Slim­ming World sorry for weight-loss leaflets handed out in school

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY SIOB­HAN FEN­TON

A SLIM­MING com­pany has apol­o­gised af­ter school­child­ren in North­ern Ire­land were given fly­ers about a weight-loss club.

Pupils at Ton­agh Pri­mary School in Lis­burn, Co Antrim, were given the Slim­ming World leaflets in their home­work fold­ers ear­lier this month.

The ma­te­rial in­cluded a pic­ture of a slim woman with the cap­tion: ‘Live Happy! With Slim­ming World’.

A par­ent of one of the chil­dren at Ton­agh, who asked to re­main anony­mous, con­tacted the Ul­ster Star news­pa­per to ex­press her con­cerns that the ma­te­rial could un­der­mine the healthy body im­age of her chil­dren who at­tend the school.

She said: “Kids, es­pe­cially younger girls, see how women are judged by their size every day, more so with on­line so­cial me­dia. Pri­mary school chil­dren who are learn­ing to read shouldn’t be given pro­mo­tional ad­ver­tis­ing sug­gest­ing happy lives are for slim peo­ple.”

Both the school and Slim­ming World said the ini­tia­tive was not in­tended to cause of­fence and that the ma­te­rial was tar­geted at par­ents, rather than chil­dren.

Slim­ming World said both the com­pany and its Lis­burn con­sul­tant “are truly sorry for any up­set caused”.

“Slim­ming World con­sul­tants work hard to make peo­ple within their lo­cal com­mu­nity aware of the sup­port they pro­vide for those who want to lose weight, and these leaflets were in­tended for par­ents, not the chil­dren of Ton­agh Pri­mary School,” it said.

Prin­ci­pal Ali­son Stevenson said: “Ton­agh Pri­mary School dis­trib­utes in­for­ma­tion where it may be of in­ter­est to the school com­mu­nity and/or par­ents. It is cer­tainly not our in­ten­tion to cause any of­fence to par­ents or chil­dren of this school.”

Other par­ents praised the school and the ini­tia­tive and also the work of Slim­ming World.

Row: Slim­ming World leaflet

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