BBC presenter Michael Buerk has said that obese people should be left alone by NHS to save money.
The former I’m A Celebrity contestant said fat people should be allowed to indulge if they want to, adding that they are ‘weak, not ill.’
He also said that fat people may be making a ‘selfless sacrifice’ to stop the country from being overpopulated if they pass away ten years earlier than those who are not obese.
The journalist wrote in the Radio Times magazine that he doesn’t believe obesity should be considered a disease.
Buerk also said that branding it a disease will only encourage fat people to seek treatment. He disagrees with the idea of calling it a disease to ‘reduce the stigma of fatness,’ adding: “You’re fat because you eat too much.”
He also queried Public Health England’s claim that obesity-related and overweight ill-health costs the NHS £6.1 billion per year.
“Who can calculate how much an obese person would have cost if they were slim?” he said.
“How much would he or she cost if, instead of keeling over with a heart attack at 52, they live to a ripe, dementia-ridden old age, requiring decades of expensive care? (In any case, VAT on takeaways, confectionery and fizzy drinks more than covers it.)”
Buerk also said that the “freedom to make bad choices is what personal autonomy, indeed democracy, is all about,” and asked “who is to say longevity is the ultimate goal in life?”
He added: “Let us positively re-frame the argument.
“The obese will die a decade earlier than the rest of us; see it as a selfless sacrifice in the fight against demographic imbalance, overpopulation and climate change.
“Give them the facts to make informed decisions, by all means, ‘nudge’ all you like, but in the end – leave couch potatoes alone. They’re weak, not ill.”
The NHS estimates that one in five children aged 10 to 11 are obese and almost one-third of adults in Britain are obese.
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