LONDON (Reuters) - Eating disorder campaigners criticized British model Kate Moss on Thursday for saying she backed the motto "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," a slogan popular with pro-anorexia websites.
Health experts said 35-year-old Moss, renowned for her waif-like appearance, had been irresponsible to make the comment, arguing girls could be influenced by the style icon.
Asked in an interview with fashion news website WWD if she had a motto, Moss was quoted as saying: "There are loads. There's 'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.' That's one of them. You try and remember, but it never works."
Eating disorder charity Beat said the slogan, which appears on the homepage of one pro-anorexia website "Starving for Control," was "really unfortunate."
"It's one that's used so prominently and so obviously in connection with pro-anorexic websites," Susan Ringwood, Beat's chief executive, told Reuters.
"We know she is a person who young people look up to, she's such a style icon, they are very interested in her life, they follow all the details of it.
"So for her to even inadvertently legitimize something that could be potentially so harmful is regrettable."
Ringwood said the number of people contacting the charity had trebled in the last six years, while the number of pro-anorexia websites outnumbered those providing help by five to one.
"If you read any of the pro-anorexia websites, they go crazy for quotes like these," said ex-Wonderbra model Katie Green, who recently launched a "Say No To Size Zero" campaign after being told to lose two stone when she was size 12.
"There are 1.1 million eating disorders in the UK alone. Kate Moss's comments are likely to cause many more," she told the Sun newspaper.
The paper said the phrase cited by Moss was coined by members of a dieting club before it was picked up by those with eating disorders.
Editing by Steve Addison