Saturday, December 16, 2006

Obesity in UK could bankrupt National Health System :: BBC

Another one for the "people respond to incentives" file.

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.

He 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.

"So we need to think out of the box, nothing that has been looked at so far seem to have worked."

He said while individuals "clearly have some responsibility for their health", the rest of society should also play more of a role.

Actually, the rest of society is playing a role in the UK - by funding the NHS through taxes. That's the problem. Individuals do not have financial responsibility for their health choices.

Here's an interesting suggestion - shame:
[Experts] said action was needed by all of society and even recommended a helpline for people who bought larger clothes.

The number should be promoted on the labels of all clothes sold with a waist of more than 40in (102cm) for men, 37in (94cm) for boys, 35in (88cm) for women, and 31in (80cm) for girls.
. . .
But Janice Bhend, a former editor of Yes magazine, which targets larger women, said the idea of a clothes phone line was a "ghastly idea".

"We need to come at it from a different angle but I don't think the fat police need to start telling us to phone a helpline."

She added it was enough to make people depressed.
Yes, and many people gain weight when they are depressed.

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Blogger secretdubai said...

individuals "clearly have some responsibility for their health"

"some" responsibility? When it comes to wilful acts damaging to health, I think they should take full responsibility. To my mind it's high time we had a two-tier public health system where smokers, junkies, alcoholics and overeaters got slower/lower priority treatment (or no treatment, in the case of people like George Best), and the waiting lists were cut down for health-abiding people.

10:38 PM  

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