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Latest nannying nonsense from the NHS: quacks to get paid for telling people they’re fat

Fat
The Telegraph had fun over the weekend with this story: from next year, GPs will receive a payment for every patient they advise to lose weight. This is planned even despite the fact that doctors already get money for keeping lists of those who weigh too much.

Time for some basic, blunt truths. In a free society, the number of adults who are fat closely corresponds with the number of adults who choose to be fat. Granted, there are some – very few – who have genuine, medical conditions which mean they gain weight despite their own actions. But almost all people gain weight because of their own actions. We know that alcohol and fatty foods make us fat, but we still eat them, because we like them.

But here we are being "educated" by the state once again. Does the NHS (which isn't free; we pay for it involuntarily through the tax taken from us) really think that people don't know that burgers and fries are fattening?

Yet another bit of "nudging", eh – just like hiding the salt, or banning advertising of certain foods at certain times. Your snack of choice will have a warning on it like ciggies before you know it, at this rate.

Of course, doctors have never seen a cash cow they've turned down. Under this plan, they will boost their income by giving “weight management advice” to obese patients, or offer them a free place on a diet club, which the NHS (AKA you and I) would pay for.

I'm not arguing that obesity is good. I'm just pointing out that it's not the state's role to nanny us about it, or to force some of us to pay for others to receive diet club memberships – or, worse, force us to pay for quacks to spout the bleeding obviuos.

By Alex Deane

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Home

10 Responses to Latest nannying nonsense from the NHS: quacks to get paid for telling people they’re fat

  1. herewegoagain

    Another problem with this is that when a patient goes to see his/her GP he/she has a short time for the appointment. Does this mean that GPs are going to alienate themselves from their patients by upsetting them by telling them they are fat and then not have time for the matter that the patient actually wanted the appointment for?
    Overweight people may stop going to see their GP in fear of being told they are fat.

  2. Paul

    Does this mean that GPs are going to alienate themselves from their patients by upsetting them by telling them they are fat and then not have time for the matter that the patient actually wanted the appointment for?
    Particularly when the GP is, in fact, fat themselves!

  3. Jason

    GPs have been apart of the state’s surveillance network for quite sometime. Being fat might be the latest obsession but just look around the waiting area at the posters – if you have any of the things mentioned on the boards the subsequent intervention, tracking, constant calls for you to come in for check ups, is alarming.
    It is all done for your own good of course, and these days is likely to contain a fair amount of therapeutic language to make you think they care. Actually it’s all process – they have to have the right form filled out – it’s all they care about. And of course they get paid per form.

  4. Nick

    ‘Ps have been apart of the state’s surveillance network for quite sometime. Being fat might be the latest obsession but just look around the waiting area at the posters – if you have any of the things mentioned on the boards the subsequent intervention, tracking, constant calls for you to come in for check ups, is alarming.’
    This isn’t about state surveillance. This is about improving the NHS so it operates to prevent as well as treat ill health. Calling this state surveillance is at best alarmist.
    You make a good point about GPs getting paid per form though. Unfortunately paying GPs based on patient outcomes alone would be nye on impossible to implement due to the complexities involved in providing healthcare and the long-term nature of many ailments.

  5. Jack

    I am fat and i couldnt give a monkeys.
    If a doctor want to tell me what i already know then so be it. It wont change me or my weight. I enjoy my lifestyle and if that means being 4-5 stone over the average then thats a good trade off for me.

  6. John

    This policy will also increase the amount of work generated to dentists, because that’s what my own doctor will need if he decides to patronise me with this shit.

  7. Alan

    I think it would be better for the government to invest in community dietitians to educate the general public.

  8. Nick

    Agreed Alan. I fear the words ‘government’ and ‘invest’ will be used together rarely over the coming years though.

  9. Fred

    I don’t think that any more money should be spent on invested in community dieticains. Why waste our taxes? We do not need the government to “educate” people about diet etc. We are adults. We know what we eat may make us fat – it doesn’t need out tax money to go to some public employee to tell us this. Far better that nanny retires and leaves adults to be adults.

  10. MBT Shoes

    Good stuff as per usual, thanks. I do hope this kind of thing gets more exposure.

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