A fitness center behind a hoarding in Rajagiriya which drew controversy said that the hoarding was to promote an obesity-free Sri Lanka. Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr Harsha de Silva had said yesterday he had called for the removal of the “offensive hoarding” in Rajagiriya.The hoarding, giving publicity to a popular gymnasium and fitness centre, has an image of a barrel and text next to it saying “This is no shape for a woman” giving the impression women should not look like a barrel. OSMO Fitness, the fitness center, said it received an unprecedented amount of response within a very short period that raised some concerns about the intentions of the aforementioned communication.
OSMO said in a statement today that the hoarding was the first in a line of scheduled communications of an awareness campaign which promotes an ‘Obesity-Free Sri Lanka’ being launched next week, which was driven by some disturbing figures on a recent World Health Organization report which indicates that an alarming percentage of women in Sri Lanka are more prone to diabetes, overweight, obesity and physical inactivity compared to males.
“We would like to reiterate that we did not have any intention whatsoever to degrade, offend, insult or undermine any one person or women in general and that our moral obligation towards improving the overall health of all Sri Lankans is something that we take very seriously. We would also like to remind everyone that OSMO is a fitness center that caters to many female members, along with several qualified female instructors who strive to help women achieve a healthy, fit and disease-free lifestyle. Women have always been an integral part of OSMO and will continue to do so well into the future,” OSMO said.OSMO said it respects the different viewpoints of the general public and regret any offence that was generated in response to the subject advertisement and have decided to withdraw all communications relating to the advertisement in question.