ANTHEA Turner's grovelling apology for sharing a fat-shaming meme has been dismissed by Kathy Burke as "an attempt to land more work".
Former Blue Peter presenter Anthea was slammed on social media today for her offensive post that depicted an overweight disabled woman in a mobility scooter holding a McDonald's.
In the image, the mask-wearing woman says to an able-bodied woman without a face covering: "Put a mask on! You're putting my health at risk!"
Amid the backlash, Anthea, 60, apologised and called the cartoon "clumsy".
She wrote: "Totally apologies that the cartoon is clumsy – I’ll take the rollicking on the chin. But this was never directed at people clinically ill who need our support. My passion is sincere though Covid has to give us a bloody big health wakeup call & we’d be nuts not to try & fix it."
But Gimme Gimme Gimme star Kathy wasn't having it and said: "How do you know who’s clinically ill or not? You made a foul judgment because you want more more media gigs. You’re as transparent as sticky back plastic. Jog on."
Underneath the controversial image, Anthea had written: "I’m incensed by the selfish attitudes of people who can’t see we actually are ‘all in this together’ and wilful destruction has an impact on us all especially those with other illnesses pushed down the line & charities who are missing out on funding We have to take responsibility.
"If the government put half the amount of money into health as they have in locking us up we wouldn’t be in this mess. Keep McDonald’s open and close gyms many council run and open air – Great."
Piers Morgan branded Anthea "despicable" for the upload, and the controversial post was soon trending on the social media site.
The GMB host raged :"What the hell is this? Have you lost your mind, Anthea? Just despicable."
Labour MP Jess Phillips waded into the row, posting: "The Anthea Turner thing this morning has just about done me in. I just wish the idiots would just admit that the wind on their face is more important than my sister in laws life while she has chemo. Stop with the god damn hierarchy of whose life matters!!!"
Piers retweeted it, endorsing the message.
Another follower wrote: "Disgusting. Be ashamed. You have no idea why this person is in a wheelchair. How dare you!
One more questioned: "Why would you post something like this?"
There were some who agreed with the post though. One of Anthea's followers shared: "I agree with you.. to an extent .. but genuine question if the obese women was replaced by a skinny women stood there with a heroin needle in her hand would you still post this? Genuinely curious."
To which Anthea responded: "I feel the same – We have to take responsibility and stop using the NHS as sticking plaster."
Yesterday Anthea shared a Guardian report that obesity is a bigger killer in England and Scotland than smoking.
She then claimed that fit and healthy people like her were being punished in the pandemic for the actions of those who are less so.
"Sadly those of us who have genuinely tried to protect the NHS by looking after our bodies are paying the terrible price for those who have chosen lazy lifestyle choices," she said.
Once again, Piers was outraged by her remarks, firing back: "You're blaming 120,000+ Covid deaths on the victims being lazy? What a repellent, dumb and grotesquely offensive attitude. Shame on you."
In the autumn a scientific report found obesity and social inequality were two driving factors for coronavirus deaths.
The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study published in The Lancet, found that being overweight or obese is linked to four out of five of the biggest risk factors for death in the UK, including diabetes, bad diet and high blood pressure.
What's more having a high body mass index (BMI) is a contributing factor to two of the five leading causes of death in 2019.
And the researchers warn many of these conditions including obesity, diabetes and heart disease, significantly increase a person's risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19.
Dr Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, said: "One lesson of this pandemic is that it is not a simple pandemic.
"In fact, it's a synthesis of at least two epidemics – a coronavirus, and an epidemic of non-communicable diseases on a background of poverty and inequality."
He added: "Non-communicable diseases have played a critical role in driving the more than one million deaths caused by Covid-19 to date, and will continue to shape health in every country after the pandemic subsides.
"As we address how to regenerate our health systems in the wake of Covid-19, this Global Burden of Disease Study offers a means of targeting where the need is greatest, and how it differs between countries."
One in three adults in the UK are overweight or obese, with 20 per cent of kids leaving primary school obese.
The number of obese adults soared from 6.9 million in 1997 to around 13 million in 2017, according to Diabetes UK.
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