Benefits chopped for fatties.

(116 Posts)
Iggly Thu 03-Jan-13 11:07:53

Benefits Chopped for fatties?! really?

I'm just astounded. Who shall we demonise next?

Sunnywithshowers Thu 03-Jan-13 11:19:03

That's shitty.

Prescribed gym membership still costs money.

It's not saying that all "fatties" - horrible word - will get their benefits stopped. Only those who have been "prescribed" and given a local gym membership and not used it. Even our council gym costs £60 a month. I think it's fair enough to put sanctions in place if people are being given £720 worth of facility that they're not using. If they've been prescribed it from a GP, their size is causing them medical issues.

It's fair enough to expect people to help themselves a bit.

FlimFlamMerrilyOnHigh Thu 03-Jan-13 11:33:27

It's a proposal. I seriously doubt it would even be put forward in parliament.

Iggly Thu 03-Jan-13 11:34:17

I didn't say "all".

Why pick on obsese people on benefits? What about obsese people who are working and getting NHS treatment? Should that be rationed until they lose weight?

It often is - obese working people can't get IVF unless they lose weight

orangepudding Thu 03-Jan-13 11:46:48

In my PCT obese people can't have certain operations unless they lose a certain amount of weight first, smokers can't have the same operations either.

happycake Thu 03-Jan-13 11:54:35

how would this work? if something has been prescribed to a patient by a GP, isn't that confidential information, so how would the council even know about it?

picketywick Thu 03-Jan-13 12:28:54

I would be suprised if it was ever a widespread policy. (No pun intended)

Sunnywithshowers Thu 03-Jan-13 12:30:35

My DB was prescribed a gym membership when he was unemployed. However, on benefits he couldn't afford to use it - he still had to pay a fee every time he went to the gym.

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 13:29:04

I can't see this actually happening, but if it did, it would be completely unfair.

Smokers cost a lot of money. So do drinkers and drug addicts. But they won't be targeted. Yet DLA and other sickness benefits are awarded for being a drug addict and an alcoholic.

That really isn't fair. Especially considering that genuinely disabled people are seeing their DLA applications turned down and being told they are fit for work when they aren't.

msrisotto Thu 03-Jan-13 13:33:33

You don't need a gym for fitness though, how do you monitor that though?

CotherMuckingFunt Thu 03-Jan-13 13:33:49

Perhaps if buying fresh ingredients was cheaper than fast food/ready meals this wouldn't be necessary. It astonishes me when I go back to the UK that a McDonald's is cheaper than a meat and veg meal.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 13:37:10

Obese people who are working are at least contributing to the society that will have to pay for their inevitable healthcare.

I don't think there's anything wrong with making people who don't financially contribute to society responsible for ensuring that they don't cost society any more than is necessary.

Obesity related illness costs this country a fortune, I don't see anything wrong with measures that encourage people to be responsible for their own health when their lives are already dependant on other people.

Sunnywithshowers Thu 03-Jan-13 13:38:52

I agree it's probably another one of these stupid, 'divide and rule' announcements from IDS et al.

Like happycake said above, being prescribed anything should be confidential.

Northernlebkuchen Thu 03-Jan-13 13:40:26

This is a non story, it will never happen. Exercise has been prescribed but like any other treatment it cannot be forced upon a patient. If this were a policy (which it isn't) then that would mean benefits could be cut for people who don't take their anti-depressants or their HRT or their statins or BP meds. It's absurd.

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 14:18:30

Unfortunately, I think these things will eventually happen. They are flyers at the moment and are used to test the water with teh public, but the public is being slowly moved to accept these measures, just as they have been conditioned to believe the climate catastrophe warnings.

It started in a big way with George Best and discussion of whether the NHS should pay for his liver transplant etc. Radio show discussions etc. brought it to public attention and then we have mdia pumping out stories about people who are 40 stone costing services thousands extra to be able to take them to hospital etc.

As orangepudding said, it is already beginning

'In my PCT obese people can't have certain operations unless they lose a certain amount of weight first, smokers can't have the same operations either.'

It will spread to alcoholics, binge drinkers, smokers etc. etc. and we will be told that citizens have duties as well as rights etc. etc. and just as we are told that workers should not have to subsidy shirkers, we will possibly hear similar stories about the fit subsidising the ill.

It is a disgusting move, but I think we will see it escalate over the coming years. It is about picking on people and blaming people, when the real major reason for obesity is the crap they put in our food.

People have faith in authorities and believe that what they eat is generally OK. People are unaware of some of the crap that is really put into our food by large food-processing conglomerates - crap that actually causes people to become obese. But we don't hear calls to ban it, we just hear about rationing of treatment and possible cutting of benefits unless people exercise to fight off what has been caused by crap food.

Here are some articles about high-fructose corn syrup which is in so much of our food nowadays

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Thu 03-Jan-13 14:23:46

"Westminster council and the Local Government Information Unit say new technologies such as smart cards could be used to track claimants' use of leisure centres, allowing local authorities to dock housing and council benefit payments from those who refuse to carry out exercise prescribed by their GP."

I wonder how GPs would feel if treatment they prescribed could be used as a pretext for removing people's benefits?

