Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith ‘triggers’ viewers with eating disorders by saying contestants’ cakes are ‘worth the calories’, charity claims
- Great British Bake Off presenter Prue Leith, 81, praised a contestant’s biscuits as ‘worth the calories’
- Leith’s comments have provoked complaints from eating disorder charity Beat
- ‘Mentions of calories can be triggering to people,’ said one of Beat’s directors
Eating disorder charities and sufferers have hit out at Great British Bake Off over judge Prue Leith’s ‘triggering’ repeated on screen mentions of calories or fat.
While tasting Amanda Georgiou’s biscuits during German week, the 81-year-old TV star said it was ‘worth every calorie’.
Eating disorder Beat said the language was triggering and urged Channel 4 to be more careful – and many viewers agreed.
Great British Bake Off presenter Prue Leith, 81, has been criticised by an eating disorder charity for saying a contestant’s biscuits were ‘worth every calorie’
Leith is a renowned chef who has been a judge on Bake Off since its move to Channel 4 in March 2017, alongside Paul Hollywood (left), with comedians Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas as presenters (right)
The eating disorder charity’s director of external affairs, Tom Quinn said: ‘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.
‘So, talk of food being “worth the calories” is very unhelpful.
‘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.’
Fans of the show joined the charity in raising concerns on Twitter.
One said: ‘As a person who previously had an eating disorder: please stop saying things are worth the calories. Whoever you are. But it you have a platform this is a super nope.’
Another wrote: ‘I absolutely adore Bake Off, but I cringe every time I hear Prue say “worth the calories”… it’s just inappropriate.’
A fan said: ‘Prue’s “worth the calories” comments are totally unnecessary.
‘It’s a baking show, ffs. there is absolutely no need to add a hefty sprinkle of diet culture to every episode.’
Leith, who used to run a Michelin-starred restaurant in Notting Hill and ran a renowned cookery school for nearly 20 years, has provoked the ire of viewers over her comment
One sufferer added: ‘As someone who went down to 115 lbs to up to 182… I hate that she always says baked food is “worth the calories”.
‘It’s very toxic and is just getting annoying. Just enjoy the delicious food!!’
Another viewer wrote: ‘I wish Prue would stop talking about how fattening or “worth the calories” bakes are.’
And another added: ‘Prue yet again talking about calories or baked goods being “fattening” so unnecessary, boring and damaging, please for the love of baking make her stop.’
A fan also wrote: ‘If Prue could stop mentioning calorie content every 10 mins that’d be great.’
Channel 4 has been approached for comment.