Thursday, August 31, 2006

F.L.A.B. (Fat Louts Against Bikinis)

I heard on the news yesterday that the NHS are going to stop giving IVF treatment to obese people but still give to existing parents and smoking parent wannabes. I understand that given there aren't infinite funds then some hard choices have to be made but it's a bit worrying the trend towards the anti fat mentality that this society seems to be heading.

This idea that fat people have done it to themselves because of their lifestyle and so shouldn't expect the same NHS care as thin people is perverse. By following the same logic people who:

  • play sports a lot shouldn't receive care for broken limbs, groin strains etc
  • break the speed limit should pay for their A&E treatment (even if bad driving didn't cause it - but they are statistically more likely to end up in A&E if they are a bad driver)
  • People who use aspartamene to avoid sugar should get no cancer treatment
  • People who have prominent political careers shouldn't be treated for gunshot wounds... see where I'm going here? We all make lifestyle choices and almost all of them have an effect somewhere on our likely hood of having some medical problem. And to be honest overeating is probably one of the hardest lifestyle issues to avoid. It's a lot easier to say no to heroin in the first place as you a) know it's bad for you and b) you don't need to have any to survive. With food, you've got to eat to live, so finding a balance between what you need and what you want can be a tricky business.

Anyway, the point is, I find it disturbing in a society where we on one hand are desperately trying to break a view of traditional beauty that pushes people into anorexia, and at the same time waiting in the wings to punish you for taking a step too far in the other direction. You've got to be just right; not too thin and not too fat. Where does this end up? Once we start discriminating our rights based on physical characteristics then we might as well go the whole hog and say you need to be a blond blue eyed Aryan to get the vote.

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