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FAT'S DAFT; If you believe this chart then Britney 5ft 4in 9st 6lbs & Kerry 5ft 5in 10st5ft 5in 10st are overweight & the ideal figure for teen girls is stick thin Kylie.

Byline: FIONA WYNNE

BRITNEY Spears is sexy and slim, Kerry McFadden is cute and curvy - but the two pop stars are FAT.

That's according to a weight chart in leading women's magazine, Now, which claims to calculate your perfect body weight.

But if you believe the guide, waif-like Aussie star Kylie Minogue has a perfect figure. The stick thin 34-year-old is 5ft tall and weighs just seven and a half stone.

The Check Your Weight Feature appears just days after the Daily Mirror revealed more than 10,000 Irish children - some as young as seven - suffer from eating disorders.

The chart allows women to check if they healthy using only their height and weight as a guide.

And if you follow its formula super fit pop princess Britney Spears, at 5ft 4in and nearly nine and a half stone, is overweight.

Hollywood star Drew Barrymore is the same weight and height. The Magazine, which later admitted the chart was "innaccurate" said: "Weight is more than an appearance issue - to be at your healthiest, happiest and most energetic, it's vital to be in a healthy range because it's not just you hips, thighs and bottom that store the excess.

"Silently and more sinisterly, fat is also laid down inside blood vessels and can seriously affect your health."

But readers of the magazine who check to see if their weights are healthy are in for a shock.

The chart shows curvy beauties Kerry Katona and Kate Winslet are also carrying a few extra pounds.

Kerry Katona, who is 5ft 5in - the average height for a girl - and 10 stone, needs to work out more. And gorgeous Kate Winslet, who at 5ft 8in and a little more than 10 and a half stone, is another star who needs to slim.

The magazine even said impossibly thin Andrea Corr, who at 5ft 1in and weighs seven and a half stone, is the perfect weight for her height.

In fact, the guide seems to suggest only stick-thin celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Geri Halliwell are healthy.

Spice girl Victoria is 5ft 6in and weighs slightly more than eight stone, while her former bandmate Geri is 5ft 1in and just seven stone.

Donna O'Connor, psychologist with the Eating Disorder Association of Ireland, said the guide is dangerous and irrational.

She explained: "You just can't say that a person this height should be this weight.

"Your best weight depends on bone structure, metabolism and genetic make-up, not just your height.

"Bodies do different things with calories, for instance musclcular people may be very thin but be quite heavy, this doesn't make them fat."

Ms O'Connor said charts like this one can lead to young girls becoming obsessed with their weight. She added: "People who use them always go for the lowest weight recommended for them and often this is ridiculous.

"Girls with eating disorders are particularly influenced and they can have a devastating effect on them.

"It is very important for people who are recovering from eating disorders to have an individualised recovery, not somebody telling them what weight they should or shouldn't be.

"To pigeon hole and categorise people like this is counterproductive.

"Even something as simple as the weather can cause changes in people's weight.

"You usually lose weight during the summer and store it for protection against cold in the Winter.

"Girls' weights can even fluctuate at different times of their menstrual cycle.

"Right before their period they will be burning more calories and during their period they will retain more fluid.

"It's so irrational to say you have to be a certain weight and go by such as gauge.

"The threat of eating disorders can be tackled by making young people more aware of the dangers, but it is not a problem that is likely to go away."

A Now magazine spokeswoman She said: "Everyone in the office was checking their weight and the healthy margin is just too small.

"We hope the chart causes no distress and we are currently working on a new chart."

Eating Disorder Helplines

Bodywhys 01 2835126

Eating Distress Helpline 01 8333126

Shine 021 4896066

Eating Disorder Association 01 4126690

CAPTION(S):

FIGURES: From left, Britney and Kerry are too fat but Geri & Kylie are perfect; NO WEIGH: Now
COPYRIGHT 2002 MGN LTD
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2002
Words:712
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