Magazine divides opinion over 'burning off Christmas calories' tweet

Women’s Fitness magazine is branded ‘negative and dangerous’ after asking Twitter users to share phtos of themselves ‘burning off their Christmas calories’

  • Women’s Fitness UK asked fans to share snaps of themselves exercising 
  • Posting on Twitter, magazine said it’s a ‘great day to burn off Christmas calories’
  • Responses accused the publication of using ‘problematic’ and ‘archaic’ language
  • Others argued it’s important to encourage people to have a healthy lifestyle 

A lifestyle magazine which encouraged readers to exercise after indulging in calorific foods during the festive period has divided opinion after some social media users blasted its ‘archaic’ language.

Posting on Twitter, Women’s Fitness UK urged their 102,000 followers to share photographs of themselves exercising after Christmas.

The post was intended to spark motivation, asking its fans: ‘Are you getting out for a run, walk or cycle today? It’s a great day to burn off those Christmas calories… post your pics here!’

A stream of responses followed, with some claiming it’s ‘damaging’ to encourage the mentality of burning off calories after eating – but others pointing out it would be strange for a health magazine to not promote working out.

Women’s Fitness magazine has divided opinions after a tweet (pictured) encouraging its followers to share snaps of themselves exercising 

Complaining about the original tweet, consultant psychiatrist Dr Sarah Vohra wrote: ‘Hugely concerning and problematic language. We shouldn’t be ascribing moral labels to food and exercise or encouraging people to adopt an earn and burn mentality. 

‘It’s the fall out from these damaging marketing campaigns that I see only too well in clinic. 

‘As a mainstream fitness magazine, why not use the opportunity to promote the positive mental and physical health benefits to be gained from doing outdoors/ exercise; improved mood, better sleep, more energy etc. Disappointing.’

Another commented: ‘Posts like this are why I have been suffering from an eating disorder for over three years. 

‘This honestly makes me so angry, targeting young women to make them feel guilty for enjoying themselves over Christmas.’

A stream of social media users accused Women’s Fitness magazine of promoting a ‘damaging’ lifestyle that could trigger eating disorders 

But others defended Women’s Fitness magazine, arguing it shouldn’t be ignored that some people want to lose weight after Christmas.

One person wrote: ‘I am overweight from pandemic and holiday. Why tap dance around the fact people are fat and need exercise and to sort out the diet? Quit babying everyone whose feelings are hurt when a fitness magazine says walk. Don’t like it, don’t read it.’ 

Another commented: ‘Are you willing to completely ignore the fact that there are people who want to lose weight and may need a bit of encouragement? The fact that this makes people upset is absolutely insane.’ 

Others argued it’s important to encourage those who need to lose weight and admitted they indulged during Christmas 

A third added: ‘I don’t know about anybody else but I needed to burn off Christmas calories. I ate way too much and felt guilty because I lacked self control.’

Women’s Fitness magazine responded to the backlash by apologising to anyone who was offended by the post, saying: ‘Sorry to anyone upset by our recent post about getting out and burning off Christmas calories. 

‘We were trying to encourage you to exercise, share your pics and to not wait until January if you have fitness or weight loss goals. We know that not everyone exercises for weight loss.’ 

The publication responded to backlash by explaining they’re aware not everyone exercises for weight loss 

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