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Radio star fat-shamed in street | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

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“I believe it is time for obesity to be recognised as a disease and not a condition,” she told a conference investigating the benefits of metabolic surgery for sustaining weight loss and reversing Type 2 diabetes, which affects more than three million Britons. 

“It is very interesting that since I’ve had this surgery, I don’t get called a ‘fat cow’ in the street any more and that used to happen frequently, particularly if I was driving my car and overtook some bloke. And sometimes it was ‘fat – other very vulgar words – cow’ and it would happen a lot. 

“It was overt, it was distressing and it was infuriating.” 

The conference, organised by King’s College London and backed by Diabetes UK, heard overweight people face stigma and poor access to surgery. 

Dame Jenni, 68, said she “had tried every diet known to woman or man” but eventually had gastric surgery after a plea from one of her sons while walking her dogs in a park. 

She said: “There was a woman in a mobility scooter who was considerably obese who had her little dog running alongside her and my son said, ‘Mum, another couple of years and that is going to be you unless you do something radical’.” 

Dame Jenni also told how obesity affected her job. 

She said: “I was always really rather glad I did radio than television and as I got more and more obese I doubt anyone would have asked me to do television. 

“But now I’ve got a bit thinner they are saying maybe you’d like to come back on to the screen. But I am quite happy on the radio thank you very much.” 

Speakers at the conference branded the practice of fat-shaming as “society’s last acceptable discrimination”.


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