I used to be quite fat. So fat in-fact, that I had two chins and the backside the size of a terraced house.
Losing weight was difficult and took a very long time. I’m not going to go into details because that’s not what you’re here for, but one thing’s for sure, I was not motivated by the likes of Sally Davies. To borrow a line from ‘American Beauty’, I just wanted to look good naked. Doesn’t everyone?
Not being fat started with a very simple realisation. Not one other person was going to help. In fact, they were going to do everything in their power to hinder my progress. They were going to offer me cake and beer, present me with things to do other than my sometimes twice daily gym sessions and call me a miserable bastard when I insisted on eating something that ‘fits my macros’.
The point is that obesity is someone’s own problem. It was mine. It’s yours, and it certainly isn’t the state’s.
Much of what Sally Davies says seems reasonable. But her assertion that obesity is not just a matter of personal responsibility is absurd. Only one person can make the decision to eat properly and if you need advice, there’s plenty of it out there and the vast majority of it free. In fact, we’ve never been better informed.
If I was serious about fostering a national health epidemic then I’d start by telling people that their overindulgence is a little bit more than their problem. I’d start by telling people that it was perfectly rational for them to shovel crap into their mouths because it’s up to ‘society’ to make it easier for them not to do so. I’d start by telling them that ignorance is bliss.
It seems to me that this is exactly what Davies’s comments risk doing. By collectivising this health problem (as essentially we’ve done with everything else health-related in this country) we’re only going to make it worse.
If I was being really evil, I’d underline the assertion that your health is someone else’s problem by having the government tax things that are bad for you. That ought to allow you to eschew all responsibility.
Needless to say the health industry have widely welcomed her comments. Not content with lecturing everyone over their life shortening lifestyle choices, they’ve now moved onto making me and you collectively responsible for our rotund neighbours.