Fighting Fat

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A massive two out of three adults are now classed as overweight or obese and unless we start making alterations to our diet and start doing some exercise, the figures will only increase! The NHS has tried numerous ways to address the issue of obesity, from slimming pills to the extreme of having a gastric band fitted. Clearly, however, this still isn’t having the desired effect and with the ever present argument of 'why should the rest of us have to pay?', surely a cheap and proven solution should be welcomed.

Following the NHS's partnership with private slimming clubs, the NHS offers to pay for the first 12 weeks membership, a fee of around £50. This is half the price of providing diet pills to a patient. A recent Slimming World study found that, out of 35,000 people who attended Slimming World for 12 weeks, over two thirds lost over 1 stone. We hear of cases where people are having gastric bands fitted only to continue with their unhealthy diet ruling the surgery a complete waste of time. At least the referrals to private slimming clubs are a cheaper option, not just in the short term, but in the long term too. If we can cut the obesity levels through private slimming clubs, then we can cut the amount of money being spent on obesity related diseases, such as diabetes, further down the line. 

I agree, slimming clubs perhaps aren't for everyone. Some people will respond better to alternative treatments on offer. But surely we can't say that these referrals are a bad thing? After all, the more options available for weight loss, the more likely we are to tackle the problem. 

Alicia Marsh
Trainee solicitor, Clinical Negligence

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