Kiwi sporting great Dame Valerie Adams slams Louise Wallace for 'disgusting' takes on obesity

Kiwi sporting great Dame Valerie Adams has slammed reality TV star Louise Wallace for her controversial takes on obesity.

Appearing on AM Show's panel on Wednesday, the Real Housewives of Auckland star said the body positivity movement has resulted in overweight physiques being "normalised" in the media, suggesting the appearance of "fat women" in advertisements is contributing to higher rates of obesity.

"It's what goes in here," said Wallace, gesturing to her mouth. "I think, unfortunately, we have normalised the idea of being overweight.

"When I was overseas quite recently, you would pass by these huge ads for fashion... and there would be distinctly overweight women - like, dare I say it, fat women - in these ads, advertising clothes and that is now seen as normal.

"You either advertise with people who have what I would see as 'a normal body' - maybe a size 12 or 14. You put a size 18 there, and people think that's normal and healthy."

Dame Valerie has taken to social media to unleash on Wallace's "disgusting" comments, suggesting the former journalist "uppercut herself", referring to the common punch technique.

Kiwi sporting great Dame Valerie Adams slams Louise Wallace for 'disgusting' takes on obesity
Photo credit: Instagram/@valerieadams84

"So size 12 is normal, but size 18 is not?" says Adams on Instagram. "Uppercut yourself, because what you're saying is disgusting."

The two-time Olympic shot put champion claimed Wallace's stance was the kind that could cause body image issues, pointing to her own dress size.

"So many young girls out there already have body image issues and you come out saying this BS.

"I am a size 18-20, depending on what it is, therefore I should tape over my mouth???"

Dame Valerie has been a vocal advocate for reducing obesity, fronting the 'Big Change Starts Small' campaign to help educate parents in a bid to decrease the rate of obesity among Kiwi kids, particularly those in lower socio-economic areas.

"You need to get educated on the human body and realise the amount of damage you're doing by making these comments on national television," she adds.

Wallace has responded to Dame Valerie's comments in her own Instagram post, insisting she was simply presenting her own unsanitised perspective on the obesity issue and had received plenty of positive feedback for her stance.

She called Adams a "great NZer, who has devoted her life to nutrition, exercise and self motivation", adding she's "happy to uppercut myself if that helps".

"I was asked my opinion about our appalling stats on obesity and I gave it," Wallace wrote. 

"I could have lied and said that they were just something we have to live with in the 21st century or I could say how I really felt. I chose to do the latter. 

"I have had so many wonderful and inspiring messages from people who decided to begin a weight-loss journey in order to live longer, and they all said it was the best thing they’d ever done and wished they’d done it sooner.

"One woman had lost an incredible 43kg. It's those people we should take inspiration from, not those who can think of nothing better to say on social media than calling me a c**t."

In March, Adams - a seven-time NZ Sportswoman of the Year at the Halberg Awards - announced her retirement from international competition, drawing the curtain on one of the most successful careers in Kiwi sporting history.