Saturday, 19 January 2008

A short remonstration against the obesity argument

The plea for us not to overindulge is certainly a pertinent one in the UK, when healthcare is free for all at the point of use and funded by public taxes. The current fashionable argument goes a little something like this. Why should those people who live a healthy lifestyle have to pay higher taxes to fund the treatment of those corpulent souls who do not lead healthy lifestyles?

Yes, Heart Disease is the biggest killer in the UK. But is it the greatest drain on resources? The rotund and slothful amongst us can easily counter calls for them to lose weight, do exercise etc.
Having lived a life where they have enjoyed every meal the portly people amongst us have the good grace to shuffle off this mortal coil before the onset of any of the myriad costly health problems associated with old age.

Whilst a heart attack victim may need a bypass operation, an elderly person who has eaten healthily and exercised all of their life may find that they've worn out a few of their joints and so burden the tax payer with the cost of a couple of knee or hip replacements.

A few years later their healthy cardio vascular system may be let down by diseases of the mind associated with old age. Alzheimers, strokes, parkinsons or just plain old senility, all need treatment that costs the taxpayer. The only treatment for some of these ailments is palliative. 24 Hour care becomes very costly and may be needed for years.

It begins to look then, that eating copious amounts of delicious Kentucky Fried Chicken is far from irresponsible. Remember. . . . . you're doing it for the greater good.

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