Weighing in at 17 stone, Aly Gilardoni is well aware of the consequences of over-eating.
Yet the single mother was accused yesterday of inflicting her own problems on her eight-year-old daughter by putting her on a near starvation diet.
Corleigh has been on the regime since the age of two and is allowed just 700 calories a day – 1,000 fewer than recommended.
Miss Gilardoni insists she is acting in her daughter’s best interests, saying: ‘Being overweight dominates my life. I don’t want Corleigh to be like me.’
But Christian Jessen, a doctor on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, said: ‘Aly is inflicting her issues on her daughter – she needs to see a psychiatrist.
‘Calorie restricting a normal-weight child is unnecessary and detrimental to her health.
'Her immune system will suffer, her growth may be affected, puberty will be delayed and there will be a risk of osteoporosis as well as mineral and vitamin deficiency.
‘More worryingly, from a psychological point of view, this could trigger severe anorexia that could ultimately kill her.’
Miss Gilardoni said: ‘I don’t want a fat child. I’m obsessed with how she looks. I want her to be pretty and popular and she wouldn’t be if she was bigger.
'My mum is 17 stone, so I think it runs in our family.’
She admits her daughter, who was anaemic until she was five, is now afraid of being fat: ‘She’s always looking in mirrors. I feel guilty – but it’s how I want her to be.’
She broke up with Corleigh’s father six years ago and, lacking confidence because of her size, vowed her daughter would never get fat: Her ‘getting an eating disorder like anorexia would be preferable’.
Typically, Corleigh eats Weetabix for breakfast, salad and half a roll for lunch, and a jacket potato for dinner.
Miss Gilardoni, who has a BMI of 36, well over the healthy range, gorges on junk food when her daughter is in bed.
She gets through around 3,000 calories a day
– usually skipping breakfast and eating biscuits instead, followed by crisps, chips and cheesecake for lunch and pizzas, potato wedges and mashed potato with cheese for dinner.
‘With an eating disorder you can get through it with therapy. But when you’re fat, you’re fat for life.’
A recent visit to a nurse showed Corleigh is 5lb underweight but otherwise healthy.