Soap characters portray unhealthy lifestyles

Soap characters should be portrayed struggling with the consequences of their unhealthy habits, says Bupa.

Photograph: iStockphoto/Leigh Schindler
Photograph: iStockphoto/Leigh Schindler

It has compiled a top 10 unhealthiest characters and argues that its number 1, Eastenders’ Dot Cotton, should appear more breathless on TV.

Dr Peter Mace, Bupa’s assistant medical director, said: ‘Characters who have been smoking for many years have implausibly good health.’

A BBC spokesman said it had always tried to depict illnesses accurately.

The top 10:

1.    Dot Cotton (Eastenders): smoker
2.    Shadrach Dingle (Emmerdale): alcohol dependent
3.    Tyrone Dobbs (Coronation Street): unhealthy diet
4.    Heather Trott (Eastenders): unhealthy diet
5.    Louise Summers (Hollyoaks): alcohol dependent
6.    Shirley Carter (Eastenders): drinks too much alcohol
7.    Charlie Slater (Eastenders): unhealthy diet
8.    Lloyd Mullaney (Coronation Street): unhealthy diet
9.    Fiz Brown (Coronation Street): unhealthy diet
10.  Leo Valentine (Hollyoaks): drinks too much alcohol

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