Thursday, 8 March 2012

Should Over Weight People Receive State Benefits?

For those of you that may not fully understand the health care system here in the UK, let me just briefly explain it to you. First of all I would like to say that, here in the UK we probably have one of the best health care systems in the world, if not the best. Sure there are some problems and people get annoyed with certain aspects of it, however when compared with other countries and not just third world countries, ours isn't too shabby.

In very simple terms, when you work in the UK, you pay Taxes and these Taxes are split into different categories for different Government Departments. One of those departments is health care, the NHS National Health Service, it is paying into this pot that allows us to have the NHS. Under this system, everyone is entitled to health care and it is free for the most part, a homeless person will be entitled to the same care in a hospital as a working man or women.

That brings me to the bad part about the system, as with many countries, we have spongers who chose not to work and live of the government benefits. Obviously there are people who can't work due to illness or disabilities etc, I am not referring to this group, just the ones who can work but don't. They to are entitled to the service of the NHS, which some people find very unfair.

One of the groups of people I want to talk about are excessively overweight individuals and in particular people overweight who claim they are unable to work as a direct result of their weight and so claim state benefits, paid for by the working individual. Of course, if an individual is overweight due to a recognised medical condition and unable to work, then that is a separate issue, but I am referring to people who have put themselves in this situation, no medical reasons.

In the UK alone, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has declared that obesity costs the NHS  4 billion Pounds per year, and that is expected to rise to 6.3 billion pounds by 2015. It is this figure that UK citizens and politicians a like, think can be better invested into our economy. Should the people of the UK support a group of people who sit at home eating incredibly unhealthy food and vast quantities of it watching day time television. Or should they be made to attend gyms and nutritionist, in order to be educated in health living, this would of course be prevention as opposed to cure which is always better. Not just better for the economy but for the individual themselves and saving them from a life of misery and an early grave.

The NHS has already cracked down on people who are heavy smokers, if they develop a health condition  directly related to their smoking, they are expected to either quit smoking or seriously reduce their smoking; before they are allowed surgery or treatment. Why should obese people, who like smokers, have brought this on themselves be any different.

I am unable to work due to sustaining a spinal injury whilst serving in the British Army on operational tour, but I refuse to take state benefits. I feel ashamed that I am in a situation where I am unable to work, even though I joined the Army aged 16, 3 months after I left school and have paid my taxes until my medical retirement. It simply doesn't sit right with me claiming benefits as no other member of my family does. So for people in the above mentioned situation, to quite happily hold their hand out for state money in order to pay for the very substance that is creating the problem in the first place, is perhaps immoral and unethical.

Having said all this, I don't think their money should just stop, I think they should be given help to lose the weight and re-educate themselves in healthy eating and living. This way everyone wins. But what do you guys think? I think this is a really interesting topic and would love to know your thoughts on the matter. Of course if you would rather not leave a comment you can email me if you prefer.

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