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Health ministry associates good health with 'vegetarianism'; deletes tweets after protests

Sources pointed out that on Sunday, the ministry had put out a message to promote “good nutrition” but the graphic accompanying it openly promoted vegetarianism and indulged in fat shaming.

Published: 23rd April 2018 08:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2018 09:54 PM   |  A+A-

A screenshot of the Health Ministry's tweet.

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare came under fire on Monday for associating “vegetarianism” with good health in a series of tweets that were later deleted following an outrage on social media.

Sources pointed out that on Sunday, the ministry had put out a message to promote “good nutrition” but the graphic accompanying it openly promoted vegetarianism and indulged in fat shaming.

The graphic showed the outlines of two women, with different figures. While one which was visibly larger, contained meat, eggs, bread, burgers, beer, doughnuts, fries and fizzy drinks, the other was lean and contained only fruits and vegetables.  The accompanying message read “What is your choice?”

A screenshot of the Health Ministry's tweet.

A functionary in the social media team at the ministry conceded that the message behind the tweet was obvious. “It was like asking which option will you choose? Would you rather be fat and non-vegetarian or thin and vegetarian?,” he said.

“This tweet that was being promoted by our official Twitter handle and some other handles seemed to suggest that the government is fixated on propagating vegetarianism as a way of life. This graphic has been posted on earlier occasions also but we realise that it was mistake.”

Many on Twitter also objected to associating eggs with bad health and obesity.

“Egg is unhealthy?! Now that we are done rewriting history, let's rewrite science,” tweeted filmmaker Shirish Kunder.

“Apparently only meat eaters can be obese? As a vegetarian I can assure you I have been obese, overweight, normal, under weight and body shamed for being any type. But Ministry of Health body shaming for dietary choices?,” wrote one Prabha Raj.



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