"I don't think there's anything wrong with making people who don't financially contribute to society responsible for ensuring that they don't cost society any more than is necessary."


Jesus is their no indignity people like you wouldn't like to see visited on the unemployed?

Being out of work is less of a burden on society than being a selfish, objectionable cunt.

JakeBullet Thu 03-Jan-13 14:26:19

Yeah didn't take long for an MNer to post an agreement did it? hmm

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 14:30:59

High fructose corn syrup is generally found most often in foods that people shouldn't be eating regularly anyway. So I don't really see that the inclusion of it in food can be blamed for obesity.

Obese people often can't have certain operations because anaesthetising them presents a bigger risk to their health than just not giving them the operation at all. Denying them the operation until they have lost weight is usually medically indicated, rather than because of some kind of fat person prejudice. The same goes for smokers. There is no point in spending NHS money on a smoking related illness when the patient is determined to waste the chance they have been given by continuing to smoke. I say that as a smoker. I don't expect to be given treatment that would either be unnecessary if I stopped smoking, or would be wasted if I continue to smoke.

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 14:35:34

If people are going to be denied treatment because of their lifestyles, then why should they pay taxes just so that non-smokers and non-drinkers can get treatment. It is divide and rule and people's lifestyles should not be judged by 'think tanks' and cost-cutting officials.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 14:43:30

If they are out of work long term, then they aren't paying taxes.

And can we try to remember that rather than damaging people, actively encouraging obese people to lose weight is in the interests of their own health! They would benefit from it, not be harmed by it!

JakeBullet Thu 03-Jan-13 14:49:15

Most crappy foods are cheaper....hence people on lower incomes buy them.

And the unemployed DO pay tax.....nothing is reduced for them VATwise . I am currently on benefits as a Carer but I still pay the same price for petrol as I did while working.

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 14:51:34

'actively encouraging obese people to lose weight'

What do you mean, by doing the following
'allowing local authorities to dock housing and council benefit payments from those who refuse to carry out exercise prescribed by their GP'

It is disgraceful. These people have paid taxes and should not be penalised in any way.

High-fructose corn syrup is in breakfast cereals, yogurts, orange juice, bread, processed meals etc. etc., even in fruit juices that we are told are healthy. These are foods eaten by millions of children and people in the country. Some of the ingredients in our food are causing obesity due to the way that they interact with leptin and insulin etc. People are not aware of what these ingedients are doing to them.

While teh 'think tanks' are being paid by someone to 'think', millions of ordinary people are out there busily working and they trust that what they eat and what is sold to them is not doing them harm. Going to a gym will not combat what some of these ingredients are doing to them.

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 14:53:06

What some people don't seem to realise is, if this does go ahead, then who is to say they won't target something else next? And something else after that. Then it might be something that would affect you. And by then it would be too late for anything to be done about it.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 14:57:41

But if this came in, and I very much doubt it ever would, then people won't have their housing or council tax benefits docked if they take medical advice given to them by doctors.

Surely expecting people to do right by their own health isn't expecting too much from people? Is it?

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 14:59:43

Exactly, SparklingSnow. It is singling people out based on their health issues and treating them differently to everybody else - what the bureaucrats and 'think tanks' call the 'carrot and stick' approach.

This singling out is unacceptable - all our citizens have the same rights to treatment and benefits that they have paid for over their lifetimes, no matter what health issues they have.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 15:02:47

So you think that because someone is a citizen of this country that they should have the same right to an operation, even if their particular health issue means that they are more at risk of death on the operating table, or that the money spent on them is going to be wasted because of personal choices they make?

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 15:04:48

'But if this came in, and I very much doubt it ever would'

It will eventually come in. That is why the George Best case was given so much publicity, in order to shift the public in that direction.

'people won't have their housing or council tax benefits docked if they take medical advice given to them by doctors'

But how do you know what teh 'advice' will be in 30 years' time, when 'targets' have to be met and 'incentives' are given to doctors and when private clinics may even be owners of gyms etc. If the advice is to jump through hoops an hour a day, that is not acceptable, when people have paid for services all their lives, and when obesity is not caused by lack of exercise, but by the crap ingredients that is allowed to be placed into our food.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Thu 03-Jan-13 15:08:22

"If they are out of work long term, then they aren't paying taxes."

You forgot the word "income" - if they are out of work then they aren't paying income tax.

They will still pay other taxes.

This is why taking low earners out of the income tax bands altogether is such a bad idea.

You'll get all these stupid wankers insisting that not paying income tax means they are parasites that can be sanctioned and punished and controlled for the gratification of people who do pay income tax.

Sunnywithshowers Thu 03-Jan-13 15:08:29

Clouds the gym isn't free - as I explained above, if you are prescribed a gym membership it's at a reduced rate.

And this doesn't take into account that people may prefer to get fit at home, because it's cheaper and easier.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 15:09:57

The George Best case was given so much publicly because he is a celebrity. He was the equivalent of David Beckham today.

Don't you think if David Beckham was in seriously ill health and having a major operation, it would be given just as much media attention as George Best was?

