pounds 1bn diet industry faces over-the-counter ban

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The Independent Online
A new clampdown on the slimming industry is to be considered by the House of Commons early in the New Year.

Alice Mahon, the Labour MP for Halifax, is poised to reintroduce a Bill which would make all diet and weight-loss pills and potions available on prescription only.

"People are in danger of poisoning themselves by this constant obsession to lose weight and be thin," Ms Mahon said.

She added that unsupervised dieting could undermine a woman's physical and emotional wellbeing and could also lead to serious eating disorders and other problems. "Marilyn Monroe was the role model for my generation," she said. "She was a size 16 and she still is thought of as a goddess."

Ms Mahon's original Bill was given a second reading in the Commons but was destroyed through lack of time in Parliament. "Now it is all set to go again," she said.

The booming British diet industry covers slimming clubs,magazines and books, is said to be worth more than pounds 1bn.

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