The latest front cover of Cosmopolitan magazine is “very misleading” and goes “very close to the line of normalising obesity,” according to TV nutritionist Gillian McKeith.
The February issue of the US magazine features 11 women with a range of different body types with the headline: ‘This is healthy.’
It has been accused of 'glamourising' obesity for featuring plus-size women under the headline.
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The UK version of the cover features athlete Morgan Lake, disability rights advocate Sophie Butler and plus-size blogger Callie Thorpe.
The magazine also shared nine further covers for the issue in a post on Instagram.
Announcing the issue, Cosmopolitan said: "These 11 incredible women with 11 very different bodies are proving wellness isn’t one-size-fits all."
It encourages readers to hear "our cover stars open up about their personal journeys to reclaim 'healthy' as their own."
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, TV nutritionist and author Gillian McKeith said the magazine chose their headline for “maximum controversy.”
“They want to get everyone talking about Cosmo so it has actually worked,” she said. “But what do they mean exactly by the headline this is healthy?
“Do they mean that these women are on a healthy path so we should congratulate them – which we absolutely should because nobody should be body-shamed for their size.
“It is very confusing as to exactly what they mean. Are they saying that being overweight or looking this overweight is healthy?
“This type of headline is going very close to the line of normalising obesity, which is not OK. Being seriously overweight means that your body is in a constant low-grade pro-inflammatory state, which is not healthy.”
She outlined a range of ways being overweight can cause serious issues for your heart, lungs and digestive system – and noted that coronavirus patients who are overweight are far more likely to experience severe symptoms.
“The headline is very confusing and so it is maybe making people think, ‘oh it is OK to be obese,’ and that is not true because it compromises the immune system and that is what is so critical at the moment – obesity is known to impair immune function and immune response.”
She said there is a danger that people will the headline without reading the article and get the wrong idea.
“Maybe in that article, there is something about these women being on a healthy path and that concept is healthy,” she said.
“But it is very misleading and there is a danger because a lot of people will miss the point and the main point is that it is not healthy to be obese. There is nobody who can tell you otherwise because it simply is not. The evidence is overwhelming.”