Friday, 15 February 2013

Fat vs Fag

"56 year old male, chest pain, DIB"

Despite a large number of pedestrians trying their very best to throw themselves in front of my ambulance and numerous cyclists doing their uppermost to raise my blood pressure we made it to the address without any deaths on our conscious! Loaded up like a travelling circus, we headed round to the entrance to the flats and staggered up the stairs and knocked. The smell of stale smoke hit me even before the door was opened. Eventually, we were let in by our very breathless patient. He slowly walked back into the flat, pulling his oxygen tubing with him. 

Home oxygen is given to people with severe respiratory problems and our guy was a long term COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) sufferer. Sitting in his chair he panted for about 30 seconds until he was able to speak. The upshot of the story was his lungs were pooped. He was having a particularly bad day of 'pooped lungs' and it was causing him real discomfort. Whilst my crew mate was doing his ECG etc my Detective Columbo eyes were wondering around the room. On the table next to the patient was a blue inhaler, a purple inhaler, a brown inhaler, various tablets, a bowl with spit in it, a tin of Fisherman's Friends, a lighter, an ashtray and a pack of 20 Superking. 

"You're still smoking?!"

"Yeah, I know I shouldn't."

"How many a day?"

"Maybe 30 or 40"

"No wonder you're breathless!"

"I know I know, save the lecture, I've heard it before!" he said with a grin!

"You know I have to say something! We call it health promotion, you call it nagging!"

We had a good chuckle about flogging dead horses! He was a really nice guy with plenty of tales to tell which made the journey to hospital a lot more enjoyable than usual. Then he said something that firstly took me back a bit and then got me thinking.

"So, you wag your finger at me for smoking, do you wag your finger at fat people for over eating?"

It took me a good while of thinking to reply:

"No!"

"Well don't you think it's unfair to pick on us smokers! Besides, you're one to talk. If I'm not mistaken that's a pack of cigarettes in your top pocket!"

BUSTED! He had me hook, line and sinker! Nothing I could say now would have any credibility when it came to smoking! I felt like saying "Do as I say, not as I do" but I was laughing to much! I could hear my crew mate in the front laughing away too! 

"You just got schooled!" he shouted through.

It's true! I had indeed got schooled! We dropped him off at hospital to get the treatment he desperately needed and left. I could hear him chuckling as we walked away! He was awfully proud of himself! 

He had a bloody good point though. Why don't we berate obese people? Why is it acceptable to say 'filthy habit', 'can't stand the smell of smoke', 'do you have to do that near me?', 'it will kill you' and make the smokers smoke outside to be made a spectacle of?

Why is NOT acceptable to say to someone who is obese who is stuffing a burger into their face 'that's a filthy habbit' or 'I can't stand the sight of you shovelling food into your gob' or 'do you have to do that near me' or 'eating that stuff will make you fatter' or 'being so fat will kill you?' Why can't we tell them that their fatness is disgusting? Why can't we make them eat fast food standing outside under a gazebo and make a spectacle of them?

Because, as a country we are not quite there yet and too many of us love a Big Mac! Before you all tell me I am being harsh and horrible, I don't actually think all that stuff, nor would I want to say it but it is an interesting talking point. Smoking kills. That's a fact. As a result smoking has been made less and less appealing. Tobacco companies can't sponsor anything, their packets are covered in 'SMOKING KILLS' slogans and images of tumours. It costs more and more to buy them, you can't smoke anywhere in public and rightly so. Smoking costs the NHS in excess of £5 billion a year and that's not including the cost of lost productivity. It also causes 1 in 5 of all deaths. Why wouldn't we try and stop people smoking and make it as unappealing as possible?!

How about if I told you that but next year, obesity will be costing the NHS £6.3 billion a year. At the moment 1 in 10 deaths are caused by obesity but within 10 years that number is expected to treble. If that is the case obesity will be costing more and causing more deaths than smoking. Will it then be acceptable to malign the obese like we malign smokers?! Will Big Macs have photos of fat people on them with slogans like 'BIG MAC KILLS' plastered across them?! Will there be a huge tax added to all foods that make people fat?! Will companies like McDonald's be banned from advertising?! Will all fast food have to be served in plain packaging?! 

