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Home News Benefit cuts for the obese in the UK

Benefit cuts for the obese in the UK

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The UK's Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered a quick review to assess whether it would be appropriate to withhold sickness benefits from those who are unwilling to accept help to lose weight.

In the medical journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, experts said the only treatment for obesity that has been proven to be successful in the long-term is bariatric surgery, however celebrity yoga Trainer and holistic health consultant Subodh Gupta think otherwise.

Subodh said what is needed is right education and motivation instead of bariatric surgery or simply stopping benefits. He added that "people who puts on extra eight and become obese somehow starts believing that no matter how much effort they may do but they will still stay obese so definitely need motivation in addition to right education on how to loose weight. This way by losing weight it can also help to boost their confidence and self image. Just by going for bariatric surgery is a way to tell them their is no hope which is not correct in the long run."

It is still unclear how the government proposal would work. Whether people would be allowed to receive benefits after having tried and failed at health and diet programmes?

The number of people claiming sickness benefit for obesity reason is very low – only 1,780 people out of 2.5m who claim the benefits in total. In the meantime UK's government health advisors have said that morbidly obese people – those with a BMI of over 40 – should be given free flu jabs on the NHS.

The JCVI recommendation could see the morbidly obese, who are more vulnerable to flu infection, put into the same category as the over 65s. Evidence provided by Public Health England has indicated that morbidly obese people are more likely to suffer complications or die as a result of flu.

The UK's government is yet to decide whether to act on the advice.



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