Celebrity Weight Scales spark backlash: Superdrug product compares user’s weight to Kate Middleton, Beyonce, Adele, Cheryl Cole
The scales have been blasted by the UK's leading eating disorder charity Beat as dangerous "beyond belief"
A new product being launched by Superdrug that compares the weight of its user with that of celebrities has been blasted by the UK's leading eating disorder charity as dangerous "beyond belief".
The Celebrity Weight Scales replaces numbers with the names of several famous faces, including, at the lighter end, Cheryl Cole (8st), Kate Middleton (8st 6lb), Jessica Ennis (9st) and Ellie Goulding (9st lb), and at the higher end, Adele (14st), and Gemma Collins (14st), Queen Latifah (16st) and Melissa McCarthy (18st).
Beyonce and Rihanna also appear on the scales around the middle mark at 9st 2lb.
"We know that eating disorders are serious mental illnesses with complex causes- but dieting is the highest risk factor leading to them developing," Susan Ringwood, Chief Executive of eating disorder awareness group Beat told The Independent.
"These scales are beyond belief - they prey on the very worst of celebrity culture to fuel a harmful obsession.
"They do nothing to help people take a healthy attitude to food and everything to add to the toxic mix that today’s young people face."
Cheryl Cole appears at the lightest end of the Celebrity Weight Scales at just 8st Superdrug themselves are yet to respond to The Independent's request for comment on whether or not the makers behind the product have approached the individual celebrities for permission to use their names.
Certainly, a number of the publicists that The Independent has approached for comment – including spokespeople for Cheryl Cole, Gemma Collins and the Duchess of Cambridge – seemed unaware of any such relationship.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on how Kate Middleton feels to have her name attached to the Celebrity Weight Scales, as did representatives for Beyoncé and Adele.
However a general statement from Superdrug to the Daily Mail ahead of the launch of the scales reads: “Our new scales are just one of the ways that the health team here are helping our customers to be more open about discussing their health needs with our in-store healthcare professionals.
Adele appeared at the 14st mark on the Celebrity Weight Scales. Her publicist declined to comment. "We're pleased to be piloting these scales amongst our store teams and, if successful, would look at potentially rolling them out for customer use nationwide."
The news comes as the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) published a report that showed a national rise of 8 per cent in the number of hospital admissions for eating disorder suffers.
In 12 months leading up to October 2013, hospitals across the UK dealt with 2,560 patients who were suffering from the mental health problem, compared to a figure of 2,370 the previous 12 months.
In particular were sufferers of anorexia and bulimia, both of which are strongly associated with low self-esteem and a desire for control linked to body size, shape and weight.
Eating disorders carry a high risk of death by suicide or starvation.
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