived as 'normal' by the public.

A survey of more than 2,000 individuals for Nuffield Health found many obese people are apathetic about their weight gain with almost one in five not contemplating doing anything to lose weight.

But former Hollyoaks soap star Mikyla Dodd, who previously weighed 25 stone (159kg), said larger stars showed overweight people they can be successful and motivate them to do something about it.

What do you think of the survey’s findings? Are there more overweight celebrities nowadays? Do larger stars inspire overweight people? Or are they setting a bad example?

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Published: Monday, 29 June, 2009, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK

The more dysfunctional your life is, the more of a "celebrity" you are.

Obesity is not perceived as "normal" by the public - only those that revere these so called famous people will think it is..................

Molivers One

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK

Not for long if they keep eating.

Wendy Simpson, Bournemouth, United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK

It takes all sorts, no one is going to be the same. Even Hitler didnt succeed ni that one.

seeing a fat celeb does not make me want to eat, seeing a skinny celeb does.......

medically i want to give them a mcdonalds.

but thats just me.

Stephanie, Glasgow

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK

What a load of rubbish! Celebrities come in all shapes and sizes (reflecting society) and thank goodness there are some overweight ones demonstrating that being large doesn't get in the way of fame!

There's already too much nastiness around obesity and 'fat' (fat people are generally incredibly miserably aware of their size), these large celebrities aren't telling anyone it's good or healthy to be big, they're just talented and happen to be big!

Alison, Bolton

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 09:02 GMT 10:02 UK

Such a report is simply indicative of the prevailing mood in certain circles that the public are drones blessed with nothing but the ability to consume.

We can think for ourselves!

Andy, York

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK

HYS - this is really poor reorting. Who will be next?

"Are bald celebrities encouraging a skin head culture??"

"Is Ross Kemp promoting 'pirates' through his series??

Let's get real debate going please.

Rejected for criticising the beeb

Geraint Jones, Chippenham, United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 08:59 GMT 09:59 UK

I must admit that I've never heard of any of the people mentioned in the article - so which celebrity list they are on I don't know.

With regard to role models: maybe schools should try to do a slightly better job at teaching and instilling good nutritional principles. If this doesn't help, perhaps a calorie tax on food would do the job.

[Gombof], Midlands, United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK

The answer is yes, followed by a big but...

Dan Dover

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK

As an overweight but physically active person, I cannot accept the idea that celebrities are ostracised by their weight, and not by the actions they do.

Overweight people can lead very meaningful and active lives. If showbiz were to remove them, it is seemed as discrimination and also immaturity of people from showbiz.

Yunjia Chua, Singapore, Singapore

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK

Come on HYS lets have some serious debate! Michael Jackson memories and so called fat celebrities are boring.

[DHT2008], United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK

And how is this any worse than having super skinny people on the big screen? So it's ok to risk your health with starvation but not by obesity? Rather slanted view!

JustJane

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK

Are we really trying to send a message that says overweight people are socially unacceptable?

Darkseid Jones

Yes! Of course we are! Fat people represent the level of self indulgant greed the human race is sinking to - they are a prime example of the way man takes everything he can from the world and gives nothing back. It is the fat nations that are having the most negative impact on the planet. Being fat shows you are weak, greedy and selfish. Put down the fork!

Alice W, Bristol, United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 08:42 GMT 09:42 UK

Who are these people who aspire to be like Eamonn Holmes? I don't believe it really, although the British public are becoming rather peculiar these days. The rise of rubbish food sales has much to do with the overweight problem, and slouching in front of T.Vs, eating crisps and watching sport. Go to any supermarket, and see what people put in their trollies; masses of junk "feel good" food, which is not cheaper. Does one really care if celebrities are getting fat? Let them stuff, then explode!

[testy1], london, United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK

And what about the "stick insect" celebs? Is the anorexia and bulimia they encourage now to be applauded? The biggest threat to health is listening to the latest pronouncement from some self appointed "expert" and the publicity they get from the media.

E Foster, United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 08:40 GMT 09:40 UK

Here's an idea. Why doesn't the government just stop lecturing us, stop pampering us, and plainly stop.

Then, and only then, do I think things can only get better.

[GrumpyOldViking], Orkney

If you had actually read the article you would realise Prof McMahon works for Nuffield Health, not the government or the NHS. Maybe celebrities are setting a bad example by not reading enough and making statements without being in posesssion of all the facts.

[WillStory]

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