'Posh Spice is not too skinny. She is a real role model,' says Dr Eva Orsmond
Outspoken weight-loss expert Dr Eva Orsmond has defended the super-skinny frame of Victoria Beckham and said the former Spice Girl should be a role model for overweight Irish women.
The singer turned fashion designer, who once slimmed her waist measurement to just 23 inches, is frequently criticised for being too thin.
But Dr Orsmond has urged young women to draw inspiration from the 41-year-old mother of four, insisting that her body shape would be far more likely to be admired outside of Ireland.
She said: "If you go to France or Italy, you can see the difference in the size of women. Look at Victoria Beckham - she is far healthier than an overweight model and looks and feels better.
"People criticise her, but she is healthy and the fact she has had four children proves that.
"I would much rather see women like Victoria Beckham on the catwalk than super-sized models and I think she deserves to be admired."
The Finnish-born medic, who was famous for her no-nonsense approach to participants on fat-busting RTE show Operation Transformation, also said she believes Ireland's obesity epidemic could be tackled if GPs routinely weighed their patients.
She wants doctors here to follow her lead by being more straight-talking to overweight patients.
A new Department of Health study found that six in 10 people living in Ireland are either overweight or obese.
Dr Orsmond believes the obesity crisis has been partly fuelled by GPs prescribing ineffective drugs to fat patients, instead of telling them a few home truths.
She also called for similar measures to be introduced into the nation's schools - as happens in her native Finland - to regularly monitor the weight of children.
And the mother of two, who runs four weight-loss clinics in Ireland, reckons her approach would save the HSE a fortune by slashing the number of obesity-related illnesses, like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, fertility problems, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
"Every patient who visits their doctor's surgery should be weighed every time they attend," she says.