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This week, Piers Morgan took a break from his usual antics of asking if he can identify as a neutrois penguin and spoke out in support of US comedian Bill Maher. 

Maher came under scrutiny after his scathing monologue about overweight Americans on his live show Real Time with Bill Maher went viral. Well, it was James Corden’s witty and well-composed clapback that went viral. 

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Maher, who compared fat activism to the National Rifle Association, reported that 40,000 people in the US died because of obesity. 

“In August, 53 Americans died from mass shootings,” Maher ranted to his live audience, “terrible right? Do you know how many died from obesity? Forty thousand. Fat-shaming doesn’t need to end it needs to make a comeback. Some amount of shame is good. We shamed people out of smoking and into wearing seat belts. We shamed them out of littering and most of them out of racism. Shame is the first step in reform.”

Not one to shy from a controversial opinion, Piers Morgan backed these comments and said “we’ve become a society where we don’t just tolerate morning obesity, we celebrate it” during a discussion on Good Morning Britain

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Bill and Piers have a point- obesity is clearly linked with conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. But what they both failed to consider is that shaming people only leads to insecurity, guilt and embarrassment which in turn can cause eating disorders and other mental health issues. They don’t understand the reasons people turn to food and neglect their physical well-being. To them and many others, being fat is a sign of a deliberate failure to look after oneself rather than a wider and much more complex issue. 

Fat people are shamed enough by society. If you don’t think so, you should check out Your Fat Friend. The anonymous author posts frequently about being humiliated by men in bars and thin passengers on planes. 

If shame truly worked, everybody would be stick thin.