Good Morning Britain host Ben Shepherd has been accused of fat-shaming a guest live on air while talking about slimming groups.
The presenter, who is standing in for Piers Morgan this week, got embroiled in a spat with TV weight loss guru Steve Miller, who believes slimming clubs like Weight Watchers and Slimming World are "dens of depression" that only take pounds out of the pocket, not off the waistline.
While appearing alongside a guest that has lost six stone through her weight-loss group, Steve first of all got annoyed when Ben introduced him as a "nutritionist", insisting that he believes weight loss starts in the mind.
And things only got worse when Ben demanded to know if Steve had put on the pounds over the festive period.
"So you had a good Christmas? Did you overindulge a touch?" he probed his guest.
Looking sheepish, Steve replied: "I’ve put 8lb on! And I’ve got it on Twitter, people saying ‘you’re getting it all round your face’."
"Eight pounds! Get yourself to a slimming club. Isn’t it your mindset through, Steve?" Ben asked.
"It is, but don’t deny it [cravings]. And I would say to my people, if you put a few pounds on on holiday, so be it. You can get it off when you come back. It’s about being real," Steve said, somewhat defensively.
As a beat of awkward silence developed, Steve then pointed to the GMB host and accused him: "You’re fat-shaming me!"
Looking ruffled, Ben tried to defend himself by saying: "You told me, you told me you’ve put on a bit of weight. I was interested to see how you’re going to get it off, and I don’t doubt that you will."
And it seems their early-morning spat divided viewers, some of who couldn’t believe Steve wasn’t in favour of weight-loss clubs.
"So angry with that prat Steve Miller here how dare he say slimming clubs should be banned as they belittle people. I have been to several most recently to slimming world they were a huge support for me I did NOT stay due to personal reasons and regained the weight but they HELPED," one tweeted.
Another wrote: " GMB just listening to Steve Miller and he is getting it so wrong. I have lost 3st with Slimmers world. Without staying to group and Sharing(not moaning), I would still be over weight, depressed and so very unhappy."
But a third came out in support of Steve, tweeting: "Love Steve Miller for telling it like it is. Slimming clubs are full of “Moaning cardigan wearers”. Preach! gmb ."
*Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV
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