'This Morning' hit with complaints over 800 calorie a day diet segment

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Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond are joining the regular 'This Morning' hosting line-up. (ITV/Ken McKay)
Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond on This Morning. (ITV/Ken McKay)

This Morning has received close to 2,000 complaints after a segment about an 800 calorie a day diet.

Viewers complained to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom after an instalment of the ITV show saw Dr Michael Mosley discussing losing lockdown weight by limiting intake to as few as 800 calories a day.

According to the NHS, the recommended daily calories are 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women.

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The doctor – who is known for his TV show Lose A Stone In 21 Days – shared meal ideas with hosts Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond, saying a person could have eggs with bacon or smoked salmon for breakfast, a bean and tomato soup for lunch and fish and vegetables for dinner.

“Doctor, is that it? Can you eat anything else during the day? Can you snack on anything?" asked O’Leary, to be told you could also eat some nuts and could drink plenty of water and tea.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Dr Michael Mosley poses for a photo at the ICC Sydney on September 16, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. The Centenary Institute Oration is part of the 14th World Congress on Inflammation. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)
Dr Michael Mosley (Getty Images)

Many people tuning in were unimpressed.

“National eating disorder awareness week and ITV This Morning are promoting a diet of 800 to 1,000 calories. Possibly one of the most irresponsible things this programme has done,” said one person on Twitter, while another called it "appalling".

"This is just so harmful and such dangerous advice to give! This should never be allowed on the television!" claimed another viewer.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has now confirmed that there were 1,932 complaints about the episode of This Morning.

Dermot O'Leary poses for photographers upon arrival at the BAFTA Film Awards in London, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Dermot O'Leary (Invision/AP)

According to the NHS website, “a very low calorie diet is a clinically supervised diet plan that involves eating about 800 calories a day or fewer” and they are “sometimes considered for obese and severely obese people who are managing diabetes, going to have surgery or preparing for fertility treatment".

The website said: “Very low calorie diets should only be followed under medical supervision for a maximum of 12 weeks.

“Do not follow a very low calorie diet unless a GP has suggested it to you.”

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