Here are a few facts (because facts still do exist):
In the UK, almost one quarter of the adult population is considered obese
One million British children are obese
Obesity is now the second leading cause of lifestyle-related cancers
Obesity leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions
NHS England has said around £16 billion a year is spent on the direct medical costs of diabetes and conditions related to being overweight or obese. The overall cost of obesity to wider society is estimated at £27 billion.
So when Cancer Research launched a campaign of health awareness warning about the dangers of obesity, who could possibly object? Well, some fat people apparently. There is now a fat acceptance movement who have had more than they can take from government health departments and nagging NGOs and morons like me advising them to lose weight. ‘We like being fat!’ they yell. Ok, then you stay fat, I yell back. That’s your choice – even though of course you will be asking other tax payers to cough up to deal with the consequences of your choice (yes, around £16bn this year).
When comedian Sophie Hagen (who is both unignorably fat and sometimes undeniably funny) accuses Cancer Research UK of bullying fat people, we know that rationality has beaten a retreat. Through a series of expletive-laden tweets, Hagen criticised the organisation for its damaging messages, claiming that fat didn’t equal unhealthy (she's completely wrong – overweight people who exercise regularly and consider themselves “fat but fit” still have a 28% increased risk of heart disease). “Your campaign is so damaging and fat shaming and I really hope it gets taken down,” she screamed at Cancer Research. Notice that people who are in denial always rant and tend to want to ban alternative views.
A client came to me in Highbury this week and I gave him a bit of a talking to. Basically I told him to start looking after himself. Diet and exercise. He asked to book again for this week but I told him I wouldn't treat him again until he'd lost weight. He looked a bit surprised. This morning I got a text from him thanking me for my advice and telling me that it had got him thinking and he was now determined to start making changes. Such a nice text to receive.
It doesn't always happen like that unfortunately. I had a pop star come to see me for a massage yesterday and I told him he needed to lose about 10 kilos. He looked at me as if I had just spat in his face. He is used, I suppose, to just having people say how wonderful he is. Shame, because in another year he'll be even fatter and well on his way to all sorts of life-threatening diseases. You just can't tell some people.