Maybe I'm naive, but I trust doctors when they say that doing excerise will improve an obese persons health.

expatinscotland Thu 03-Jan-13 15:10:56

Only in the UK would you ever find the government picking up the tab for gym membership, though.

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 15:11:42

' or that the money spent on them is going to be wasted because of personal choices they make?'

I don't believe that money spent on treating people and saving their lives is wasted. I believe in the rights of teh individual. I believe it was obscene for teh media and teh commentators to discuss whether George Best should be denied a liver and teh chance of a further life because he drinks.

I don't think teh 'carrot and stick' bureaucrats, councillors and 'think tanks' with their cushy pensions and perks paid for by millions of hard-working people have any right to decide who should have their benefits deducted or health treatment denied if they refuse to jog on the treadmill at the local gym. They all work for the people, not the other way round. They are public servants, not our masters, and they can stick their 'carrot and stick'.

Cezzy Thu 03-Jan-13 15:14:29

I was referred to a local gym under one of these schemes to help weight loss, I got there and because I don't receive state benefits I had to pay £25 induction fee then nearly £5 each visit, only a pound less than other users and what for: only two sessions a week we were allowed to attend from 3 to 5.30pm, which clashed with when children were coming home from school which meant each time organising childcare (no crèche facilities), soneobe to get their tea started and run them to after school activities on those days. It took 2 hours to get around before building up time spent on equipment due to lack of equipment and too many people. We also had people coming in who weren't on the scheme, taking up equipment, yet we weren't allowed in their sessions. The staff, one was very good but as the gym was on 2 floors often one room was unattended so no help or supervision and as we had a lot of elderly with chronic conditions I felt this was not acceptable. The other staff member seemed to always be in the office on the phone or chatting. Of the government want these schemes to work they need to make them welcoming and flexible. Others are no doubt better run but from my experience I was left feeling ripped off financially and not supported.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 15:14:54

I don't believe that money spent on treating people and saving their lives is wasted.

The point is that treatments don't always work and lives are unlikely to be saved if the thing that caused the problem in the first place doesn't stop happening.

That means that limited NHS funds and overstretched NHS resources are wasted on someone who isn't interested in their own health.

happycake Thu 03-Jan-13 15:15:52

Suppose this does come in, and people's visits to the gym are somehow monitored - would that also mean that what they do at the gym is monitored? couldn't they just go to the sauna or, just hang around and not actually do much exercise, or something? Will there be a specific amount of weight they have to lose or their benefits are cut off?

I'm just wondering how much dignity and control over their own lives people will be allowed to have. Presumably not much.

curryeater Thu 03-Jan-13 15:20:49

I was about 3 or 4 stone overweight after dc2 and on mat leave (low income) and slightly disabled (remains of spd hindering mobility) so I asked the nurse at my GP to help with subsidised gym membership. Very high hopes! The result was I was informed I could pay a considerable fee (a fiver or something), for hilariously precisely timed, inconvenient gym sessions. Like, a certain 45 minutes on a Tuesday afternoon, Thursday morning, Friday afternoon. So if you couldn't do one of them you couldn't do 3 times a week. And in fact it was hard to see how anyone could do any of them, if they had anything else to do at all. I couldn't do any of them, because none of them coincided with the times of the creche (which I couldn't afford anyway - I had been hoping to go in the evenings when I could get childcare). If you had any sort of work or any caring you couldn't have done it. (And remember, most people on benefits are in work)

Prob not relevant but just wanted to put my oar in about the pointlessless of any indignation about "fatteys get free gym prob wallow in jacuzzi eating cream cakes at my expense" type thing, because it ain't true

curryeater Thu 03-Jan-13 15:24:48

Cezzy, x-posted with you, sounds very familiar (although in your case you did actually make the effort to find the money, and the childcare, and get there! well done you, I couldn't get that far)

Basically these schemes are just another way to siphon money into businesses, ie, the gyms themselves call all the shots about how the sessions work so they are cheap as chips (and therefore prob useless), but they are getting public money for the "service"

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 15:31:03

'That means that limited NHS funds and overstretched NHS resources are wasted on someone who isn't interested in their own health.'

So you think that the 'carrot and stick' councillors and 'think tanks' are really more interested in the health of an individual than the individual themselves, and that cutting their housing benefit will be beneficial to their health and not increase their stress and anxiety?

Obese people are not receiving the brain signal to stop eating because the sugar and fructose is stopping the body's regulatory mechanism. They are not sent the signal that they are full and so keep on eating. It is teh ingredients in the food that are doing it. Aspartame has also been shown to make people humgrier and eat more. Aspartame which they say is a healthy sugar substitute. Have you heard any councillors and 'think tanks' warn about fructose and aspartame. Of course not.

If they really cared about people's health, they would do something about what goes into our fodd, but instead they talk about their 'carrot and stick' and about cutting people's benefits and treatment.

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 15:36:26

People can be overweight for a number of different reasons. A lot of medications cause severe weight gain. And I mean severe. So it could happen to anyone, even if you are sitting right now, thinking, "that would possible happen to me".

And then you would be lumped into that group of people who are overweight. A lot of anti-depressant medications, for example, cause severe weight gain. So causing a a person who is depressed more anxiety and humiliation is not going to help them.

