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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?

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.

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