Miss GB who lost eight stone says it is not ‘fat-shaming’ to call people ‘obese’

A glam model who lost eight stone on her way to being crowned Miss GB has said it is not "fat-shaming" to call overweight people "obese".

Jen Atkin, who used to weigh in at 18 stone before slimming down dramatically, criticised people for being "way too easily offended".

The 26-year-old has revealed her horror that the language which spurred her on to fight the fat was being advised against by the British Psychological Society. It wants people to say that someone is "living with obesity", rather than that they are obese.

Jen said that "hiding terms" like "burn off last night's pizza" would only worsen Britain's obesity crisis with almost two thirds of UK adults overweight.

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The model from Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, said: "I think it's going to encourage people to eat more calories and not keep track of what they're eating and therefore end up overweight or obese. It's just avoiding the issue completely.

"Trust me, I have been fat shamed in the past and this is not fat shaming. Calories are in food and we need calories to survive. We need to educate people on healthy living."

Aviation administrator Jen is keen to promote a healthy lifestyle after her remarkable weight loss, which came about over a two-year period with regular visits to the gym.

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She was named Miss Scunthorpe before going on to compete for the title of Miss England in 2018, where she finished as first runner-up.

She briefly retired from competing in pageants after getting married but gave it one more shot when her name was put forward to represent Great Britain.

In March 2020 she was named the 75th Miss Great Britain.

Jen was originally inspired to lose weight after the breakdown of her first serious relationship, worrying she would never meet anyone else.

Belinda Barnett, of the charity Anorexia and Bulimia Care, disagreed and argued terms such as "burn those calories" are "triggering" to those with eating disorders.

She said: "Language like 'burn those calories' suggests that we have to do some type of compensation for the calories we eat and I think that can feed into feelings of guilt and shame around eating."

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