What do you think?! Should smokers be vilified? Should fat people be vilified? Do we allow free choice in this country only when it suits current political motives? When do we do with obesity what we have done with smoking? Do we wait 15 years until 70% of the UK population is obese or overweight? I don't know what to do. I would certainly feel uncomfortable sitting in the back of an ambulance telling someone they are too fat. I feel bad enough telling smokers not to smoke! Being a fat smoker myself doesn't put me in a good position to lecture either!!

Alternatively, you could scrap everything I've just said, promote smoking and encourage over eating because some studies say making the population healthy would cost the country more in the long term from a longer life expectancy and care costs! Basically, we are screwed whatever we do so I'm just going to eat, smoke, drink and be merry! You?!

56 comments:

  1. Haha Ella! You just made me laugh out loud on hr 13 of a 14hr nightshift!!

    Tahni

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  2. What happened to 'this will be my last blog for a while...' (That was three blogs ago)?

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    1. It was actually 'this may be my last blog in a while' and after a long think and a blog about what I was thinking I decided not to let the trolling stop me.

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    2. *sigh* these are people's opinions of what you are writing, This isn't trolling. You 'welcome all comments, don't you?

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    3. I do welcome comments and different opinions. I'm happy for people to disagree with me and have a discussion. The trolling I don't appreciate is insults, abuse and having a pop because they don't agree. That is trolling and why I considered my position. Messages and emails like 'you're a fucking cunt' are not why I write a blog. That's what I don't like.

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  3. I agree, the obese should be vilified. And for those of you who like to blame hormones... most people are fat because they eat/drink too much. Simmples.

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    1. Most are, this is true, I don't think vilified will help but I do think some kind of action is needed! Thank for the comment!

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  4. As ever, a really interesting read. There is a huge difference between the two things. You don't have to smoke every day, yet you have to eat. Those of us who have huge problems with food, face trying to deal with that problem three times a day every day. I don't blame hormones or anything for me being obese, and it is not lack of pure willpower either, I gave up smoking after many years...I also give up celery every year for Lent! I know I need to eat less and move around far more, but finding the will to do that eludes me much of the time.

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    1. True but smokers will say they NEED to smoke every hour and alcoholics will say they NEED a drink every few hours. Everyone needs to show discipline!

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  5. The way I see it is someone smoking next to me affects me. Someone scoffing a burger next to me does not...

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    1. But what if the burgers cause you to become so big you weigh 40 stone and need carrying down the stairs when ill? That could risk someones career carrying them!

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  6. I have to agree with the person above! My being a bit overweight and eating a burger will affect no one but myself... However my son has chronic lung disease (caused by extreme prematurity) if he was in a room with a smoker it could kill him.... He doesn't have a choice about it!
    But I do think some foods should carry warnings :)

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    1. But there is no real issue with being a bit overweight, its being hugely obese. 25,30, 35 stone. Does the need to carry them own stairs seem fair on the ones carrying them?

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  7. @ Steve . With respect, mate, you have the solution to your problem right there and you've said it yourself - "I know I need to eat less and move around far more, but finding the will to do that eludes me much of the time". I know its hard especially going against the force of habit but you know what you need to do so the ball is in your court.

    @ Blue Bear, again with respect, I'm sorry but your attitude is exactly what is bringing the NHS down to its knees. Ok, compared to smoking, yes, you eating a burger will only impact on yourself, I agree, but look at the bigger picture mate. The treatment required to control the heart disease and other diabilitating problems caused by obesity is costly and time consuming.
    The community nurses required to treat the pressure sores on the obese body and maybe the breaking down cellulitus on top of the breathing difficulties caused by increased fat around the body's organs. The specialist transport required to convey the obese patient to hospital and indeed the effort required to actually move someone this large is all resource consuming, let alone the bariatric bed that needs to be installed.
    The list is endless. I'm not accusing you of being like this ,yet, but with this cavalier 'im alright jack' attitude that is being engrained within yours and other people's mindset, its highly likely you will become another burden on the system.
    I am sorry to hear about your son's problems and no, he doesn't have a choice but for god's sake, you do. You control what goes into your mouth and you have the capacity to do something about it if you really wanted to.
    Do foods need a health warning? Is it not common sense to be able to suss out what foods have high fat content? Or is it another excuse to eat to oblivion and then say " well I didn't know it would make me fat" and thus someone else to blame.
    Not having a go to you personally but we all need to take some personal responsibilty in the things we do and not expect the NHS to pick up the pieces because somehow its ' our right' to eat what we want with absolute disregard of the consequences.


