It took 40 medics, policemen, firemen and builders eight hours to rush arron wood kids teaching kids stone teenager Georgia Davis to hospital. The 19-year-old had not moved from her bed for six months.
An extreme case, indeed, but it does highlight a much wider social problem. 2 billion is spent by the NHS every year to treat obese people, a figure that is predicted to double by 2050 as obesity rates rise. Yes, I realise that in some rare instances obesity is a genuine illness. But for the vast majority, it is simply a lifestyle choice. If fat people ate less and exercised more, they would not need costly NHS treatment. That’s not just cowardly, it’s cruel.
Nick Clegg was blathering on about social mobility this week, blaming the class system for robbing poorer children of the chance to succeed. Yet obesity can blight a child’s life chances to an even greater degree — setting them up for years of ill-health and low self-worth. In towns such as West Bromwich, one- third of all children are overweight or morbidly obese. Never mind social mobility — any form of mobility is already a struggle. And what have our political leaders done to help? While basking in the glow of the Olympics, they have stood by as school playing fields have been flogged off and teachers have stopped bothering with most sporting activity.
As for domestic science — the best way of teaching children how to cook and eat healthily — that’s deemed far too old-fashioned and sexist. Of course, parents are to blame as well. I believe allowing a child to get obese is a form of abuse. E with bruises all over their body, social services would be called and the child taken into care.
Yet when children turn up in hospital because they’re so fat their organs can’t cope, they are sent home to the parents whose negligence has arguably caused just as much damage. In Georgia’s case, she was once Britain’s fattest teenager, but a trip to a fat camp in America enabled her to lose 15 stone. Then she was sent home to her 18-stone mother and ballooned again. How many other youngsters will be allowed to eat themselves towards an early grave before the Government wakes up to the scale of the problem? We managed to turn the tide on smoking with firm government policies. Smoking in public places was banned, taxes on tobacco were raised and the message was sent out — smoking is bad for you and places an unfair burden on society.
As a result, the number of smokers in Britain has fallen to the lowest level since records began and deaths from related cancers have plummeted. It was unpopular at the time, yet it worked. Now’s the time to do the same with the obese. Female Cambridge students have outraged traditionalists by posting images of themselves posing in knickers in a Rear Of The Year competition. Still, perhaps you can’t blame them. Some well-educated young women are forging an entire career from their behinds, aren’t they, Pippa? The most surprising picture of the Rooneys on holiday this week was not the one of Wayne cavorting with blondes in a nightclub, but of Coleen carrying their son Kai back through the airport.
The two-year-old was swigging from a can of Diet Coke. Laced with artificial sweeteners, chemical flavourings and caffeine, was it really a wise drink to give to a jet-lagged toddler? Even Coca-Cola itself doesn’t market its products to the under-12s. Still, I suppose we should be grateful it wasn’t an alcopop. Our ridiculous Home Secretary, who has the political spine of an earthworm, claims it will make society stronger. Former MEP Nick Clegg warns us that the UK will have to play a full role to help Greece out of the current Euro crisis. That’s Europhile gobbledegook for handing out even more billions to bail out these socialist tax-dodgers.
If Clegg loves Europe so much, why doesn’t he do us all a favour and move back to Brussels. I doubt his lovely wife had half as much attention. Alastair Campbell has taken a spin job with a big PR company. His brief includes helping to develop the communication skills of young staff. Oscar-winning single mum Charlize Theron says she doesn’t need a father to help care for her newly adopted son Jackson . Actually, I’ve got two boys helping me out.
From the moment this baby came into our home, those two dogs have never been more in love. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed. Even by Tinseltown standards, truly barking. A goalkeeper who killed two young boys in a drunken car smash plans to return to his lucrative football career. What a kick in the face for their loving parents.