Obese who refuse to exercise 'could face benefits cut'
3 January 2013
Overweight or unhealthy people who refuse to attend exercise sessions could have their benefits slashed, in a move proposed by Westminster Council.
GPs would also be allowed to prescribe leisure activities such as swimming and fitness classes under the idea.
The Tory-controlled council said the aim was to save £5bn from the NHS budget when local authorities take over public health provision from April.
BMA member and GP Dr Lawrence Buckman called the idea "draconian and silly".
The measures are contained in a report entitled A Dose of Localism: The Role of Council in Public Health, in a link-up between Westminster Council and the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU).
Under the proposals, overweight benefit claimants could have their money docked if they refuse exercise regimes prescribed by doctors.
Smart cards would be brought in to monitor the use of leisure centres, meaning local authorities could reduce welfare payments for those who fail to follow their GP's advice.
Resident, housing and council tax benefit payments "could be varied to reward or incentivise residents", the report said.
It claims "early intervention techniques" could help save more lives and money.
These include linking welfare payments to healthy lifestyles and rewarding those who take responsibility for their own health, the report's authors claim.
Red tape would be cut for "non-alcoholic venues" to encourage a more responsible approach to drinking, which the report says was promised but never delivered by the change to 24-hour licensing laws.
British Medical Association GP committee chairman Dr Buckman, a GP in north London, called the proposals "some of the silliest things I've heard in a long time".
"When I was first told about this I thought it was a joke," he said.
He added: "The best way [councils] can intervene is to stop restaurants and fast-food chains providing the kind of food that make people put on weight, and interfere with the way foods are sold in shops."
Obesity support organisation Big Matters spokeswoman Susannah Gilbert said: "It would be fairer to use the money to support people rather than to penalise people.
"Any plans for health should be holistic," she added. "Some people have emotional issues to do with food.
"A fast-food generation need support in the long term."
But Jonathan Carr-West, acting chief executive of the LGiU, said the proposals offered "a win-win" solution.
He said the proposals were about "finding innovative ways to both improve people's lives so they don't suffer from these conditions, while also saving money for the public purse".
"We have to look at ways of managing demand, of helping people not to need such expensive health interventions," he said.
He said the proposals would "help people lead healthier, happier lives".
Westminster council leader Philippa Roe said: "This report contains exactly the sort of bright, forward-thinking and radical ideas that need to be looked at.
"The potential improvements to the nation's health and to the public purse could be significant."
But the change to local authority control over public health has led many councils to voice concerns about how much money they will get and the formula that central government will use to allocate funding.
The public health funding announcement was originally expected on 19 December.
I'm sure many on DL would support such measures.
This board is not exactly known for its friendliness to fatties.
This board isn't know for anything much anymore except frau and fattie hate.
It's gotten so dull around here. Where did everyone go?
Are you an eldergay, R4?
Nanny state fuckers. It was inevitable. And they're coming your "vices" next.
Unless a bureacracy is set up to monitor how much people really exercise, and how much their health is benefitting, this is just another example of assholes cutting benefits and shaming the poor.
R6, are you saying people who deliberately damage their health should have all of their expenses paid for?
I say it's none of your fucking business, R8.
It *is* our fucking business R9, because we pay for their disability benefits and healthcare bills.
Everybody wants more benefits, so long as someone else pays.
Why should you get to charge your obesity expenses on my nickel, R9?
R10, you and R11 trot out the same stupid argument, as if your "nickel" entitles you to anything about my life. What if we decide sterilizing you would save us millions a year?
Can't you see this is the same type of argument right-to-lifers use to invade women's bodies? Your _______ (fill in the blank cause) does not give you rights to tell me what to do with my body. And invading privacy and personal lives for monetary reasons is quite simply evil and immoral.
That's a lovely fairy world you live in, R12, where money grows on trees, and irresponsible personal actions have no consequences!
How do the rest of us get in?
Butt sex should be banned since it's the leading transmission of HIV. Why should I pay for your poor decision to engage in the activity?
See how that works now?
I can't be responsible for your lack of ethical maturity, R13.