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    1. "Do foods need a health warning? Is it not common sense to be able to suss out what foods have high fat content? Or is it another excuse to eat to oblivion and then say " well I didn't know it would make me fat" and thus someone else to blame."

      Problem is, high fat isn't usually the issue. Greek yoghurt, avocadoes, olive oil, butter, meat, and nuts are all high in fat and extremely good for you. Sugar is the issue. Telling people not to eat fat means they'll opt for low-fat options which are usually rammed with sugar/sweetners which fuck with our bodies far more than a bit of bacon could ever do.

      I really don't like the assumption that all overweight people are unhealthy because that assumes that all "healthy weight" people are healthy. How many skinny teenage boys can wolf down a Maccy D's, fizzy pop and chocolate? Are they healthy?

      Personal responsibility is a lazy passive-aggressive insult to throw at overweight people. Do you make a conscious decision to take personal responsibility every time you drive or drink or cross the road?

      Too many holier-than-thou attitudes are prevalent in the "fat people should just eat less" camp. And I think this comes from a fear of being fat; guilt for knowing that we too eat the "wrong" food; and guilt for cruelly judging people on their weight.

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    2. This is exactly what I was hoping for, polite, well argued debate from both sides! Thank you all!

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    3. @Ella - I totally agree, but sadly one way or another these super obese people are generally not people who have taken any 'care' of themselves.

      @scott well..... yes but..... Obviously I only wrote a quick view on a big problem, and you've read a lot in to my life that just isn't there (I'm not offended, but mildly amused I must admit!) I am only very slightly overweight (10.5 stone and a size 12) I have weighed more or less the same for the last 20 years, I go to the gym several times a week so that I can eat the odd burger or bar of chocolate (I also have autoimmune disease which means I am exceptionally fussy about my well being). My point is that I take reasonable responsibility for my health, as I think everyone should - education is a huge problem around eating - cooking and healthy eating are not taught well in school and it is very easy and cheap to buy convenience food and not look at what you are actually eating. So again its about educating yourself so that you dont 'become part of the problem'. As Lesley says, being skinny is not being healthy, likewise being overweight does not mean you are going to continue to get bigger become ill and be a "burden on the system"

      Smoking is entirely the oposite to me, no matter how much care I take for myself or my son, I cannot avoid places where people are smoking - even to get to his hospital appointments we have to walk through the crowd of smokers in their dressing gowns. Someone else takes my sons life in their hands and I can do nothing - no amount of diet control, home hygiene... personal care and responsibility can't save him from other peoples choices, and when he is ill it is massive and costly to the NHS not to mention painful and horrific for him.

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    4. This is true! I think they often have help too! I agree about the smoking thing, it shouldn't be anywhere near doorways! Especially hospitals! My biggest pet hate is people smoking attached to drip stands!

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  8. On the nose, Mr Bruce.

    Absolutely spot on.

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    1. He did argue his points very well but as did the replies! x

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  9. Top class blog as usual and agree with Briuce that we should berate gluttons too as its costing the country an arm and a leg to treat them for heart disease,diabetes and just as much high blood pressure and breathlessness as a smoker. Both are vile habits with no excuse! Yes, I'm overweight (a bit) and its my fault, no one or nothing else's!

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    1. There is a huge difference between overweight and morbidly obese. It is the latter that is from gluttony and that is what needs sorting.

