Model agency owner hits back at expert's warning over plus sized models 'normalising obesity'

Update 12.30pm: The owner of one of Ireland's leading model agencies has hit out at health experts for discouraging plus size models.

Dr Donal O'Shea from the weight management clinic at Loughlinstown Hospital says it normalises obesity.

It comes after plus-sized models took part in New York Fashion week and Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue.

Derek Daniels from Assets Model Agency says none of the plus size models on their books are obese.

"If somebody is being used as a plus sized model, you'll generally find they are exceptionally tall, they're big-boned, they're shapely. They're not hugely obese people. I don't think under any circumstances that this industry is trying to promote obesity, but there are people within the industry taking advantage of people."

Earlier:Health experts have issued warnings against normalising obesity.

Plus-sized models recently took part in New York Fashion Week and in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue.

The move is being seen as an effort to make the fashion industry more inclusive, but Ireland's leading obesity expert Professor Donal O'Shea says in the long run it will do more harm than good.

"Obesity is now the new norm," he says. "If we accept that, then we have to gear up our health service to deal with what we're already struggling to cope with.

"You have to look at it like smoking. We're not coping in the health service, not just with the obesity epidemic but with the diseases that come with it."

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