Why is it that some of the most disturbing stories I read about the treatment of fat people and their families comes out of the U.K? I'm sure it has something to do with them being a small island nation and purposely isolated for so much of history. In any case, while browsing through the latest http://www2.macleans.ca/ (January 21st edition, page 32) I found a story titled "Fat and On Welfare? Look Out". Look out indeed! A proposal from the Local Government Information Unit of Westminister would have fat people in London lose money on their benefit payments depending on how often they go to the gym.
Thankfully the idea has drawn nothing but criticism from doctors, but oddly enough this hasn't daunted the Information Unit in the slightest. They say it's time to get 'radical' on the obesity problem since doctors haven't been able to solve it. Um, I don't think it gets much more radical than pumping your own stomach or having surgery to rearrange and mutilate your digestive system. That's where we're at right now in the War on Obesity Fat People. That this Unit wants to save money is absolutely clear; it's not about encouraging healthy habits, this is about pinching pennies and doing what they feel is best for the bottom line. Disgusting. (You can see the full proposal HERE)
Now, juxtapose that Maclean's story with this one from the Mirror, a UK publication: Starving children surviving on just a jam sandwich a day. From the Mirror-"These shocking revelations lay bare the plight of thousands of families as children as young as four are found to be malnourished.
The Sunday Mirror has exposed the shocking statistics of Food Bank Britain, where 250,000 people used the charity-run food depots last year.
The Trussell Trust now has more than 250 food banks nationwide and today we talk to people who have had to turn to them as a last resort."
Are these families going to lose their benefits if one of the kids or parents is fat, and doesn't go to the gym as the doctor prescribed? Who's going to pay for the family to go and do this exercise, or pay for the sitter to watch the kids while mom and/or dad go?