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  10. Meh. We all have vices that may or may not contribute to our death. My Nanna smoked almost every day since she was a teenager & eventually developed COPD but never stopped smoking (she hid it with perfume - I'll always love the smell of smoke and perfume combined). She eventually died of complications with bowel cancer (which she overcame years before) this April (at 80ish). I never thought to berate her for smoking because a: it wouldn't have helped and b: I don't see the NHS as something that only has resources for super-duper healthy people. We all do something which might kill us - drink, smoke, over-eat, under-eat, drive, cycle, ski, cross roads, run marathons for e.g. Even if we don't do any of those awful awful things we'll probably still end up with cancer. My Grandad is a non-smoking, one drink a year at Christmas, home-cooking, golf-playing, vice-free man who has had a stroke, heart problems and now has skin cancer. He's 80ish.

    Basically, my point is something's gonna kill you whether you are a mega-health-angel or a vice-ridden-glutton. All the health promotion in the world can't stop a vice.

    P.S. Love the blog :)

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    1. Good point, my counter argument would be that the NHS isnt sustainable treating everything it treats at the moment. With your outlook the NHS will implode eventually and then smokers, alcoholics and the morbidly obese will be left having to fund private care like in the USA.

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  11. Hi Leslie, I wasn't judging who is healthy and who isn't. My point is, obesity and the treatment of is going to wreck the NHS and it is something that can be avoided. I agree with your thing about hidden sugars etc but I had food like pizzas, fried stuff, high sugars like cakes in mind when I commented on a food warning. I'm not tarring everyone with the same brush but it is safe to say someone who is clinically obese is so,not because they've eaten too much low fat stuff but the complete opposite
    "Personal responsibility is a lazy passive-aggressive insult to throw at overweight people ". Do not agree with that at all. I would say that is a defence used to deflect the pain of truth. Of course we have a personal responsibility to look after our own well being as we have a personal responsibility to everything else in our lives whether it's getting to work on time, crossing the road safely (as you mention) or simply interacting with fellow humans in a civil manner. Do I make a concious decision to take personal responsibility every time I drive ? Err hell yeah, or else I might as well drive on the wrong side of the road at 100 mph or on the pavement. Who else should I blame if I did that and got caught?
    Fine, we all do die of something, but why expect everyone else to sort it out? You know, I might as well wildly wave a chainsaw around with the potential to cut my own head off. Are you still of the thought that I should carry on because we all die of something or would you think I should stop because someone's going to have to clean up the mess and it's bloody dangerous.

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    1. Please don't do the chainsaw thing lol! Thank you Scott for making these comments a debate! You make some excellent points!

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  12. Appologies, I replied to Leslie. It should have been Lesley. No offence meant

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    1. That's ok - happens ALL the time!

      I'm of the opinion that everyone deserves the healthcare they need regardless of the situation or cause of the illness/health issue. I don't think smokers or overeaters should pay more tax or should pay for their treatments. If you want to wave a chainsaw around and chop your head off - fine. I wouldn't expect you to have paid more tax in order to fund the paramedic/doctor/police intervention. Just like I don't expect professional athletes to pay more tax seeing as they'll have more injuries that need medical attention than me.

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    2. I also think everyone deserves healthcare, regardless of the situation but surely the NHS, the government and we as individuals have a responsibility to ensure that the treatment we need is kept to a minimum?

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  13. Life is infinitely better with you around, Ella. Please don't ever stop being you.

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  14. Love your blogs!

    Smokers vs Fatties.... Well come autumn smokers do constantly fill up ward beds for 3 days with chest infections. This is not fair and burdensome for all hospitals. More taxes for smokers for sure.
    However, can we tax fat folk? Realistically how can we do it...... Personally I won't put my back out trying to get an obese folk out of a house- wait for back up and hope symptoms don't get too bad?! What else can I do? Face the wrath of the disciplinary review for being off sick with a bad back......

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    1. Thank you! There are indeed seasonal folk! I think there can be a tax! It's not sweets and chocolate that make people huge, its the greasy and high fat food. That's what needs to be taxed!

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  15. How's about arranging a pissup for all EMS bloggers??

    It'd be a laugh.....

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    1. That would be brilliant! Well up for that!

