The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said officials should “carefully consider the type of language and media to use to communicate obesity.”
Guidance sent to health officials warned that “the term ‘obesity’ may be unhelpful – while some people like to ‘hear it like it is,’ others may consider it derogatory.”
Instead, individuals who are morbidly obese should be “merely” urged to try to “achieve a healthier weight,” the Daily Mail reported. NICE also encouraged Britons to talk “more generally about health and well-being.”
The National Obesity Forum blasted the kinder-gentler approach.
“NICE is being too nice,” spokesperson Tam Fry told Sky News. “They are not exhibiting the tough love they should be. ‘Obesity’ is a medical description. There is a defined point at which being overweight becomes a serious medical issue.
“It you skirt around the bushes you confuse people over how serious it is,” he told Sky News.
A NICE spokesperson said the guidance had been put out for consultation – and was “evolving.