Some days I read the news online and it annoys me. Other days I read things that just make me think that the whole country, if not the world, is just going mad and that I’d like to give someone a good slap.
The government (who else) are the targets of my wrath this week, which in itself isn’t unusual, but this week it’s the turn of Dear David Cameron who has decreed that fat people should be forced to be ‘treated’ for their obesity or lose benefits if they are claiming them.
Before I launch into a full blown rant, I don’t know any fat people who claim benefits simply because of a fondness for doughnuts. Fat, disabled people usually have a myriad of issues that have caused them to be obese, often they can’t work because of debilitating illnesses that make it hard for them to get around, and certainly make any ideas of compulsory fitness class attendance a bit stupid. People with fibromyalgia in constant pain, people with ME, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or even multiple sclerosis, all find it hard to maintain an active lifestyle. So should they lose benefits if they won’t go to the gym?
I suppose there are people who say if they are fat they need to eat less?
Excuse me for being a bit humane about this but if I had a physical condition that made me unable to do all the things I wanted, left me with reduced mobility or in constant pain, if I wanted a doughnut I would bloody well have one. Jeez, if you’re dealing with loads of physical and emotional crap already, dieting is only going to add to the misery. Which might be tolerable if it ACTUALLY WORKED.
David Cameron is launching a review to work out how much these lazy, greedy and useless members of society actually cost the hard-working taxpayer through their 'preventable' conditions like obesity and drug and alcohol addiction, and is looking into ways force people with health problems to have treatment when they are claiming benefits.
What about women with Lipoedema? Doctors can’t even agree that it’s an actual medical condition let alone decide how it should be treated, How are the medics going to force pointless diet and exercise treatments onto women with Lipoedema which will never respond to either?
If fitness classes are unfeasible for fatties because they aren’t well enough, forced doctor-funded slimming groups are the way forward, then? I think not. Have you SEEN the reports about the number of people who lose weight and then put it all back on again with interest? Anecdotal evidence from the women I know is that most of us who are obese started off just a bit overweight and went on a diet. We’ve all done Slimming World and/or Weight Watchers, online diet clubs, assorted books and faddy diets and guess what? We are still fat. That’s not going to get anyone off benefits or into the acceptable BMI range, is it, Mr Cameron?
You can’t force people into having gastric surgery either. I think you’ll find that’s banned under the Geneva Convention and very much frowned upon.
What about people with eating disorders who eat compulsively and end up bed bound? Don’t you DARE tell me that their illness is self-inflicted. NOBODY bloody chooses to eat themselves into that condition, and it’s a symptom of a deep emotional and psychological issue that isn’t going to be cured by a diet class or well-meaning nutritionist.
How do you force useless ‘treatment’ on someone that far down the line when what you REALLY need to be thinking about is giving them specialist help and support with the root causes of their illness? The answer isn’t bandaging over the visible symptoms, the fat bits. If you’ve ever tried to get NHS support for an eating disorder, you’ll know how farcical that idea is.
So HOW are you going to get fat people off the benefits system, Mr Prime Minister? Cut their money until they starve?
Do you agree with the plans to cut obese people’s benefit unless they accept government ‘treatment’?