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  16. Ok so one point that hasn't been made is how some, not all by the way, overweight people are that way due to medical conditions such as thyroid issues or physically unable to exercise due to chronic pain. It can also be due to steroids or other pills prescribed for conditions such as Crohns etc. I USED to be slim but steroids made me pile weight on. I can't exercise too much because of other serious health problems but I try to eat as healthy as I can on limited diet.
    As for smoking, well yes I smoke. I've smoked for about 12/14 years. Have I tried to quit? Yes, several times with patches; gum; cold turkey and Zyban. Patches? Was allergic to them. Gum? Upsets my guts. Cold turkey? Let's just say I nearly throttled someone. Zyban? My liver started to play up and I was advised to cease. I've spoken to GP about quitting in recent months, his advice? Don't do it just yet, I need pills to help me quit but other pills I'm on would react badly to Zyban (can't have Champix due to previous suicide attempts).
    So don't judge a book by it's cover. There could be very logical reasons as to why a person is overweight (fat is a horrid word) or why a person can't stop smoking.
    FYI - NONE of my conditions have been caused by smoking or being overweight!
    I'm off to eat some porridge and then have a cigarette. Toodlepip!

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    1. You are right Claire, some people are overweight because of illness and that can't be helped. But, there are no medical conditions or disabilities that cause someone to become morbidly obese to 35 stone. If you eat a healthy balance diet despite little or no exercise you won't become that big. Being overweight isn't the problem. As for smoking, I believe if you really WANT to give up you can do without any help. I tried to quit loads of times after smoking for 12 years and failed over and over again. Like you I tried all sorts. It wasn't until I decided I hated smoking that I was able to quit and haven't had a craving since. Enjoy your porridge and cigarette! I hope you're adding honey and raisins! Yum!

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    2. It's about striking a balance. Obesity is a problem in the UK but I know that, like with all figures published, we should remember it's not always clear how many are medical problem related. I shall always try to eat as healthy as I can manage with the odd treat every couple of weeks. I can walk for just 10 mins a day but can't cycle or swim so I hope I'm doing something to help myself. When I'm stable I shall be doing as much as I can to lose some weight.
      Smoking wise I know that the only way I shall actually quit, and stay a non-smoker, is to use Zyban. I want to be a non-smoker. Doctors advice is this is best way but need to be careful. Fingers crossed by end of 2013, shall be 32 by then!
      Porridge was with honey and cranberries. Unusual combo so shall go back to just honey lol!

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    3. Very true! Good luck with the quitting! And yes, honey rocks!

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  17. I would like to echo what Claire said. In some people this is the case. I have MS and the extremely high doses of steroids I have had to treat this over the years have caused a steady increase in my weight, compounded by my inability to do much exercise thanks to the disability my condition has caused. A previous high dose steroid treatment I received caused steroid induced diabetes. All of the medication I take has a side effect of weight gain. Its an uphill struggle just trying not to get bigger! I too was slim before all this! It took almost 2 years to get the right combination of meds to control my diabetes.
    There is light at the end of the tunnel however and I'm pleased to say that slowly but surely I am starting to lose a little of the weight, its really hard, but I'm trying!
    So when you see one of us fatties, just give a thought to the fact that for some of us its not just because we eat too much!
    And Ella, this is by no means a criticism of what you've written, I know you know!! lol

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    1. Haha! I do and I don't see overweight people as fatties! If you saw me you'd understand why ;-) However, as ive said, there is a big difference between being overweight and being morbidly obese! The latter is caused by excess and not an inability to exercise. Id never take what you say as a criticism! Thanks for the comment as always!

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    2. Haha! I'm pleased to say I'm not morbidly obese, I'm no where near 30 stone, and thankfully am a way off 20, but I am classed as obese. I agree that morbid obesity is much more. It must take commitment and a good deal of hard work to eat that much! lol All jokes apart tho, living with chronic conditions that give you constant pain and crushing fatigue and come with all the awful medication and side effects that they do sometimes takes away your ability to deal with other stuff.

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    3. I bet it's horrible to live with and most will eat sensibly and do what they can. As with most of my posts, it's about a minority!

