Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli invited British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a morning jog before their next meeting, after he cited the Maltese as the fattest in Europe.
On Tuesday the British PM name dropped the Malta's bulging waistlines at the launch of an anti-obesity campaign, citing it as an example to be avoided.
“We are significantly fatter than most others – apart from the Maltese for some reason,” Johnson said.
He warned that failure to take drastic action would see the UK overtake Malta as having the highest incidence of obesity in Europe.
Farrugia Portelli, who was being interviewed by presenter Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio 5, said it was regrettable that both countries were high on the list.
"It just means that we'll have to schedule a morning jogging routine before our next meeting, hopefully on one of our beautiful beaches," she said.
The obesity call-out garnered widespread attention among the Maltese, with some taking offence to the British PM singling out Malta.
"Jog-off Boris, at least we don't wear sandals with socks," one commenter wrote on social media.
Malta has consistently topped the chart with high levels of obesity in both adults and children.
In February, the European Observatory on Health cited obesity as the primary major health threat in the country.
Last October, studies showed that a third of Maltese over 65s were obese, the fourth highest in Europe, while the latest study published by the WHO found Malta had the highest rate of obesity in 11, 13 and 15-year-olds.
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