And another group would get targeted next. Without a doubt it would be. And even if you are still thinking it wouldn't affect me, it would eventually. And by then it would be far too late to stop the exclusion.

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 15:37:24

That should have read, "that wouldn't possibly happen to me" not "would"

SparklingSnow Thu 03-Jan-13 15:38:44

Claig, you have it completely right.

curryeater Thu 03-Jan-13 15:54:32

yep, claig is right about the relationship between sugar, high carb (= low fat) advice, and being overweight. Fat-shaming is so unacceptable when so many fat people are physically unable to follow the standard dietary advice and be slim. (Even if not, it would still be unacceptable, but is is bitterly unacceptable under the circs)

I lost the weight by low-carbing (and the basic non-gym-requiring exercise that was possible when I finally got my physio through and had my pelvis knocked back into place). low carb is not cheap though and it is not conventionally taught either.

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 16:03:18

Very interesting article in the Mail a few days ago about leptin resistance and sugar and fructose. Very well explained.

BadDog Thu 03-Jan-13 16:03:53

Lol at title

werewolvesdidit Thu 03-Jan-13 16:12:17

What if the obese person has children ie a single parent with pre-school aged children? Will the NHS also fund the childcare element to enable the person to go to the gym? It is all just a form of divide and conquer. I am a fatty - though not on benefits - and I bet the government/capitalist state have made plenty back from all my midnight forrays to the 24hr garage in search of wispas. As far as I'm concerned all the talk of deserving/undeserving recipients of social aid is just a mild form of Nazism. How long before we start sterilising the poor/putting down the disabled?

Kendodd Thu 03-Jan-13 16:22:14

"As far as I'm concerned all the talk of deserving/undeserving recipients of social aid is just a mild form of Nazism."


You think cutting peoples benefits is in any way comparable to the murder of 12 million people?

InExitCelsisDeo Thu 03-Jan-13 16:23:22

There was a letter in The Telegraph this morning bemoaning the cost to the NHS of obese people and that as it was self- inflicted through lack of discipline then treatment should not be free. shock

But what about 'self-inflicted injuries' from sports, and bad driving etc etc etc?

Sunnywithshowers Thu 03-Jan-13 16:23:35

^^ I agree with werewolves

I'm sure none of us live blameless lives - it seems to be fashionable to judge poor people for everything. And we should remember that one day it could be us on benefits.

freetoanyhome Thu 03-Jan-13 16:24:42

First they came for....

What next? No treatment for people with cancer unless their lives were the perfection of healthiness? No treatment for a baby not aborted for disability. Your choice to have it buster. Questions if you are hit by a car to make sure you were completely attentative?

People are now conditioned against disabled people, unemployed people and now overweight people. Who next?

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 16:28:56

Agree with werewolves, Sunny and free, they are trying to get us to pigeonhole people so that they can divide and rule us and cut our benefits, treatment and services.

claig Thu 03-Jan-13 16:31:49

Good points by InExit, where will it end? Sporting accidents, reckless driving, it is never ending the ways in which they could benefits and treatment. They may even foirce us to insure against all of these things one by one so that the finance industry can make more money off us all.

MiniTheMinx Thu 03-Jan-13 16:37:51

Kendodd^You think cutting peoples benefits is in any way comparable to the murder of 12 million people?^

It was 6 million, and one of the very first things they did was demand that all Jews hand in their radios. RADIOS, yep such an innocent request. And that is how it starts.

MiniTheMinx Thu 03-Jan-13 16:42:32

Should Add, I agree with Claig, word for word on everything she has said. bang on the nose.

This is about two things, corporate profits from cheaper food manufacturing and hooking people on these foods and making the case that the state (already broke from years of corporate greed) must be shrunk and everything must be privatised. It's no accident that people on low incomes are often spending less on food but are actually more likely to be over weight.

curryeater Thu 03-Jan-13 16:42:53

The articicle Claig linked to in the Mail was good factually, but why is it illustrated by pictures of women only? Eating puddings? With their legs on show? BECAUSE WOMEN ARE DISGUSTING GREEDY FATTEYS (Men don't count)

StormyBrid Thu 03-Jan-13 16:48:30

There is a very twisted sort of logic here.

"All these fat scroungers are sitting on their couches stuffing their useless faces all day long and costing the state money. Let's take away their housing benefit, so they don't have a home with a couch any more! Then they won't be able to sit on it eating biscuits, and they'll lose weight and the problem of obesity will be miraculously cured!"

If such a scheme were implemented, would they recalculate the level of benefits deemed enough to survive on, to account for the proportion of one's meagre allowance that must be given to private gym companies in order to retain one's eligibility for benefits? Or would we be expected to spend the money put aside for the gas bill or the week's food on attending the gym or risk ending up homeless?

