Who is Steve Miller and Why Does He Want to Incarcerate Parents?

Cumming Regional Readiness CenterOver in the United Kingdom, Steve Miller is known for several activities. As a Weight Loss Master, he teaches mindset and motivation, and is a great believer in willpower as the impetus and fuel for weight loss. A person can buy a series of personal coaching sessions via phone or Skype.

Miller’s homepage says he will help in the process of letting go of all excuses, as he and the client focus on solutions to any challenges. His straight-talking style and positive, ‘can-do’ spirit will, he promises, imbue a person with excitement and the strength to regain control over food, leading to fast weight loss. Here are two of his slogans:

It’s time to shout FAT OFF!!! You deserve better!!!

My Goal Is To Help Your Body Be What Your Clothes Desire

Isn’t that second one a bit weird? His goal is to help your body be what your clothes desire. Out of all the reasons a person might have to lose weight, satisfying the wishes of her clothes is a strange one to emphasize. Or maybe not, because another interesting aspect is that the Master’s clientele is almost entirely female. Among the photos of satisfied customers, only one lone male is pictured. Gender exclusivity is included in his pitch:

I am a qualified Weight Loss Coach and Mind Programming expert and have trained in clinical hypnosis and coaching which I use to help women achieve their weight loss result.

Late in 2014, Miller ruffled plenty of feathers by publicizing the letter he wrote to Britain’s health secretary asking that January 7 be officially declared “Warn a friend they’re fat day.” In the Telegraph, Claire Cohen responded to this proposal:

I know people who have ‘fat shamed’ others. It rarely turns out well. Even when approached sensitively (‘look how unhealthy we’ve become recently, eating all this chocolate. Shall we go to the gym together?), the recipient is rarely ‘grateful’ or spurred into life-changing action as Miller predicts. If anything, the cruelty can push people into comfort eating.

Not all of Miller’s ideas are wild. For instance, he thinks that no junk food ads should be shown on TV before 9PM. Other statements are harder to swallow:

Show me a fat kid and I’ll show you a miserable, bullied child. Yet almost always it’s the fault not of the child but of their lazy, misguided parents who are often too fat themselves.

It is tempting to dismiss this as prejudice and bigotry. But apparently his opinions are based on life experience. He hosted the 2010 television series Fat Families, in which he investigated and advised families with weight issues. He has also appeared as a guest Weight Loss Expert on two other TV shows.

Are Parents of Obese Kids Criminals?

This past summer, Miller stirred up even more controversy by suggesting that legislators pass the Child Obesity Act, under which the parents of a morbidly obese child would receive three warnings and then be prosecuted. The charge would be child abuse, and they could be imprisoned for two years. Or the kid could simply be taken away from the parents and entered into the foster care system or possibly some institution. Miller seems to have proposed weight-loss boot camp for the children.

One problem with this idea is that there barely seems to be enough social infrastructure in the UK to support kids who are in desperate trouble, such as those who are already homeless. Due to “Warn a Friend They’re Fat Day,” Miller has been called insensitive, crass, and an idiot who wanted to issue an open invitation to bullying. Now, he has also become known as a publicity hound who merely seeks to shock.

When Amy Packham wrote about this controversy for Huffington Post, she contacted the UK’s Department of Health, whose spokesperson said “We have no plans to jail parents of obese children.”

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Steve Miller’s Weight Loss Master,” yourweightlossmaster.co.uk/, undated
Source: “Fat-Shaming Tell a Friend They’re Chubby Day,” telegraph.co.uk, 12/11/14
Source: “Over-feeding the kids? Steve Miller’s Child Obesity Act could see YOU in prison,” Express.co.uk, 07/20/15
Source: “Weight Loss Campaigner Calls For Parents Of Obese Children To Be Jailed,” HuffingtonPost,co.uk, 07/21/15
Image by Georgia National Guard

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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