Why do some people consider it absurd that the health minister is considering fitness classes for those who are overweight as part of the health insurance package? After all, everyone knows that regular and effective exercise is really the only way to tackle this growing problem.
It is cheaper too than developing ambulances and hospital beds for the obese and all the other costs of treating fat-related diseases.
Is the sniggering because the fat are still seen as objects to poke fun at and their problems not taken seriously? Or do we think it’s just their own fault? A bit like depression – people should just pull themselves together and solve their problems.
Being fat is a terrible social stigma in our image-obsessed society. Overweight people are not simply weak-willed, they need help. Nicotine patches, sleeping pills, contraception pills for the under 21s – all paid for by those who do not smoke, are sound sleepers and can’t get pregnant – so why not gym classes?
It’s not even so much the cost of gym membership that is the issue here – it’s more the signal it sends out, that the government is prepared to put its money where it’s mouth is.
Exercise is healthy. The government should be encouraging it, especially for those who are overweight. Membership of a gym would be a nice healthy carrot instead of a stick.
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