Lunacy. Sheer lunacy. And it scares the hell out of me that some people can't see what's wrong with the idea.

melliebobs Thu 03-Jan-13 16:59:32

Exercise on referral (or prescription) IS FREE if it's NHS if it's ran through a council it's at a subsidised rate. But it isn't as simple as 'just give them free exercise' there are loads of contraindications to exercise that some obese people meet and as a result a gym wouldn't touch them. Also a lot of GPs still dot refer patients. I work in exercise referral for a PCT and we have a whole gp surgery that refuse to refer patients even though they WANT to do it but without that gp signature they can't

expatinscotland Thu 03-Jan-13 17:11:36

Why a gym? Why does it have to be at a gym? Gyms here are expensive or offer such limited opening hours. The mentality that you can't lose weight without going to a gym needs to be challenged.

Kendodd Thu 03-Jan-13 17:12:26

Wasn't it 12 million people? Six million Jews and six million others, gypsies, gays, others.

Kendodd Thu 03-Jan-13 17:18:04

For some reason the 'others' are always forgotten.

NC78 Thu 03-Jan-13 17:19:46

they are trying to get us to pigeonhole people so that they can divide and rule us and cut our benefits, treatment and services.


curryeater Thu 03-Jan-13 17:20:26


- exercise has minimal impact on weight loss at all (at least in the traditionally recommended cardio forms) so the whole formula is misguided in thsi very simplistic sense
- but it is good for you and can be helpful for morale - and if you are very overweight you may benefit greatly from a swimming pool, or being introduced to certain pieces of kit that you use in a certain way so they will not be dangerous
- I wanted to join a gym because my normal forms of non-gym exercise were not possible with spd and I hoped to use a pool or maybe try a cross trainer or something

I agree, mony people don't need to join a gym to get some physical activity, but some people need help

Kendodd Thu 03-Jan-13 17:21:18

"You think cutting peoples benefits is in any way comparable to the murder of 12 million people?"

And I stand by this. I think comparing people having benefits cut because they won't go to the gym (not that I agree with that) with Nazism is offensive.

freetoanyhome Thu 03-Jan-13 17:21:27

the 'others' were first disabled people. demonised as useless eaters sponging off the hard working family. Look up T4/Hadamar. Then other undesirables like gypsies etc. And not a peep was raised so then they went after the jews.
Very insiduous and creeping. demonising 'the other', setting them apart from 'you'. And no fuss raised. And then one day its 'you'.
Hence the poem.

expatinscotland Thu 03-Jan-13 17:22:19

'I agree, mony people don't need to join a gym to get some physical activity, but some people need help'

Some people need help with a lot of things regarding their health - look at the eating/food threads on here. But there's eternally the question of who should or is able to pay for that.

freetoanyhome Thu 03-Jan-13 17:22:30

Is it Kendodd when 73 disabled people A WEEK are committing suicide or dying soon after their disability benefits are removed.
Each week.

Kendodd Thu 03-Jan-13 17:36:53

"73 disabled people A WEEK are committing suicide or dying soon after their disability benefits are removed"

Where did you get this? Not disputing it, interested.

freetoanyhome Thu 03-Jan-13 18:13:41

Black Triangle and there's a website that lists all names but I have forgotten what its called.

JakeBullet Thu 03-Jan-13 18:21:40


I haven't read this link but it refers to the statistic quoted and comes from the DWP.

Link is here.

Smudging Thu 03-Jan-13 18:22:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I can't see this being legal. If something is medically prescribed it is nobody's business except the patient's and their medical professionals'.

It's yet another piece of inflammatory bullshit designed to get us all squabbling amongst ourselves and demonising each other. Don't fall for it, it's government trolling wink.

If a patient is to be denied a certain treatment because of obesity, smoking or whatever then that should be a clinical decision made by qualified medical professionals and based on the benefits and risks for that patient.

Claig you are right on the money!

I don't claim benefits but I am fat through a combination of health problems and not watching what I ate during bad health times (I had a big health decline following DDs birth with very under active thyroid and anaemia and since Dx with SLE and APS after having mulitple MCS). If I were to ever claim benefits I would find it very discriminatory if my own lifestyle was a factor in whether I could claim despite working and paying my taxes for 14 years now and the average drug addict or alcoholic or smoker etc would not have the same treatment if they are of normal weight... I imagine that the long term effects of their lifestyles would rival obesity in NHS costs and yet benefits have remained untouched by the beady government scrutiny.
I don't drink, smoke or take drugs, I watch what I eat and find it extremely hard to lose weight. Funny was ever so easy to pile on nearly 3 stone in 6 months but it has taken me 6 years to lose less than 1 stone...
People demonising fat people need to remember that it is ALOT harder to lose weight than it is to gain it. Add into the mix, pre-existing medical conditions, depression, lack of money for the healthier food, lack of health education or any other reason it may be that little bit harder for the individual...
Plus...the prescribed gym memberships are for COUNCIL gyms in my area and a fee is required so, money is taken for these "fatties" being fat and they are sent the gym...then they have to pay out more of their money to the gym and therefore the COUNCIL and the added exercise may then cause issues in itself - joint and muscle pains of a person carrying 6+ stone of extra weight can be debilitating, stopping them going to the gym a second time that week... Therefore they look like fat, lazy scroungers and feed into the point the government are trying to steer us toward. It wouldn't come as a great surprise to see fat taxes and suchlike in the future...for every extra lb over a golden, weight-related number, you have to pay £1 so you don't cost the government millions with your disgusting, fat, face-stuffing ways...

piprabbit Fri 04-Jan-13 03:30:16

I can think of nothing more likely to prevent me from seeking medical help (should I need it) than the fear of being forced to exercise in a public gym.

