beatEating disorders charity Beat has published an open letter to the editor of the Daily Mail criticising an article by Samantha Brick, where she linked being overweight to being a failure in life.

In the article, published online on April 18, Brick wrote about how she had spent the past 30 years dieting and that “I know men prefer slim women” and “I don’t believe overweight is ever attractive”.

The article concluded: “The world admonished Kate Moss for claiming that 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels' but I'd go further. As I see it, there is nothing in life that signifies failure better than fat.”

Beat has criticised the article for its impact on people with eating disorders. Its letter said: “It beggars belief that the Mail allows Ms Brick to continue to court attention through ignorant and ill-informed rhetoric regardless of the impact of her words on vulnerable individuals struggling with eating disorders and low self-esteem.” 

The letter adds that as a result of that article the charity has been contacted by many people – some astounded that this article has appeared and others greatly distressed by it. 

Beat goes on to urge the Daily Mail to consider the impact of encouraging such journalism and redress the damage caused in a positive, constructive manner. 

It concluded by suggesting that Brick’s fee should be donated towards the extra cost to Beat’s helplines in dealing with the increased number of calls they are receiving as a result.