Thursday, 4 September 2008

Obesity - it's all the NHS' fault!

There's always someone to blame for the obesity epidemic, except that if it's the fatties talking then they will never blame themselves and if it's central government then they will also never blame themselves. For example this overweight fatty thinks the NHS should take more of the blame:

"Yes, we are letting ourselves down by being overweight and it’s my choice what I eat, but if someone makes that big decision to access services, even if they are just a couple of stones overweight, the resources should be there."

Indeed it is your choice, I also agree that the resources should be there, however largely (what a pun) I do not mean NHS resources. This is because much of the money that is being thrown at anti-obesity treatments and resources is a complete waste, as there is no decent evidence that they will do anything to make our fatties less fat. The drugs are rubbish, and as for PCTs handing out slimming vouchers, don't get me started on that.

Most of the problems come from a complete lack of holistic management and policy making from central government. Where are our cheap and excellent communal sports facilities? Where is our excellent school sport and healthy school food? Where are our green open spaces? Where is our excellent public transport that would encourage us to walk a bit more rather than using the car for everything? Where is that cheap subsides and tax free fruit and veg? Where are the fast food grease pits that have been taxed more heavily to make profiting from heart attacks that bit more tricky?

You get the picture. Doctors can at best do very very little to help their fat patients, they can refer the fattest for bariatric surgey which is only a very last resort with significant morbidity and mortality attached, they can prescribe drugs that cost a lot and do sod all, or they can refer patients to services that also do sod all.

Unless people start taking more responsibility for their weight and stop blaming their genes, then we will just carry on getting fatter, by the way if it was all in the genes then we would have all been this fat fifty years ago. Also the government could also do a hell of a lot more to counter this growing problem in all areas of policy making, blaming the NHS and staff is utterly stupid as well as futile. This is a big systematic problem rooted in our rather short termist culture, and untiul we start to address the real underlying causes, this tide of lard will only gather momentum.


the a&e charge nurse said...

Leaving aside medical complications that arise from obesity [gall stones, joint problems, diabetes, etc] I don't see how what we put in our mouths can be classified as a disease and hence the concern of doctors.

We don't need boffins to point out risk factors for obesity - they are simple and self evident in most cases, and include: parental eating habits, lack of physical activity [such as walking to school] and low socio-economic status, etc.

Even intellectuals like Andre Dworkin had her stomach stapled yet was still barely able to walk because of the crippling effect of obesity on her knees - terribly sad, but ultimately an existential rather than medical problem in my humble opinion.

Dr. Liz Miller said...

FF, I agree with you ;-) Factories make food junk. About time food factories were in the same category as cigarette manufacturers. And if we banned fast food from public places, we might have a pigeon poo free zone, less litter and fewer rats

Elaine said...

Completely agree.

and isn't that picture just gross?

Garth Marenghi said...


maybe that's a way forward, photos of fat people's bottoms taken in unflattering lighting and then shown to them?

we'd all then probably become anorexic!

Dr. Jane Doe said...

"tide of lard"
Beautiful. :)

Anonymous said...

Well Garth,

While I do agree with some of what you say, I think if people concentrated less on being fat or thin and concentrated more on being happy and leading a healthy life - they would be slimmer.

I also think that many "thin" people will degrade fat people - when I don't think that is the way forward. Eating habits change only by proper education. Doctors are quite bad at that - telling the patient to " eat less and lose weight and not giving them a plan or management plan".

I also think your pictorial insults to " fat people" won't do much for their self confidence. Having been a shrink in the past - I have found the best way for people to lose weight is to have a positive attitude - not a bad mental image of themselves.

For avoidance of doubt, Queen Latifa is overweight but not an ugly bint! :)

Rita Pal
NHS Exposed
NHS Exposed Blog

Garth Marenghi said...

a 'pictoral insult' is it?

that sounds a tad politically correct

it's a picture of a fat person's arse and i don't think many people would think that it looks very pretty

while i agree that the overweight shouldn't be insulted and abused, those who live in denial do need to be forced out of their shells, it's in their best interests that its done

a bit of positive, a bit of negative is good in my opinion and politically correctness is not good for anyone apart from the lawyers

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