North Korea has 'handle on obesity', Olympic rower James Cracknell argues

Nick Lester, News Producer

Would-be Tory MP and Olympic rower James Cracknell has held up North Korea and Cuba as examples of nations that have "got a handle on obesity".

The double gold medallist cited the communist single-party states that are dogged by food shortages, as he urged action to tackle the crisis.

The aspiring politician is making the issue central to his campaign for a future run for Parliament.

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Mr Cracknell, who has previously sought selection with the Conservatives for a Westminster seat and failed in his attempt to become an MEP for the party, said in an interviews on Sky News: "If you think of the two countries of the world that have got a handle on obesity, what do you think they are? Which two countries?

"North Korea and Cuba.

"See they are quite controlling on behavioural change."

When it was pointed out to him by presenter Jonathan Samuels that people were starving in North Korea and were not obese due to a lack of food, he said: "Exactly. But there were sanctions and everything else. But the example is behavourial change."

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But his outspoken remarks on Sky News triggered immediate criticism from social media users.

Gordon Horspool tweeted: "Starving your own people is not exactly slimming world."

Dan Hill wrote in a post: "Yes, starving your people will tend to have that result .......... Comments like that will let @jamescracknell fit right in as an MP."

Robyn Gregorieff said: "Ummmm by starvation!! That's not a 'handle' on obesity. What a fool!!"

Others poked fun at the size of North Korea's authoritarian leader Kim Jong-Un.

GD wrote: "Has he seen the state of Kim Jong-Un?"

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