So I would probably stop going to the GP for my repeat prescription (which I pay for) of blood pressure medication. Which is fine - NHS will save money etc. etc. - until such time as I have a stroke or heart attack and become physically too ill to exercise.

curryeater Fri 04-Jan-13 11:00:28

Right, piprabbit, it's not like compulsory school PE ever turned anyone on to sport who didn't like it already. It is probably the single greatest cause of truancy in fact!

claig Fri 04-Jan-13 11:43:16

Excellent post, NoMoreMarbles.
Shame on these 'think tanks' and councils who 'think' up these policies that punish people with penalties under the pretence of wanting to help them.

'Why a gym? Why does it have to be at a gym?'

I think it may well be what NoMoreMarbles spotted. Who owns these 'gyms', who built them? It may be that they are 'COUNCIL' gyms, built with public money, paid for by the people that these 'think tanks' now want to penalise. Maybe these 'gyms' are built in 'partnership' between councils and private companies. And who knows, maybe these gleaming 'gyms' built at public expense are near empty and are losing money and maybe councils want to claw money back by taking it from vulnerable people, forcing them to use their facilities and pay for them under the threat of removing their housing and council benefits.

I don't live in Westminster and this is, I think, a Conservative council. Just on this basis alone. I would not vote for these people. I think it is a policy that shows contempt for the people who pay the councillors' wages.

claig Fri 04-Jan-13 11:57:54

'NHS will save money etc. etc.'

I think we have to get back to basics. The NHS is not there to save money, it is there to treat people.

If we want to save money, let's cut the hundred thousand pound salaries and above of councillors and NHS trust managers, let's cut windfarm subsidies, let's cut foreign aid to countries with more billionaires than us, and let's cut BBC payouts and perks - let's not cut the services that people have paid for with their taxes.

ouryve Fri 04-Jan-13 12:01:54

There's not just the cost of the gym itself. There's not just the childcare concerns. What about people in rural areas? Our closest gyms are £6.50 return bus fare away. Who can afford that twice a week on benefits?

And the gym isn't always appropriate, anyhow. I know someone who needed to lose weight because she was pre-diabetic and having joint problems. She was sent to a gym, who told her quite plainly that they wouldn't accept her until all her medical issues had been fully investigated and were being properly managed.

Thanks claig smile again excellent point made by your good self!

It is offensive in the least to single out one group of society members but the government don't seem to be interested in avoiding offence...there would be uproar if they began harping on about alcoholics or drug addicts...often people with unhealthy lifestyles have ended up the way they are due to unavoidable environmental factors, mental health issues, abusive family situations etc
if a person turned to heroin to escape the pain/awful life they have, they are given ALOT of support, free medications, extra benefits (sickness benefit, income support etc) but turn to food and you are treated as a drain on up drugs/alcohol/overeating is all a question of willpower, especially if it comes as a comfort to you when you are alone/in pain/anguish etc
I am slowly trying to turn my health around and have been trying for a long time but, I am not infallible, and these fat beurocrats sitting in their expensive suits, at their big desks in their £100k+ jobs telling me I am undeserving of help when I need it simply because I am overweight need to piss right off!

Kendodd Fri 04-Jan-13 17:40:22

I heard this talked about on radio 4 last night.

They said the plan was to give discounts on council tax for people who did use the gym, so effectively pay people to go. No mention was made at any point of cutting benefits for people who didn't go.

I had a very quick look at the BBC website but couldn't see anything about it.

Xenia Fri 04-Jan-13 18:04:03

It has just been floated by Westminster Council as an idea.

"Obese people who refuse to exercise could have their benefits cut under controversial plans being considered by a flagship London council.

The report, published for Conservative-led Westminster City Council by think-tank the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU), points out obesity costs the NHS £1.5bn every year and comes ahead of responsibility for public health being transferred to local councils.

'A Dose of Localism: The Role of Council in Public Health' suggests GPs should prescribe exercise as treatment for some conditions - and councils could monitor patients, rewarding those who take activity while restricting payments such as council tax and housing benefit for those who do not."

The article floats the suggestion that MPs' food allowances particularly that of Eric Pickles perhaps ought to be cut too.

We could also ban processed food and ensure all parents know that the best drink for children is tap water and that even fresh orange juice is not a health food.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 04-Jan-13 18:23:32

Gym membership is not needed to exercise so if costs need to be cut I can see why this is being considered as its a non essential service.

As for the argument on taxes, if you are not working the you are not paying income tax and if claiming benefits then neither are you paying the vat, the state is as its their money in the first place being spent.

JakeBullet Fri 04-Jan-13 19:10:54

What about those of us who receive maintenance payments HappyMummy?
I pay VAT the same as anyone else does.

I don't get my petrol, shopping, clothing any cheaper than you do (although I try to buy second hand where clothes are concerned).

Fact is that it still goes back to the Govt.

