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Prue Leith says ‘perhaps’ she’ll stop joking about calories on GBBO after eating disorder backlash

‘I don’t know why I say it!’: Prue Leith says ‘perhaps’ she’ll stop joking about calories on GBBO after being slammed by eating disorder campaigners

  • Great British Bake Off presenter Prue Leith, 81, previously praised a contestant’s biscuits as ‘worth the calories’ 
  • Prue’s comments provoked complaints from eating disorder charity Beat
  • ‘Mentions of calories can be triggering to people,’ said one of Beat’s directors


Prue Leith has revealed she’s considering giving up her catchphrase after being slammed by eating disorder campaigners after joking about calories on The Great British Bake Off.

It has been noted by viewers that the judge, 81, often questions ‘Is it worth the calories?’ as she quips about the contestants’ sweet treats.

However, backlash from charity, Beat, has caused the TV chef to think twice about the expression that she loves to say but doesn’t know why.

‘I don’t know why I say it!’: Prue Leith has said ‘perhaps’ she’ll stop joking about calories on GBBO after being slammed by eating disorder campaigners (pictured in October 2021)

She told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs: ‘I don’t know why I say it. It’s just an expression of how much I love something, “Oh, this is worth every calorie,” I’ll say.

‘Beat, you know, they are a charity that tries to tackle eating disorders. They say that I mustn’t say it because people then, people who have an eating disorder, feel guilty, feel unhappy, and so they’ll eat more. So perhaps I’ll stop saying it.’

In October, Channel 4, which airs the GBBO, was urged by Beat to be more careful about food-related language since it can be ‘triggering’ to viewers.

Hot water: It has been noted by viewers that the judge, 81, has found herself a catchphrase in, 'Is it worth the calories?' as she quips about the contestants' sweet treats

Hot water: It has been noted by viewers that the judge, 81, has found herself a catchphrase in, ‘Is it worth the calories?’ as she quips about the contestants’ sweet treats

Tom Quinn, the charity’s director of external affairs, said: ‘Mentions of calories can be triggering to people with or vulnerable to an eating disorder.

‘So, talk of food being “worth the calories” is very unhelpful.’

‘We would strongly encourage Channel 4 to be conscious about the way food and exercise is discussed, for instance not mentioning calories or specific weights, in order to protect their audience.’ 

Tom told the Telegraph: ‘We are grateful to Prue for listening, and encourage her to go the whole way and commit to ending the use of her catchphrase.

‘We know from the people we support that equating food with ‘good’ or ‘bad’ moral connotations can lead to feelings of guilt and shame, and can even encourage eating disorder behaviours. 

‘We estimate that 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder, and we believe that the removal of this catchphrase from the show would be beneficial to many.’ 

Oh dear: However, backlash from charity, Beat, has caused the TV chef to think twice about the expression that she loves to say but doesn't know why

Oh dear: However, backlash from charity, Beat, has caused the TV chef to think twice about the expression that she loves to say but doesn’t know why 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk