It is obviously pleasing to be able to note a politician who is at least half correct - given, you know, the average propensity for truth and knowledge among that tribe. But it is still only half right, sadly:
He said: 'It is nonsensical to retain these grossly excessive calorie levels now. What's worse is they are being exceeded.'
He added: 'We seem to be waiting for a magic pill so we continue our gluttony and lazy lifestyle and hope that the NHS will fix it for us without having to change our behaviour one iota.'
'If we scoff more calories than we burn off then we get fat and obese. Obesity is not an illness, it is a lifestyle choice.
From Hansard, it's this part which isn't correct:
We are creating a nation of fat, idle people who will bankrupt the NHS, and we should have the courage to say so in blunt terms. Our strategy must be threefold. First, it must tax excessively sugary foods—all of them, not just some—and penalise excessively large food items. Secondly, calorie intake guidance must be revised downwards to recognise our indolent, lazy lifestyle. We need constant campaigns on that. Planning guidance should force councils not to have high streets full of takeaway food shops; research suggests that locations with supermarkets provide better diets than streets without such shops. Thirdly, we must have a uge campaign to get the whole nation exercising. Exercise alone does not compensate for overeating but it has a part to play. I too commend the Daily Mile initiative, which gets children exercising for a mere 15 minutes per day. It should be compulsory in all schools. My wife has tried to force me to do it as well.
There is no easy answer, but at the moment I do not think we are even asking the right questions.
That list of what must be done follows from the incorrect assumption being made. That obesity costs the NHS money. It doesn't. As we've pointed out before:
The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run.
On average, healthy people lived 84 years. Smokers lived about 77 years and obese people lived about 80 years. Smokers and obese people tended to have more heart disease than the healthy people.
Cancer incidence, except for lung cancer, was the same in all three groups. Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes. Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on.
The cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000.
Yes, those are American numbers but they apply here too.
We thus have the proof of Hayek's contention, that government provided health care will mean government trying to run our lives so as to suit the government health care system. But worse than that we've also got the basic arguments being based upon untruths. Fatties save the NHS money, thus trying to reduce the number or wideness of fatties to save the NHS money just doesn't work. That even despite whatever concerns we might have about healthcare serfdom.