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  18. Seems this debate has two main themes. The first is to do with the general perception of Obese people vs Smokers. The second theme is the cost to the NHS of these vices and comparing two patient groups. What of drinking and the sports related incidents these both cost the NHS. The latter pays no direct tax for privaledge. Please if anyone has any opinion on these issues remember the NHS is there for all. If you do not believe in that then you do not deserve the NHS. Do not use the cost to the NHS in any debate on this as there are other patient groups that have as significant an impact. There is a fine line between lifechoices/fun vs Risk. The NHS should be there irrespective. If we ever consider using a derogatory term for a smoker or an obese induvidual we are being a bully. Nobody would ever consider calling people who engage in sport as "Stupid Sporties" and use the potential cost to the NHS as a smokescreen for bullying/superior behaviour

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    1. Very good point, and the one I was hoping would be made, hence the reference to 'dirty smokers'. I considered including alcohol in the debate as it's the 3rd biggie as it were. The reason why alcohol, obesity and smoking are cause for debate are because they are predominantly vices of choice, not medical conditions because get. You don't catch alcoholism or smoking and in MOST cases you don't catch obesity. Obviously there are exceptions that have been discussed above. I agree with you about the NHS, that is what it is there for. I do however disregard the point about sporting injuries. The cost that has on the NHS is a drop in the ocean and the 'sports stars' who have expensive treatment invariably have private care because they won't wait the time required with free healthcare. 5 years ago I would agreed with you 100% about the NHS being there irrespective of cost and I still don't think you can charge certain people. But, with the ongoing cuts which I think will only cut deeper in the future I don't think the NHS is sustainable with an ever increasing need for treatment for smoking, alcohol and obesity. Action does need to be taken to combat all 3. Smoking related illness isn't on the increase, as the years tick by it will decline, smokers are down year on year due to education and costs. I there any reason why this can't be done to combat obesity? Make the harmful foods more expensive to buy and have a stronger drive against people overeating. Alcohol prices are going up and there is a war on cheap booze and happy hours to discourage it. If all this can be done to smoking and alcohol, why not obesity to as it is becoming such a financial burden. I don't completely buy into what some of the commenters have said about steroids and inability to exercise. Yes, it contributes to some weight gain but if you maintain a healthy balanced diet without exercise you won't become 40 stone! There is work to be done on all 3 but i think it would be naive to say the NHS can foot the bill forever more! Thanks for the comment, some great points!

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  19. I see a lot of excuses here, both for the weight issues and the smoking.

    As someone with a chronic condition myself (and I have to take steroids too). I watch what I put in my mouth and exercise in a manner that's safe for me to do so. Lots of kinds of exercise is out because of my condition, unfortunately.

    I gave up smoking some time back because it was killing me. I still miss them but I make a decision not to smoke because it interferes with the exercise I can do.

    I'm not perfect by any means but the reason I was overweight and unhealthy was only in part due to my long term condition and associated meds / difficulties. The rest was to do with over eating and not moving enough.

    If you want to lose weight / stop smoking, the first step to doing so is to be honest with yourself about why you're fat in the first place. Sorry but bleating out the various excuses just won't cut it. Other folk manage to lose weight / quit etc.

    Maybe harsh, but I think it's true.

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    1. I think you make a good point, the truth hurts sometimes. Like i said in a previous comment, a chronic condition and inability to exercise is no excuse to be morbidly obese. If you eat healthily and and do what you can, even just to burn a few calories, you won't balloon!

      You can only quit smoking and make positive changes if you really want to. If you have the will the way is there! Thanks for the comment.

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  20. I have only skim read this (for reasons that I hope will become obvious), and I MASSIVELY disagree with the way obesity is treated in this country. As someone who was hospitalised with anorexia, I have seen the other side of how vilification of larger people affects EVERYONE - and being too thin kills a lot quicker than being too fat. More to the point, almost all of the people I met in hospital had, in the past, binged and/or experienced rapid weight gain. Overeating and undereating are two sides of the same coin. As another person pointed out, unlike with smoking, you can't go cold turkey when you're addicted to food.

    Making people feel guilty about eating behaviour, shaming them into hating their bodies, telling them they need to diet/calorie count/cut out fat, labelling foods as 'good' or 'bad'... in the long run, it exacerbates the problem. Ultimately, obesity isn't the problem. People lacking variety in diet and activity is the problem, (and, in some cases, mental illness). You can be obese and perfectly healthy. You can be 'normal' weight and very unwell. Misinformation, normalisation and over-complication is the problem.

