Rosie Waterland: "I'm A Celebrity is sending a dangerous message."

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I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here is the show we love to despair of for a lot of reasons.

It featured Shane Warne waxing lyrical about how we evolved from aliens. It referred to Dean Geyer as a Hollywood Heartthrob. And it ruined our memories of Jo-Beth Taylor as a loveable sidekick in the glory days of Hey Hey, It’s Saturday. 

But these harmless details aside, Rosie Waterland says there’s a sinister side to the show that is spruiking a dangerous message.

With the celebrities on a staple diet of rice and beans, they’re clocking about 500 calories a day. That’s about 20% of an average calorie intake per day, for a male.

So of course the celebrities are losing weight.

But as Rosie Waterland says on the latest episode of The Binge, it’s the celebration around this fact that is worrying her.

Listen to Rosie’s full discussion here:

From the confessions of former AFL star Brendan Fevola that he would like to lose a bit more; to Warnie saying he’d like to drop a couple of extra kilos, to DJ Havana Brown giggling that she too had lost weight, despite eating the most food in the jungle, there is an undercurrent that dangerous starvation and weight loss are causes for celebration.

Rosie Waterland says the public weigh-ins, the cheering, the focus on percentage of weight lost so far and the resulting tabloid headlines is all sending a dangerous message for people struggling with eating disorders.

“I know people with eating disorders will watch that and think ‘wow you can lose that much on a diet of rice and beans, I’m going to go on a diet of rice and beans and try it’,” she says.

“That is the kind of thing I  would have done a few years ago.”

Watch the Weigh-in unfold here:

Video by Channel 10

The weigh-ins have been a staple of the franchise, and already headlines are proclaiming the triumph of the jungle inmates in losing significant amounts weight in a very short time.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Warnie, Brendan Fevola, and Paul Harragon combined have lost more than 30kg in their three weeks in the jungle.

Val Lehman, a 72 diabetic, has lost 4.8kg. The other female campers have lost a combined 12.8kg.

Last year, the only celebrity not to buy into the weight loss aspect was Chrissie Swan, who on her elimination from the jungle last season, declined to be weighed.

“Scales aren’t that important to me,” she said. “I feel great. I’ve been eating an Olsen twin diet for six weeks so chances are I weigh a bit less than what I did when I went in but it is not about weight loss for me at all.”

As someone who’s suffered and eating disorder, Rosie says it’s frustrating to see the way drastic weight loss is being used as entertainment.

“This obsession with weight and weight loss that we have in today’s culture, they are now capitalising it on the show.”

“It’s incredibly dangerous. And they’re celebrating it on the show.”

The Binge is Mamamia’s TV podcast. Listen to the latest episode here:

Listen on iTunes here.

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