Cosmopolitan magazine's hottest weight-loss tip? Get cancer

A headline on a tweet about a cancer survivor losing 44lbs has been widely condemned

We can only assume that the social media editor of Cosmopolitan was enjoying a Pepsi in a United Airlines executive lounge on Monday when tweeting a link to a story on the lifestyle magazine's website.

As one of the most widely distributed publications in the US, with a circulation of more than 3m, Cosmo has never shied away from controversy, splashing scores of sex tips and fashion advice on its pages for more than a century.

But many readers felt the magazine showed a monumental lack of judgment when it tweeted a link to a story featuring a woman in a bright pink crop top with the headline: “How this woman lost 44 pounds without *any* exercise.”

Her secret? A rare cancer diagnosis.

The story described how 31-year-old Simone Harbinson, a mother of two from Melbourne, was diagnosed with a malignant carcinoid tumour of the appendix in 2014. She would go on to contract an infection that required she be quarantined, experience a partial lung collapse, and suffer from chronic pain due to a damaged disc in her back.

But as the article notes, Harbinson, now an Instagram fitness blogger, “lost 44 pounds without a single session at the gym.” Still recovering from the surgeries that saved her life, Harbinson “isn’t physically able to work out the way she used to before her cancer diagnosis.”

The reaction on social media was swift and unforgiving:

Cosmopolitan's editorial staff has since deleted the tweet and republished the article with the headline:  "A Serious Health Scare Helped Me Love My Body More Than Ever."

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