TL;DR - The NHS spends 10% of its budget on diabetes. NICE is suggesting we operate on overweight people to lower this cost.
I don't know how you feel about this. To be quite honest, it makes me sort of cross.
Knee-jerk reaction maybe...
gives us "free" health care. This health care money is then spent on people who
have a completely manageable condition, who choose NOT to manage their symptoms
so now MORE money will be spent on keeping them
If people choose not to live a healthy
lifestyle there's really not much you can do about it until they decide
otherwise. I'm not talking just overeating. I'm talking all of the risk factors
for diabetes - smoking, drinking, the whole caboodle. It's not just being
overweight that does it. Furthermore, just to clarify I'm talking about excess
body fat over normal BMI. Not the kind of BMI where actually you have only 8%
body fat and you're healthy as a horse - just really short and muscly
Nor am I talking about the people who have
diabetes for other reasons - maybe your excess body fat caused it, maybe it
didn't - but excess body fat still doesn't help. I'm talking about the people
who live a lifestyle that is chronically unhealthy. I'm sure everyone has their
"special snowflake" story, just reading the comments on this article there are
loads of cries of "but I'm different" "but I'm more different than the last
person" "BUT IT ISN'T MY FAULT". Some of them are bona-fide, yeah, good point.
Some though reflect exactly what I'm saying. I'm not looking to porportion
blame, I'm looking to increase people's self-reliancy. WE are ALL responsible
for what we do to our bodies. Yes, overweight diabetics pay their taxes, but
yes, they do spend MORE than their share on their health. Yes, I'm also talking
about the people who smoke, or drink to excess out there. Yes, I am my own
As I’m sure you know, I speak from
a point of view that has a lot of personal feelings attached to it. I watched my
grandmother destroy her body
over the course of 20 years. She refused to
"give up" the things she "shouldn't" eat. What she never seemed to see was what
she'd be gaining in doing so. Has NHS money been spent on her? Yes. Should it
have been? It's hard for me to answer that one. Of course in the abstract it's
easy to say "no", but what would that have meant for her? Certainly death by
But what if those doctors had refused to treat her early in the
course of her disease? Would that have forced her to rethink her options? Maybe.
Maybe not - it's too late to ask now.
I know I keep saying it, but
accountability is something we're sorely missing. You see it everywhere - I
failed my exam, it's my teachers fault. I
never learnt how to employ my
good manners, its my parents fault. I'm only overweight because I was never
taught how to eat properly - my parents AND my teachers fault.
What would happen if people suddenly started taking responsibility for their own
actions? What sort of world would THAT be? I'm ill because I eat too much crap
that's bad for my body. I'm ill because I smoke/drink/eat too much. I failed my
exams because I didn't work hard enough. I'm bad mannered becase I choose to be
Woah. A whole new world of opportunity arises.
If its your parents fault you're overweight, well, what can you do to help that? But
how about the responsibility lies with you? Well. All of a
sudden you have
control. Yes. You do have the responsibility, but you also have an element of
control suddenly. I can lose weight because I've not educated myself on healthy
diet so far, but with the wealth of knowledge out there - I can change
Yes, the article mentions that NICE don't expect that many people
to have surgery. Of course. But once it's an option it will shut down some
people's resolve. Why bother losing weight when if you get overweight enough you
can have surgery to do the magic for you? Losing weight is hard work.
requires control of your diet, control of your exercise, motivation, reading up
on stuff....why bother when a band can stop you eating as much?
when you get down to healthy weight - do you have a clue of how to maintain
that? Nope. It's like in WoW when they introduced the "boost to 90 type
programmes. All of a sudden we had an influx of new players, at top level that
had NO idea which buttons did what and how they could use them. Not so great for
raiding. In fact, I even levelled my paladin from 19-60 once using such a
system. Could I play her? Like heck I could. Why? Because I'd never learnt the
appropriate skills on my way to the top.
Likewise with losing weight. You
can't cheat your way down there, you won't know what to do to stay there. How
many people re-rolled their classes to have another go? Loads. How many people
just kept playing (really badly) loads. People who use quick ways out of being
heavy will usually only rebound. Yes there are exceptions, but most studies
support the rule - not the exceptions.
5 years ago I'd have taken a magic
pill to lose my weight. Today I'd never consider it. It's been hard, tough,
sometimes really downing, but at the end of it I know a LOT more about myself
than I ever would have otherwise, and a lot more about fitness and nutrition
than I would have otherwise.
What do you think? Is this a good
proposition to decrease the money spent on diabetes? Or would we do better to
educate our population?