Let them fight each other, so they won't come after us!
Fatties, bad! Fatties very very bad! See the scapegoat? Fattie there! Go and get it!
That's a straw man argument. There is an evolving consensus in the western world that homosexuality is a normal, healthy expression of human sexuality.
Obesity is nowhere regarded as normal or healthy. It is like smoking.
R15, I *would* support your using your welfare benefits to buy Marlboro's and Krispy Kremes.
Just to show you I have a heart.
[quote]There is an evolving consensus in the western world that homosexuality is a normal, healthy expression of human sexuality.
I can do lots of things legally that you can't though.
Again, a tired and clumsy argument, R17. Just this week, there are now studies showing that the moderately obese may actually live longer than thin people. Regardless, even if it's fatally harmful, what a person chooses to do with his/her body remains his/her own.
I presume you're then also in favor of drug laws and alcohol prohibition? Those are also immoral and for the same reasons.
You have a lot of nerve sticking your beak into my face. Don't be surprised if I bite it.
Ok, perhaps I don't understand this, but if you are on the dole, you'd get free health club memberships, etc. and you might be penalized if you don't use the perks? Where is the problem there? Damn, I'd love it if swimming, yoga, aerobics, etc. was paid for by the government.
I think most of us here support a national health care system. All some of us are saying is that there may come a time where there is some sort of penalty fee paid by those who damage the health care system with their obesity compared to those who are sick or injured through no fault of their own.
You are foolish if you assume that obesity is entirely the "fault" of the individual. It often is not. Many obese eat better/less than you do, R22.
BTW, lots and lots of people think homosexuality is a choice and that gay sex is a health risk.
Are YOU prepared to pay a penalty tax too?
You're conflating 2 different issues, R23
[quote] You are foolish if you assume that obesity is entirely the "fault" of the individual. It often is not. Many obese eat better/less than you do.
Sure they do...
Thanks OP for posting this, that is wonderful news!
obese people's holes smell the best
[quote]There is an evolving consensus in the western world that homosexuality is a normal, healthy expression of human sexuality.
First off - LMFAO!!!
Second, a 'growing consensus' means what? That because the masses believe something to be so, it's justified?
God, you are too fucking stupid.
Living by a 'consensus,' is not actually a positive thing. We should live by fact, not mob rule.
And BTW, no, the masses do not believe butt sex to be normal, or healthy.
Here's a thought: deny benefits to the willfully stupid! You better never lose your job, or become sick, stupid.
R20, your arguments are captious and irrational.
1. The question is not of longevity, but of healthcare costs. Longevity is irrelevant.
2. One swallow does not a summer make. See attached on BMI and healthcare risks.
3. We tax attache user taxes to cigs and alcohol, a penalty to users, because they are known to have huge societal costs. Why not make the obese pay, as well?
You want your free lunch, that's all. Typical entitled, self-righteous douchebag.
[quote]Damn, I'd love it if swimming, yoga, aerobics, etc. was paid for by the government.
Spoken like a true commie. Not everyone is you, hon.
[quote]All some of us are saying is that there may come a time where there is some sort of penalty fee paid by those who damage the health care system with their obesity compared to those who are sick or injured through no fault of their own.
Same goes for those who don't use condoms, and contract HIV.
[quote]You're conflating 2 different issues, [R23]
No, they aren't. You just don't want to accept it. Go after obesity, you can go after anal sex. Why should I have to pay for your screw-ups?
R28, you are too stupid to live.
You live in a democracy. By definition, that is rule by consensus. Unless you have the phone line to God and eternal truth, that's the best a society can do.
By scientific consensus, obesity poses major health risks. Just like smoking.
[quote]3. We tax attache user taxes to cigs and alcohol, a penalty to users, because they are known to have huge societal costs. Why not make the obese pay, as well?
Tax bad food. See, you're an idiot. You want to go after the fatties because you can't stand the sight of them. No where did you post "drug addicts," just 'cigs' and alcohol. Being fat to you is worse. The gay community houses some of the vilest creatures on the planet.