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    1. Oops, meant to say: The emphasis on weight loss is what I find hard to deal with. Weight loss is now synonymous with 'feeling healthier' and 'looking better', which means that 'feeling healthier' becomes synonymous with 'looking better', and I think it's obvious where that school of thought leads. The emphasis should, instead, be on food education and encouragement of activity. Weight loss should be a by the by, unimportant, consequence of living a lifestyle that is less likely to result in ill-health - it shouldn't be the sole aim.

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    2. Oh, and I also agree with whoever pointed out that being obese affects nobody but the person, whereas smoking affects others around them, (I have to walk past a hospital twice a day, including the nurses smoking in a huddle on the footpath - the irony). It's also pointless lecturing people into not smoking or over-eating, because most people are aware of the issues surrounding them. What should be done is to find out WHY they start smoking or over-eating in the first place. Tackle the root cause, not the consequent behaviour.

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  21. I'm an overweight asthmatic smoker and I refuse to go to anywhere when my chest becomes bad as I smoke what's the point in getting help when I smoke the money spent helping me could help others who haven't made a condition worse by a lifestyle choice. Only 2ce in the past year have I been forced to get medical help for my chest which honestly annoyed me I felt like such a fool, but there is a difference between being overweight and obese and being obese should be tackled in the same way smoking is in my opinion pussy footung around topics doesn't work diving in aggressivly captures attention so much more

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  22. As an ex-smoker and a ex-fattie I can say hand on heart neither was easy to quit and I still crave both every day. Not being able to actually give up food though is total and utter torture. Food is addictive.

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  23. As an obese GP I think I can see both sides of the obesity argument. Obesity though is far more complex than just eating the wrong quantities and types of food and lack of activity. In many people it is an eating disorder and occurs in combination with other mental health issues. Yes I should eat more healthily and get more exercise but when getting out of bed and getting dressed is a struggle due to depression whipping up a healthy meal and even a short walk are just not going to happen. Chocolate and unhealthy foods do have a short term effect on mood which a carrot stick just doesn't do. Some people are simply lazy but if you dig deeper most obese people have a complex and abnormal relationship with food that cannot be fixed as simply as most people without these issues seem to believe they can.
    As The Box Ticker said an important issue is the reasons why the behaviour started. Most cookers start because their friends do, it was/is seen as cool or rebellious. Most people with eating disorders begin with psychological problems and the behaviour resulting in I obesity is not an active choice like starting to smoke. Apart from older people I refuse to believe that the majority of smokers did not know the dangers of smoking when they started. And here lies, in my opinion, the main difference in obesity and smoking and why the two cannot really be compared. Smokers chose to smoke but obese people do not chose to be obese (I'm not saying we have no responsibility for it and cannot change but it is not something anyone chides to be)

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  24. Apologies for the typos. Cookers in the second paragraph should be smokers and chides in the last sentence should be chooses.

    I also forgot to point out that human beings are still biologically programmed to seek high calorie foods. In this respect we have not evolved since our caveman days when food was not as plentiful and our bodies became highly efficient at storing energy as fat for times when food was in short supply. Although our food supply has changed we still have this innate drive. We do not however have any biological drive to inhale toxic fumes from tobacco.

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  25. I am an on and off again smoker. I quite for 13 years at one point, and at age 43 have probably 7 combined years of smoking, some light smoking, some heavy. I found this blog after visiting a family member who CONSTANTLY lectures others about smoking. "Gross, dirty, ugly habit. This city shames smokers, and I'm glad..." and on and on. Never emphasis on health, just how "gross" it is.

    But if you posted pics of us side by side nobody would guess I was the unhealthy one. She's morbidly obese and can't take five steps without gasping. I, as a smoker, can walk miles and did so yesterday. Her health is very concerning to me, but I can't mention it because mentioning obesity isn't acceptable. It's not acceptable to mock and shame the obese out of their habit, and frankly I'm not the type who would want to. But I do take offense when a person who is so morbidly obese she has severe quality of life issues tells me I am gross.

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