Friday, December 15, 2006

Fighting fat

This story is just so wonderfully speculative that one almost fears for the sanity of the Beeb reporter.
The rising levels of obesity could bankrupt the NHS if left unchecked, doctors warn.

I'm sorry: I thought that the NHS was pretty much bankrupt already. Obviously I was being a bit fucking premature.
University of Glasgow expert Naveed Sattar said the cost of treating obesity to the health service was 9%.

Er... 9% of what? 9% of the patients weight in pounds, 9% of the NHS budget, 9% of UK GDP, 9% of world GDP? What?
But he warned this would rise as the number of obese adults rose from one in five to one in three by 2010.

He said health experts, schools and the food industry had to take proactive measures to tackle the problem, the British Medical Journal reported.

Why should the food companies do anything? They are trying to maximise their profits: if people cannot control themselves then that is their fault.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the body is a very simple machine; if you put more energy into it than you burn, then that extra energy will be stored a fat. Okay?
Professor Sattar, an expert in metabolic medicine, said research had linked obesity to a range of diseases and disorders, including heart disease, cancer, depression, back pain, diabetes and skin problems.

Professor Sattar said: "The problem of rising prevalence in obesity may get much worse - rates could climb still further, bankrupting the health system and leading soon to reductions in life expectancy."

Cry me a fucking river. If some bastard so lacks self-discipline (or any kind of personal pride) that they get to the stage where their gross obesity shortens their life, then fuck 'em. That's entirely their problem: it's pretty much natural selection, isn't it?
He said while individuals "clearly have some responsibility for their health", the rest of society should also play more of a role.

Fuck off. You might be able to make that argument for, say, passive smoking or car exhaust fumes, but not for eating.
He said the food industry should own up to the role they play through advertising and schools should be doing more to promote good diets and lifestyles.

He also called for obesity to become a core part of medical training and for public health consequences to be considered "for all decisions made in public life".

He's another interfering doctor. Please, do us a favour and go back to doing what you do best, i.e. doctoring rather than politics.

8 comments:

Mr Eugenides said...

You're wrong when you say that gross obesity is "entirely their problem". It's not. We're the ones who will have to pick up the tab for their gastric bypasses, pay for their final three-month stays in hospital, and so on.

I don't give a toss about their shortened life expectancy but only if they drop dead on the street and then are driven straight to the mortuary. Anything else is costing me money.

Anarcho's Cap said...

This sums up what is wrong with the NHS, people don't give a toss about how much their lifestyle costs becasue the marginal costs of adopting a certain lifestyle are basically 0.

I could eat Tofu (god forbid) go teetotal (shivers down my spine) and take regular excerise (well, if cricket counts, then I do) and pay exactly the same, as someone who eat's at McD every meal, drinks heavily and sits on his/her arse every day watching Trisha repeats on UK Gold.

Of course, I respect that person's right to choose whatever lifestyle they want and would defend that right against the interfering statist fucks to the death, well to the modest inconvenience anyway. BUT, I'm fucking unhappy about having to pay for the consequences. Your lifestyle = your cash.

Tinkerty tonk

Anarcho

Jens Winton said...

Another cracking post with judicious use of appropriately vulgar language. I'm struggling to see what is winding me up more: Paying for fatties or paying even more money to uncover how the politicians are screwing me over.

I think I need a lie down...

S.Weasel said...

Oh, but it's bullshit, through and through. I'd love to see numbers on which one is more expensive: medical treatment for fatties, or medical treatment for sport nuts. If you're over 50, I guarantee you know more lifelong health freaks with knee and hip replacements than you know lardasses with gastric bypass surgeries. Stuff wears out when you use it a lot, folks.

If fatties die younger, score for the state! It's not like anybody dies healthy, so we're all going to cost money when we go. And pensioners are the biggest drain on the system of all.

Anonymous said...

Im proudly drinking myself to death and its my fucking business.

Tom Paine said...

I wouldn't assume that doctoring is what he's best at. If this is an example of his reasoning, I imagine he couldn't diagnose his way out of a wet paper bag. Mr Eugenides makes the best possible argument for abolishing the NHS. Nationalising health = nationalising people's bodies, as witness his strong views about chaps of larger build like myself. If we were all paying for our own health then our choices would be our own business. Any system that makes us want to interfere in others' choices which do not directly threaten us is - by definition - wrong.

Anonymous said...

Obesity is self-inflicted, easily preventable, and shockingly expensive to treat. It has lots of downsides, and the only upside is increased chance of survival in a famine.
The non-obese should not be subsidising such a dysfunctional lifestyle.

I would like to see people being charged for obesity-related healthcare. I can't think of a better incentive to do some light exercise than the prospect of thousands of pounds worth of medical bills.

Anonymous said...

But then, as s.weasel pointed out above, there are a lot of unhealthy lifestyle choices. Should people pay extra for: obesity, smoking, crack usage, mountain climbing and any other dangerous sport, jogging, drinking, eating sweets, unprotected sex, lying in the sun, cycling ... In fact they should. The NHS should be dumped and we should all pay for health insurance. Those that can't afford it or can't be bothered to pay, should be left to die. That's called survival-of-the-fittest.