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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 6

Obesity expert receiving death threats for bashing Jordin Sparks

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/05/2007 

Jordin Sparks may be comfortable in her own skin, but obesity expert MeMe Roth recently described the American Idol sixth-season champ's figure as "the vision of unhealth," a comment that reportedly didn't sit too well with admirers of the 17-year-old Glendale, AZ-native.

"[There have been] hate posts calling for my death," Roth, a member of the National Action Against Obesity, told MSNBC on Monday. 

Roth was a guest on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto only hours before Sparks' sixth-season Idol victory was revealed during the show's live two-hour finale on Wednesday, May 23.  During her appearance, she argued that Sparks wouldn't make the best choice despite her vocal ability because America is "in the throws of a child health crisis with childhood obesity."

"When I look at Jordin I see diabetes, I see heart disease, I see high cholesterol," said Roth during the Fox News broadcast.  "That's what's so sad about this -- she is not the vision of health -- she is the vision of 'unhealth.'"

Despite the backlash from Sparks' fans, Roth said she stands by her comments and discredited those blog posters who had her describing the Idol winner as "obese," adding her words have been misconstrued due to Fox News' "sensational setup," according to MSNBC.

"Her extra weight is a reflection of today's society and a culture where many of our children have compromised health due to unhealthful food choices and inactivity," she told MSNBC.  "We have to stop with the 'baby fat,' 'curvy, 'goddess' euphemisms and own this child health crisis."

Roth couldn't help but add she admires Sparks' "effervescent personality," but called the Idol winner's comments in a recent interview about her body "quite contradictory."

"In [the June 1 issue of People, Sparks is] both declaring to 'love her body' just as it is, while at the same time, in the sidebar, advising other 'plus-size' females on how to dress slim," Roth told MSNBC.

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