Egypt’s Sisi says obese people ‘shouldn’t be featured on TV’

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has urged TV channels against featuring presenters or guests if they happen to be obese or overweight in a new rant on the subject.

According to reports, al-Sisi made the comment on live television, where he urged citizens to lose weight.

The comment elicited outrage from Egyptians who describe it as the president fat-shaming his impoverished people.

Earlier this month, Egyptians on social media poked fun at comments from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi calling out Egyptians for being overweight – then the second time the former general has picked up on the subject in as many months.

“Why are we doing this to ourselves?” Sisi asked, refering to Egypt’s high obesity rate. He then spoke for almost 20 minutes about how Egyptians should exercise more.

Since then, memes imagining a security crackdown on corpulence have multiplied.

One showed a woman being taken away by a police officer and telling him: “What’s wrong? I only gained two kilos.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that 63 percent of Egyptians are overweight, including nearly 36 percent who are obese, one of the highest rates in the world.

Sisi said he sometimes sees obese people and thinks: “Why is she not taking care of herself?” and “can you walk like that?”

Nearly 30 percent of Egypt’s population, which now numbers 98 million, live under the poverty line.