JakeBullet Fri 04-Jan-13 19:12:04

I agree regarding gym membership btw. It benefits very few although I have seen it be very useful for recovering cardiac patients.

PurpleTinsel Sat 05-Jan-13 00:01:03

I think local councils should look at making it easier for people to eat healthily / harder for people to eat badly, before they start penalising fat people for not going to the gym.

Most of the towns near me have lots of takeaways selling fattening unhealthy food - less of those would make it harder for people to overindulge on junk food.

cinnamonnut Sat 05-Jan-13 16:11:29

^ So what do you suggest? Closing takeaways and closing businesses?

Those people have a choice whether to eat or not eat from takeaways - which are already really expensive to eat regularly anyway.

piprabbit Sat 05-Jan-13 16:19:51

But the council could make it a condition of giving the takeaway permission to open, that they have to have a bouncer and scales on the door to prevent fat people entering.

Then we could make it illegal for skinny people to supply fat people with unhealthy food, to prevent the fatties from asking their friends to buy them chips.

cinnamonnut Sat 05-Jan-13 16:28:14


timidviper Sat 05-Jan-13 16:39:25

It is very frustrating in healthcare though that a sizeable proportion of patients don't want any solution that requires them to make any changes or effort, they want some kind of magic pill. This, although it is not a perfect solution, is probably an attempt to get this group of people to accept some responsibility for their own health.

As an example, evidence shows that patients with some lung diseases have a hugely better prognosis from stopping smoking and gentle exercise than from any drug therapy yet we regularly refer patients to smoking cessation or exercise on prescription who then don't turn up (having said they understand all this and agreed, sometimes even quite enthusiastically, to go)

You have to remember that these sessions are staffed and paid for by the NHS even if the patient doesn't turn up so why should we all pay for that if they are not, in some way, censured?

TrippingTheLifeFantastic Sat 05-Jan-13 16:47:15

Why is it okay to refer to overweight people as "fatties"? Horrible title.

Xenia Sat 05-Jan-13 16:54:50

It is much more complex than just free will. Some people over eat and it is like an addiction. They need help in changing the types of foods they eat rather than a one off diet.

insancerre Sat 05-Jan-13 17:00:44

But what if they rigged all the exercise bikes up to the national grid? Then we wouldn't need the nuclear power stations they plan to build.
That's not a serious suggestion by the way, but neither is the plan in the article.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Sat 05-Jan-13 17:48:30

There are more holes in this proposal than in swiss cheese!

It is thoroughly unworkable.

It is also grossly unfair to target one 'group'. I agree with everything Claig (and others posting similarly) has said.

It is astounding, that people who should know better, are supporting this, people who I had assumed actually had a brain. Just goes to show how well people can hide their stupidity on an internet forum.

piprabbit Sat 05-Jan-13 17:58:28

cinnamonnut - just checking that you didn't think my idea was a serious suggestion for addressing the consumption of take away food. I'm starting to think I should have added a LOL or a hmm or a grin.

mercibucket Sat 05-Jan-13 18:08:38

These thinktanks float all kind of 'outrageous' ideas, to soften us up, and soon enough they will be mainstream
Look how quickly one or two turn up on here to applaud the idea
This government is treading a very very dangerous path - encouraging the worst in each of us and pitting group against group. Why? Who would benefit while we all fight amongst ourselves? The government, of the rich.
It is dangerous because of where it can lead. People have a very dark side to them. We forget this because in our own lives we haven't seen it. But we see the consequences on tv and throughout history. Most people who commit atrocities under state direction would be perfectly normal, decent citizens in a different time and place.
I also see this as another step towards fascism. Many normal people have supported fascism. The consequences are horrific.

cinnamonnut Sat 05-Jan-13 18:15:00

I actually wasn't 100% sure grin

piprabbit Sat 05-Jan-13 19:38:41

Glad that's cleared up grin

claig Sat 05-Jan-13 21:16:20

Labour are saying that they want to do something about what goes into our fodd. Good on them.

cinnamonnut Sun 06-Jan-13 10:25:47

I really don't think the food should just be made illegal like that!

Xenia Sun 06-Jan-13 12:54:48

We could simply ban the entirety of processed food. That would improve health at a stroke. We are now the second fattest nation on the planet. It is not just a joke. It's a really serious issue.

People think children's cereals are healthy but even if it's pure porridge you are just feeding stodge ie carb and dairy. Give them eggs, meat, bacon, veg, water, not toast and jam and cereals and milk

uptheamp Sun 06-Jan-13 12:58:01

why do we want to improve health though? we already are living way too long and can't cope with the amount of elderly we have

don't want to give up my frosties just to add ten years of misery to my life thanks. would rather not be old and useless

Xenia Sun 06-Jan-13 13:24:15

There is certainly the argument that the overweight die young (there are very very few fat old people ) which saves teh NHS a fortune but I believe the sums show that the cost of the diabetes and other health problem care is huge compared to what is saved from early deaths.

Frosties do not make you happy. Sugar causes a brief sugar high and then you crash which is why depression levels are currently so high. The route to happiness is in three healthy meals a day sans Frosties. Even bread and ketchup have sugar in them.

ouryve Sun 06-Jan-13 13:30:32

Children (and adults) need calcium, Xenia. And I think our diets already rely too heavily on meat.

