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An Australian newspaper has been blasted for appearing to include same-sex attraction in a list of unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid The Daily Telegraph was roundly criticised on social media on Wednesday (July 13) after illustrating an article about poor mental and physical health among young people with statistics highlighting drug-use, alcohol consumption, obesity levels and the number of people who experience same-sex attraction in the age group.

Under a headline which read ‘Fat chance of being healthy: Young Aussies only have themselves to blame’ a graphic informed readers that 16.8% of Australian secondary school students are either attracted to people of the same sex or both sexes.

Readers were quick to express their outrage on Twitter, where a picture of the article was shared hundreds of times.

“This morn’s Daily Telegraph lists kids being attracted to the same sex as an example of being unhealthy, alongside drug and alcohol abuse”, wrote one user.

Another added: “Hey @dailytelegraph there is zero evidence to put same sex attracted young people in your unhealthy graphic. Kids deserve better.”

Responding to the outrage, The Daily Telegraph issued a statement denying that the same-sex attraction stat was supposed to be interpreted negatively, despite the nature of the other statistics it was placed next to.

A statement from the paper’s editor, Christopher Dore, read: “The headline clearly referred to the health issue of obesity, as did the accompanying story, which focused on diet.

“The graphic that sat alongside the story took statistics from the NSW Government’s Youth Health Framework report 2017 to 2020, capturing a broader snapshot of the lives of our young people.

“It is a statistical picture of young people’s lives, from where they live to how they live. Unfortunately the presentation of the story has been misinterpreted.

“The story in no way suggests, or intends to suggest, that same-sex relationships are unhealthy. There is no judgement expressed at all in the story other than about diet.”

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