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Cancer Research bosses are accused of fat-shaming after launching a new campaign linking obesity with tobacco smoking

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 03/07/2019 Eleanor Hayward Health Reporter For The Daily Mail
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Cancer Research has been accused of ‘fat shaming’ after launching a campaign against obesity.

The charity has unveiled of striking adverts featuring cigarette packages bearing the slogan: ‘Obesity is a cause of cancer too... Like smoking, obesity puts millions of adults at greater risk of cancer.’

But they were forced to defend the billboards - which have been put up around the country - from accusations of being ‘insensitive to fat people’.

Ken Lynch, 46, branded the advert ‘a new low’ on social media after spotting it at a train station on Merseyside.

He said: ‘I object to the advert as it delivers a very negative view of obesity and, by association, food and drink.

a train on a steel track: Cancer Research has been accused of ¿fat shaming¿ after launching a campaign against obesity. Pictured: one of the adverts © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Cancer Research has been accused of ¿fat shaming¿ after launching a campaign against obesity. Pictured: one of the adverts

‘Linking obesity to smoking is too simplistic. Smokers can stop smoking. People who are overweight or obese can’t suddenly be non-obese, it takes time and serious effort.’

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said it was hypocritical of Cancer Research to bring back the ‘distinctive logos’ of tobacco companies.

He added: ‘An organisation that can’t distinguish between a slice of pizza and a pack of cigarettes has seriously lost its way.’

And Simone Harding, a counsellor and nutritionist, complained that the adverts would add to ‘weight stigma across society’

. Simone Harding, a counsellor and nutritionist, complained that the adverts would add to ¿weight stigma across society¿ (file photo) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Simone Harding, a counsellor and nutritionist, complained that the adverts would add to ¿weight stigma across society¿ (file photo)

Cancer Research UK chief executive Michelle Mitchell said: ‘Our campaign aims to raise awareness of the link between obesity and cancer, and to inspire policies that create a healthier environment. We have a responsibility to tell people about what might increase the risk of cancer.’

Last February, award-winning comedian Sofie Hagen sparked a furious debate after criticising a Cancer Research UK advert for ‘fat-shaming’.

Miss Hagen said the adverts which reads ‘OB_S_ _ Y is a cause of cancer’ were ‘incredibly damaging, arguing that ‘dieting has been proved.. to be one of the worst thing you can do to your body.’

MSN are empowering Women In Sport this summer. Find out more about our campaign and the charity fighting to promote the transformational and lifelong rewards of exercise for women and girls in the UK here.

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