BBC documentary Who Are You Calling Fat? branded ‘irresponsible’ for ‘glamourising obesity’

29 October 2019, 16:12 | Updated: 29 October 2019, 17:26

This week, BBC documentary Who Are You Calling Fat? aired it's first episode
This week, BBC documentary Who Are You Calling Fat? aired it's first episode. Picture: BBC
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Some viewers of Who Are You Calling Fat? have been left angry at some of the scenes aired in the documentary.

This week, BBC documentary Who Are You Calling Fat? aired it's first episode.

The reality show sees nine larger bodied people move into a house together in an exploration to find out what being larger really means.

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Some viewers have already branded the show “irresponsible” as they claim it is “glamourising obesity”.

The reality show sees nine larger bodied people move into a house together in an exploration to find out what being larger really means
The reality show sees nine larger bodied people move into a house together in an exploration to find out what being larger really means. Picture: BBC

During the first episode, the nine housemates received a visit from a man named Colin, a volunteer for diabetes UK, who explained to them how his weight had contributed to his Type 2 diabetes.

Colin’s stories did not go down too well with one of the housemates, Victoria, who accused him of “fat shaming”.

After Victoria left the meet and greet early, she explained: “The reason I left was because his language is food-shamey.

“It’s fear-mongering, this is not about health, this is about perpetuating fat phobic ideas.”

Victoria said: 'Health doesn't exist, it's a social construct'
Victoria said: 'Health doesn't exist, it's a social construct'. Picture: BBC

During the episode, Victoria also said: "Health doesn't exist, it's a social construct.”

The comments she, and other of the housemates, made caused outrage online.

One person commented on Twitter: “Body positivity is great, glamourising being morbidly obese is just wrong and irresponsible #whoareyoucallingfat.”

Another added: “That body positivity lady can feel as happy in her body as she wants, but the science is not bogus. Obesity has negative health effects. #whoareyoucallingfat.”

Colin came to the house to speak to the housemates about diabetes
Colin came to the house to speak to the housemates about diabetes. Picture: BBC

In a statement, the BBC said: “The series explores one of the biggest issues facing British society today and gives a voice to a group of people who have a diverse array of views on their size, health and dieting.

"It doesn’t glamourise obesity. Some identify with the growing Body Positivity movement which encourages plus-size people to be proud of their bodies, whilst others share their concerns about health problems and believe that weight loss is the only path to health and happiness.

"The series also explores public prejudice and a number of crucial medical and policy issues, such as the consequences of poorly managed diabetes.”