[quote]You want your free lunch, that's all. Typical entitled, self-righteous douchebag.
This is why society hates you.
[quote]I presume you're then also in favor of drug laws and alcohol prohibition? Those are also immoral and for the same reasons.
Of course he doesn't. The gay community is full of those people. Hell, he's probably one of them. He just wants to pass judgement on the ugly. Gay men have a lot of self-loathing, and low self-esteem. They lash out at fat people to make themselves feel better, then they play the victim.
Read a little philosophy or science. Karl Popper, Paul Feyerabend, Thomas Kuhn. Christ, even a little Nietzsche.
And then come back and tell us all about your "facts".
R34, nothing I said indicated a hatred of fat people. You are either projecting, or simply being ad hom.
Whatevs. No point discussing it with you.
Why don't you just emigrate to Greece, since that's the kind of society you apparently want to live in? Nobody pays, everybody collects! It's working quite well over there.
It's tough. Governments want to do SOMETHING to discourage obesity. The question is what. Alcohol and cigarettes are regulated; public health programs outline the cause of AIDS. Anti-obesity is next. It's not punishment.
Oh, and..."Many obese eat better/less than you do, [R22]." Bullshit and excuse-making, but thank you!
obese people pollute the world
R35 etc acts like this is some gay sonspiracy. The only way she can handle it is to compare it to homosexuality.
[quote]The gay community houses some of the vilest creatures on the planet.
The few pigs you encounter here are not representative of "the gay community" R34
So, put a sin tax on junk food the same as cigs and alcohol. That way you aren't punishing the person for being fat, you are taxing everyone who eats unhealthy food. Plenty of thin people eat too much junk too. They just have higher metabolisms.
[quote]Oh, and..."Many obese eat better/less than you do, [[R22]]." Bullshit and excuse-making, but thank you!
Uh, no, dimwit @ R38! Case in point: Most people can eat whatever the fuck they want in their 20's. Heck, I lived on pizza, mac-n-cheese, McD's and Sprite--and I was too skinny. I, like most people, weigh more now in middle age than I did then, but I eat MUCH better/healthier/less. Metabolisms vary widely among people and even in the same person over time.
R33 we live in a Republic, not a rule by consensus at all. Back to 2nd grade for you.
r31, Yes! I agree with your HIV point as well! Imagine how much better - and cheaper - INSURANCE would be if there were no fatties and no HIV!.
I'll go you one better, OP. Those who have undergone orthopedic procedures through the national health service and who are caught smoking afterwards, will have their benefits cut because their spine or joints are less likely to heal correctly.
Oh, and those with mental health conditions, who stop taking their psychotropic meds on their own and/or stop attending counseling will have their benefits cut.
And, while we're at it, those who drive and cause an accident may find any of a variety of benefits cut. Meanwhile, those who cause an accident while driving and don't get benefits, will find their tax burdens increased for to support EMS and police services for problems they've caused.
I could go on all day.
[quote] Ok, perhaps I don't understand this, but if you are on the dole, you'd get free health club memberships, etc. and you might be penalized if you don't use the perks? Where is the problem there? Damn, I'd love it if swimming, yoga, aerobics, etc. was paid for by the government.
EVERYONE in the UK gets healthcare, regardless of whether they are on the dole or not. This does not just affect those on "the dole."
They'll be coming after your healthful glass of red wine sooner or later.
One problem is that the government doesn't know what junk food is. They think soy products are health food, and that canola oil is better for you than coconut oil. They think a bagel with fat-free cream cheese is better for you than bacon and eggs.
I'm not overweight, and I don't need the .gov telling me what to eat. I love Britain and hate to see what's going on there, especially in England. The elites in both parties hate their own people even more than ours do in the US.
My gut feeling is that the elites behind both parties want to get rid of the NHS. Tories want to gut the welfare state, and Labour wants to overload the system so they can just get rid of it. And shut the barn door, for God's sake. If the US were as crowded as Britain we'd have 3.5 billion people here. Your island's not getting any bigger.
Shocking. The homophobic fat fraus derailed yet another thread on DL.
