Health Ministry eats its words, deletes tweet after social media outrage over use of 'fat shaming' image

New Delhi: In an embarrassment for the government, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Monday removed a tweet that asked people "What's your choice?" based on a photo that displayed two women — one overweight, depicting non-veg and processed food items and the other lean with fruits and vegetables.

Twitterati immediately slammed the tweet, some calling it "stupidity at its highest" while others "fat shaming".

While the fat woman depicted food items such as sausage, poultry, meat, burger, donuts, french fries, cola and alcohol, the lean woman showed fruits and green vegetables, along with the tweet from the ministry: "Good nutrition is one of the keys to a #healthy life. Choose wisely, live well".

File image of a tweet by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which was later deleted. Twitter@MoHFW_INDIA

File image of a tweet by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which was later deleted. Twitter@MoHFW_INDIA

"Both veg and non-veg can be healthy or unhealthy depending upon their origin, methods of production, distribution, storage etc and in this country, the less said the better about those standards. That's what you should be focusing on @MoHFW_INDIA," reacted one user to the ministry's tweet.

Another user said: "This is fat shaming. Now that you've posted it, hope your women Ministers take the lead and set an example!"

"Stupidity at highest! Is egg?? and cheese ?? unhealthy? which scientific study proved it? Moreover, where do poor Indians get kiwi/avocado fruits and berries? Or is it meant to be for RICH people? As far as all scientific study all packaged foods are bad or unhealthy," tweeted another user.

One user went further and found the source of the image. "So, Ministry of Health @MoHFW_INDIA picks up a stock photo which portrays eggs, poultry, meat and bread as unhealthy and tweets that as health advice," the user tweeted.

The photo, copyrighted to Tatsiana Tsyhanova from Belarus, was taken from www.123rf.com which offers millions of stock photos but with copyright. "And they've quietly deleted their tweet now," the user added.

A recent study from the University of Eastern Finland, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, said that a relatively high intake of dietary cholesterol, or eating one egg every day, are not associated with an elevated risk of coronary heart disease.

A University of Connecticut study suggests that eating eggs may actually have favourable effects on good cholesterol metabolism in men and women with diabetes and heart disease.


Updated Date: Apr 23, 2018 17:29 PM

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