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Dr Hilary Jones offends viewers

Dr Hilary Jones on Lorraine

Dr Hilary Jones has been urged to ‘educate himself’ by a national eating disorder charity after making a flippant remark on live television.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine the doctor discussed a new legislation which came into force on April 6 which makes it compulsory for food companies with over 250 employees to feature the number of calories in meals on their menus.

The legal requirement caused concern from Beat, which stated on their website: ‘We know it can increase fixations on restricting calories for anyone with anorexia or bulimia.’

In response to the charity’s warning Dr Hilary told host viewers of the popular morning show:  ‘People with the most serious eating disorders, anorexia, don’t go to restaurants and they know exactly how many calories are in everything. So I don’t think that’s a problem.’

Tom Quinn, Beat’s director of external affairs, took offence at the comment saying the doctor had a ‘lack of understanding’ towards people suffering from eating disorders.

‘We’re shocked that someone with a medical background would display such ignorance about eating disorders on such a public platform,’ Quinn said.

‘A lack of understanding can be a huge factor in people with eating disorders not getting the help they need. We’d urge Dr Hilary to educate himself on these serious mental illnesses.’

On the show Dr Hilary went on to compare the number of people who are obese or overweight to those with eating disorders.

‘67% of the adult population are either overweight or obese. They need assistance in choosing healthier foods. The eating disorders, we’re talking about less than 1% of the population. So I think by and large you’re going to help more people,’ Dr Hilary told Ranvir Singh on Lorraine.

Viewers of the show took to social media to express their views after the GP made the controversial comment.

One wrote: ‘Not a professional saying people with anorexia “don’t go to restaurants” and “already know all the calories” Is that a joke?’ 

Another added: ‘GPs please go and have some more training on eating disorders.’

Lorraine is on ITV, weekdays at 9am and available afterwards on the ITV Hub.

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