[quote]I'm not overweight, and I don't need the .gov telling me what to eat.
Not rewarding obese people who ignore doctor's advice and refuse to even lift a finger to help themselves is not dictating diet.
You're free to be obese. You just won't get paid as much for it.
I thought that at least half of DL-ers are fat or have weight issues. This thread will go a long way...
Why not just round them up and put them in camps?
[quote]GPs would also be allowed to prescribe leisure activities such as swimming and fitness classes under the idea.
If it's scripted, aren't they just going to get more fat people shitting in the pool and taking up double floormats?
They are going to penalize healthy people be forcing them to deal with fatties year-round at the gym.
I'm amazed that some of the posters on this thread don't realize this is a slippery slope.
It starts with going after the overweight, but where does it end? Anyone who smokes could be denied coverage. Also anyone who drinks. Then comes mandatory drug testing. It's not long until there's forced termination of pregnancy, which would save the state an astronomical amount of money. Everyone gets to have one child, then has to submit to sterilization. Male homosexuals could be denied coverage due to risk of HIV. Some occupations are inherently high risk, so out with them. Anyone who owns certain breeds of dogs could be excluded.
It's a brave new world.
This is from BBC News about a proposal in the UK.
But it's certainly something that is needed in America since there are even more fatties here.
No one is talking about the "moderately" obese. But for fuck's sake, people who are 100 pounds overweight?
Like any other addiction, there comes a point where the addict cannot help himself, R55. The joints take a pounding and there's pain during any physical exertion.
Lap-band or gastric bypass would probably (talking out of my ass, of course) be more cost effective in the long run than depending on obese people to take their weight seriously.
Of course, then you'd have bags of sagging flesh who have to eat tiny meals six times a day.
I agree there should be some real actions done about the morbidly obese. We are having to redesign things because society wasn't built to accodomate their fatasses and it is also a huge drain on the healthcare system.
The obesity epidemic is a real thing and has to be taken seriously.
True, R57. Ambulances and hospitals are now having to purchase and design equipment that is big enough to carry someone who is 1,000 pounds.
If you can't control yourself, then don't get on benefits. Simple as that. Why should the taxpayer subsidize your addiction to junk food and your desire to sit in front of the TV all day munching on Cheetos? If you're taking money from the state, then you need to lay off the Ho-Hos until you can pay for them yourself.
Agree with the ones who like this. Iv'e had it with all the lard asses running around.
Are they going to do the same thing to those who smoke, do drugs, drive without a seatbelt, have unsafe sex, don't keep good oral health and drink? What about those he eat very unhealthy foods but don't get fat? They are just as likely to develop health problems.
Me too, R60. Except I've had it with all the homos running around.
"Governments want to do SOMETHING to discourage obesity."
They shouldn't. You want to stuff your face and gain five hundred pounds, it's your choice. Not saying it's right, but there are other pressing issues than this horseshit.
Do something about the millions of people who go to bed hungry every night. It's disgusting that obesity is bitched about so much while starvation is given such short shrift. Shows what a selfish, materialistic society we've become.
R62 is the lard-ass false equivalence troll.
Trying to compare being obese to being gay is incredibly weak. One is a sexual orientation. The other is an addiction to food that is killing your body and causing you to be a burden on society.
You can compare being obese to say, being a alcoholic or some other addiction that is unhealthy. But really, give your gay straw man a rest.
True, R64. For some reason somebody here keeps trying to justify obesity by bringing up being gay.
"You can compare being obese to say, being a alcoholic or some other addiction that is unhealthy."
No you can't.
Stop making a fool out of yourself.
Because you are too dim to understand that rights and freedoms are relative, R66. Strong OTT analogies are needed to get logic to penetrate skulls of concrete.
Homosexuality = genetic and occurs everywhere in nature.
Obesity = a choice, and restricted to the human race (and the pets they force feed to make themselves feel better).
No, R68. Being OTT compromises your argument. People tune out. Your point gets lost in all the baggage. Give it a little more thought and you won't need it to get your point across.
Your earlier point about taxing the junk food rather than punishing the individual made good sense
First there were Death Panels, now there are Death Camps for Fatties.
