Diabetes Expert Sparks Heated Debate With Controversial Waist Size Claim

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Diabetes Expert Sparks Debate Waist Size - AlamyAlamy

After making a controversial claim about the recommended size of one’s waist, a diabetes expert has sparked a heated debate online.

Professor Roy Taylor, from the University of Newcastle, presented the data at the annual conference for the Study of Diabetes, held by the European Association.


Taylor, who is reportedly one of the world’s leading experts on diabetes, has claimed that if people can no longer fit into the same-sized trousers that they were wearing at a certain age, they are ‘carrying too much fat’ and need to lose weight.

Diabetes Professor Sparks Controversy (Alamy)Alamy

According to Taylor, people are considered to be ‘carrying too much fat’ and at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if they no longer fit into the same jeans they did at just 21 years old.

The data from an early study, which Taylor presented at the conference, showed that by losing weight, it would be possible for those with type two diabetes who were considered a normal weight, to ‘achieve remission’. According to the study, eight out of 12 people, who consumed only 800 calories each day for three rounds of the programme, were able to ‘get rid’ of the illness by losing 10 to 15% of their body weight.


Taylor’s study resultantly showed, in its initial findings, that diabetes is ‘not caused by obesity but by being too heavy for your own body’. ‘If you can’t get into the same size trousers now, you are carrying too much fat and therefore at risk of developing type two diabetes, even if you aren’t overweight,’ he said.

However, despite his medical advice, Taylor’s comment on being able to fit into the same trousers that you once wore aged just 21 has caused a heated debate on Twitter.

Many women took to the platform in outrage, pointing out the flaws in his analogy, particularly in how women’s bodies change specifically around the stomach and hips due to instances such as pregnancy. One person said: ‘Wait till someone tells him about where babies come from.’ And another replied: ‘Nobody tell him what happens post baby pelvises…’


A second wrote:

Has he thought about female anatomy at all? Maybe I’m some sort of medical freak, but my hips widened quite significantly in my 20s (I assumed it was biology saying, ‘baby time’). At 21, I still had quite a childish body. Friends say the same…

A third commented: ‘I gave up wearing jeans before I even turned 20 because I couldn’t get them long enough… I assume this means I’m going to live forever.’


Many women were quick to condemn Taylor’s turn of phrase and called the claim ‘stupid’, recommending that he be given a lesson in ‘female biology’.

He was also accused by many of ‘implicit misogyny’ and a ‘total lack of understanding of female physiology’, with one woman stating that ‘shaming every peri/menopausal woman is not the way to better public health’.

Other women also commented that they had eating disorders when younger and at the age of 21, which would be an extremely damaging and unhealthy way of living to return to.


The full results of Taylor’s findings are expected to be presented in 2022, as per The Guardian, after the head of research communications at Diabetes UK, Dr Lucy Chambers ‘welcomed’ the findings, but ‘cautioned’ that they were preliminary.

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this article and would like to speak with someone in confidence, call the BEAT Eating Disorders helpline on 0808 801 0677. Helplines are open 365 days a year from 9am–8pm during the week, and 4pm–8pm on weekends and bank holidays. Alternatively, you can try the one-to-one webchat

Topics: Health, diabetes, Now


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    People who ‘can’t fit into jeans they wore aged 21’ risk developing diabetes

Poppy Bilderbeck
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