Besides, processed food alone is not the culprit. It's portion sizes, plain and simple.

Xenia Sun 06-Jan-13 13:38:58

Processed foods and soft drinks are 100% the culprit. Nothing to do with portion sizes.

"A. In the U.S., calcium intake is one of the highest in the world. Yet paradoxically, we also have one of the highest rates of bone de-mineralization (osteoporosis). Bone mineral content is dependent not just upon calcium intake but upon net calcium balance (calcium intake minus calcium excretion). Most nutritionists focus upon the calcium intake side of the calcium balance equation, however few realize that the calcium excretion side of the equation is just as important.

Bone health is substantially dependent on dietary acid/base balance. All foods upon digestion ultimately must report to the kidney as either acid or base. When the diet yields a net acid load (such as low-carb fad diets that restrict consumption of fruits and vegetables), the acid must be buffered by the alkaline stores of base in the body. Calcium salts in the bones represent the largest store of alkaline base in the body and are depleted and eliminated in the urine when the diet produces a net acid load. The highest acid-producing foods are hard cheeses, cereal grains, salted foods, meats, and legumes, whereas the only alkaline, base-producing foods are fruits and vegetables. Because the average American diet is overloaded with grains, cheeses, salted processed foods, and fatty meats at the expense of fruits and vegetables, it produces a net acid load and promotes bone de-mineralization. By replacing hard cheeses, cereal grains, and processed foods with plenty of green vegetables and fruits, the body comes back into acid/base balance which brings us also back into calcium balance.

The Paleo Diet recommends an appropriate balance of acidic and basic (alkaline) foods (i.e., lean meats, fish and seafood, fruits, and vegetables) and will not cause osteoporosis in otherwise healthy individuals. Indeed, the Paleo Diet promotes bone health.

For more information, see The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based on Paleolithic Food Groups and Paleo Diet Acid/Base Balance Table."

ouryve Mon 07-Jan-13 11:29:10

Well, if that's the type of diet you believe in (I tend to believe we've evolved a bit in the past 10,000 years), you'd better knock bacon out of it because that's pretty heavily processed.

Xenia Mon 07-Jan-13 11:51:50

It's always a compromise. If you look at the low car bootcamp threads on mumsnet it is also one of the most common ways of eating too - it's not a diet for a short time. It is just a way to eat which means you stay happy and healthy and a good weight.

Kendodd Tue 08-Jan-13 13:13:21

"Processed foods and soft drinks are 100% the culprit"

What do we have absolutely no responsibility for our own behaviour?

PurpleStorm Tue 08-Jan-13 23:31:58

It's a lot easier for someone to overeat and get fat if they're eating processed food & soft drinks, compared with eating unprocessed foods. Processed foods & soft drinks tend to be calorie dense, and often don't fill you up for as long as unprocessed foods & drinks.

And there's a lot of processed food around these days. For example, if you're out and about, get hungry and want a snack, it's a lot easier to find junk food than it is to find a healthy alternative, unless you've planned ahead and brought a healthy snack with you. And in supermarkets, there's usually plenty of very visible special offers on processed foods.

We do all have responsibility for their own behaviour - but the environment we live in makes it very easy for us all to eat processed food.

edam Sat 12-Jan-13 23:31:29

Maybe Westminster councillors should discuss this policy with Eric Pickles, the local government minister. And if they can do it without laughing - without the tiniest, tiniest hint of a grin - they get the chance to put it into practice.

Except no, because that would depend on GPs wanting to do the dirty work of Tory councillors - councillors who draw pretty generous 'allowances' from the taxpayer for pulling this kind of stunt.

Darkesteyes Sun 13-Jan-13 17:47:49

What edam said.

Smudging Sun 13-Jan-13 21:32:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

claig Mon 14-Jan-13 00:07:11

I agree with Xenia about bacon and eggs. Bacon contains lots of nutrients, particularly in the fat

Here is something saying that nitrites/nitrates are not as bad as we are often told.

Not sure about this, but lots of things we have been told about food by the "experts" has turned out to be wrong. They used to tell us that eggs were bad for us and they are very healthy, and they rarely mention the harm that high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and GM ingredients can do.

Smudging Mon 14-Jan-13 07:25:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smudging Mon 14-Jan-13 07:35:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tilder Mon 14-Jan-13 07:50:16

I can't quite belive this thread is for real.

For starters, the proposal is unworkable. So no worries there.

It isn't one or two ingredients that cause people to be fat, its eating too much of anything amd moving too little. Although the more calories, then yes the more likely it is to pile on the weight.

Yes some procedures may be weight limited. This is for several reasons, losing the weight may be curative, doing the procedure when obese may carry an unacceptable risk to the patients health, it can even be physically difficult to perform a procedure.

And no, I don't believe the Nazi's are coming.

tilder Mon 14-Jan-13 07:54:05

I can't bring myself to flick on a link spouting bacon and eggs to be the healthiest breakfast.

Wonderful to see so many links on one thread to such a reputable, scientifically and medically respected publication that never posts bollocks, contradictions or inaccuracies.

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