Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has sparked debate for what fans are calling "triggering" and "toxic" comments on calories.
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In various episodes of GBBO, viewers have picked up on Prue saying the bakes would be "worth the calories", which, in turn, positions calories as the enemy, and something that needs to be earned. Besides the comments on calories, Prue also referenced a sample of a German biscuit as "the most fattening bite you can imagine".
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Several GBBO fans say her comments take the joy out of watching the show, while they could also be "damaging" for anyone with an eating disorder.
One wrote: "PLEASE could someone tell Prue that 'worth every calorie' is a harmful sentiment that she should really not be making into a catchphrase?" Her post has since had 23 likes from other viewers.
Another added: "I wish Prue would behave talking about how the bakes are 'worth the calories'. Your job is to eat treats, how on earth are you making it joyless!! It's making me sad #GBBO."
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Prue hosts GBBO alongside Paul Hollywood, Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding
A third proposed that her comments should be edited out of the programme, while Channel 4 are yet to comment. "'This is about as fattening a mouthful as you can get', and 'worth every calorie'. Comments like this by Prue Leith really need to be edited out of every episode of GBBO," they wrote.
Eating disorder charity Beat have shared their own concerns about Prue's language, and how it could contribute to diet culture.
Tom Quinn, Director of External Affairs, told the Daily Mail: "Mentions of calories can be triggering to people with or vulnerable to an eating disorder.
"We know from the people we support that equating food with 'good' or 'bad' moral connotations can lead to feelings of guilt and shame, and can even encourage eating disorder behaviours, and so talk of food being 'worth the calories' is very unhelpful."
Quinn added: "We estimate that 1.25 million people in the UK currently have an eating disorder, but due to the stigma that still surrounds these serious mental illnesses, this number may be even higher. We would strongly encourage Channel 4 to be conscious about the way food and exercise is discussed, for instance not mentioning calories or specific weights, in order to protect their audience."
If you or someone you know has been affected by the programme or this article, contact Beat – the UK's leading eating disorder charity – via their helpline on 0808 801 0677 or their website.
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