I don't know that this is the best way to solve a major public health problem, but I respect them for taking steps to promote healthier lifestyles.
Tory scum. This article could have been summed up so much more easily.
Why persecute people, fat or otherwise?
I think you miss the broader point, R73.
We are now living in a world in which a huge segment of the population is overweight or obese. That is costing billions and billions of dollars.
What policy choices do you suggest in order to address that?
[quote] What policy choices do you suggest in order to address that?
Oooh, I dunno - maybe taxing the rich at a flat rate and making businesses in the UK such as Starbucks pay the real tax rates?
Or... maybe not getting involved in the U.S.'s oil wars and putting billions towards defense?
Hey, maybe even not having huge white elephants like the Jubilee and the frigging Millennium Dome, on which billions was spend.
L'il things like that. But mainly the first.
Many fat people are that way because they are busy working office jobs and then taking lengthy commutes home.
In addition, what passes for food at lunch time is an HFC-ridden piece of fake food. This processed food makes them too tired to workout, and it goes double for those that have children or others to care for.
Americans are exhausted, physically and emotionally, and our obesity rates reflect that. Oh, and anyone taking any sort of medication is prone to weight gain as well.
We need clean food. And safe streets to walk on. And a little compassion wouldn't hurt either.
Did you know that many Starbucks franchises do not pay rent? They are considered such an attraction to a site that they get free space.
Pleas R76. Those reasons explain why someone is overweight or why they are slightly obese.
However the huge fatasses running around everywhere are because they have an addiction to shoveling large amounts of crap food into their body. You don't get that fat by not going to a gym and having a cheeseburger at lunch. It takes work and they should be encouraged to deal with their problem.
[quote]Many fat people are that way because they are busy working office jobs and then taking lengthy commutes home.
This is a joke, right?
Not in Manhattan R77, I CAN ASSURE YOU OF THAT
No R79, not a joke. I work over 10 hours most days, spend up to 3 hours travelling. I sleep 8 hours, and that leaves me with 3 hours for everything else during the day.
And I was at my heaviest when I had longer commutes with three hours left at night myself.
And, for some reason, I never slept well, which only compounded the fatigue and lunchtime pig-outs.
But where does the weight gain come in? Unless you are overeating, you should not be fat just because you work in an office or have a long commute.
I've done both over the years and have never been fat. And when I was younger and had more time to work out I was almost as ripped as Taylor Lautner.
[quote]I'm amazed that some of the posters on this thread don't realize this is a slippery slope.
The slope started back with the smoking laws. This is exactly where anyone with a brain knew we were headed next.
For those of you arguing for nanny state action due to health costs, notice how much cheaper your insurance has become since the 70s when everyone smoked! (not)
Exercise doesn't do nearly as much for weight loss as people want it to.
A better approach might be for the government to pay fatties to run on large public treadwheels. That could also be used to generate electricity and provide quality green energy.
I hear you R183. Eat healthy small meals drink a lot of water and exercize.
I think Mrs. Obama has had a great effect in bringinbg this issue to the front of the line. not just in this country but world wide. It a huge issue that should have been delt with long ago. Thank goodness this is her pet issue. I for one wll always be thankful people are FNALLY taking this seriously.
LOLZ R86! Great idea.
It's appalling how fat some of the British actors get as they become older.
[quote]And when I was younger and had more time to work out I was almost as ripped as Taylor Lautner.
Mary! Smell YOU!
And thats a bad thing R71? How about death camps for gang-bangers.
[quote] Obese who refuse to exercise 'could face benefits cut'
I don't think that will happen. The people will say forcing them to exercise is against their human rights. They'll take it to the human rights court and win. They'll also get a nice settlement for their rights being violated
[quote]For those of you arguing for nanny state action due to health costs, notice how much cheaper your insurance has become since the 70s when everyone smoked! (not)
The structural problems of exploding US healthcare costs due to privatization and corporatocracy is separate from the free-rider problem of people who are never asked to pay for their own irresponsible decisions.
Both need to be addressed.