Anthea Turner says obese people are 'destroying' their own bodies – and can save the NHS by losing weight

ANTHEA Turner believes obese people are "destroying" their own bodies – and can save the NHS by losing weight.

The TV presenter, 60, came under fire for posting a cartoon of an overweight woman on a mobility scooter telling a maskless youngster: "You're putting my health at risk".

Piers Morgan called her "despicable" as trolls attacked Anthea for "fat-shaming" – and wrongly accused her of targeting the disabled.

But defiant Anthea stands by her hugely controversial view that overweight Brits can protect the overstretched NHS by eating healthily and exercising.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, outspoken the former GMTV presenter said: "I find it really difficult and struggle to understand how someone who was lucky enough to be born with a good, functioning working body could then willy destroy it.

"It was a clumsy cartoon and I apologise if I caused any offense to anyone – but this is not about disabled people.

"The picture was meant to be ironic as the only person affecting the lady's health is herself by eating the junk food clearly shown.

"This was never meant to be about people who are overweight through no fault of their own.

"This is about those who are not adopting a healthy lifestyle at a time when it's more important than ever because we have a very worrying obesity problem in this country.

"A healthy body is truly the most precious thing we have. I find it very sad that someone could abuse that by willful damage.

"I want people to start thinking, 'I'm lucky I've got a body that works' because not everybody does.

"Let's respect that body and do our level best to look after it.

"It's not about fat-shaming, it's about saving your life and other people's too."


Obesity is generally caused by eating too much and moving too little.

However, some rare genetic conditions can cause obesity such as Prader-Willi syndrome.

Underlying medical conditions may also contribute to weight gain.

These include an underactive thyroid gland – where your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones.

And Cushing's syndrome – a rare disorder that causes the over-production of steroid hormones.

Certain medicines can also contribute to weight gain including some corticosteroids, medications for epilepsy and diabetes, some antidepressants and medicines for schizophrenia.

The latest Covid-19 statistics show those with a BMI over 40 increase their risk of death from COVID-19 by 90 per cent.

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of adults in England are overweight or obese.

Anthea believes that society is "self-sabotaging" – by turning to over-eating and binge drinking in lockdown.

She says by freeing the NHS of problems caused by obesity, vulnerable people with underlying health problems can go to the front of the queue.

"The best way to protect the NHS is to look after ourselves," Anthea adds.

"We are all bright and intelligent people, we all know that reaching for a banana is going to be better for us than reaching for a doughnut.

"They are treats, not something you have every day.

"It's about giving yourself the best possible chance to fight this virus.

"Coronavirus is bigger than any of us and it isn't going away.

"We need to think about what we can do to protect ourselves outside of wearing a mask.

"The statistics show us that you stand a greater chance the lighter and healthier you are.

"Isn't that a message to all of us? We can't wear a mask forever and we can't stay indoors forever.

"It's not about fat-shaming, it's about saving your life and other people's too."

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