back to article Fire service may charge for shifting fat people

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has announced it may introduce a fee for shifting fat people, after a sharp rise in the number of heavyweight call-outs. According to the Telegraph, the service was last year summoned eight times to "assist other services in lifting obese patients" - double the 2004 figure. One crew had to …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bollocks!

    Charge the fat people and not the services, I'm bored of knowing my tax money is going on people that can't control their eating and are too damn lazy.

    (Need an icon for blood boiling)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Damn straight!

    Great idea.

  3. AndyB
    Unhappy

    Quite right too

    It really pisses me of when fatties demand special treatment (bigger seats on train, busses, planes, etc, etc). Irrespective of how much they bluster about their excessive lardyness being a medical condition (slow metabolism, etc), it really just boils down to an imbalance in calories eaten to calories burned.

    The reason this pisses me of is down to my own physical 'deformity'. I'm rather tall (6'6"), which means travelling on busses, coaches, trains and economy air are bloody uncomfortable. However, unlike the lardies, there is bugger all that I can do about it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    About time

    It's about time airlines started charging people by the exact amount of fuel used to carry the total weight of themselves and their baggage too...

  5. Derek Hellam
    Happy

    Why the Fire brigade?

    Methinks the hospitals, doctors or whoever should just call a haulage company or commercial removals company. I really don't see the need to call the fire brigade. Setting fire to the obese persons premises might cause them to move of their own accord rather sharpess. And if the don't then the crem is saved a job..LOL or even care in the community. Limit their access to all those calorie packed goodies. And please don't mention that its in their genes or what ever, I yet to see the fat man in a Japanese prisoner of war camp or any concentration camp. It all comes down to the fact that their cakehole is bigger than their A$$hole. The fire brigade could of couse make the building safe by nailing their doors shut and installing a very small cat flap so that only small amounts of food could be delivered?

  6. Alastair Dodd
    Alert

    hmm just like Airline seats

    "The service stressed that the charge will be levied on "hospitals, nursing homes, the police or other agencies", and that individuals will not be expected to foot the bill."

    The lard lad should pay for being FAT. Why should the already strapped NHS pay out for obesity (when it's not for genetic reasons). I for one don't want to pay for another's gluttony, that just make it more acceptable to be grossly fat, and we are talking about extremes here arn't we ? You can't argue that will make more people anorexic.

  7. Ned Fowden

    are you joking ?

    Fat people have no-one else to blame but themselves.

    if they get stuck in their own home thats their fault.....to not levy the individual is INSANITY.

    to pass this charge onto hospitals, nursing homes etc is wrong, just plain wrong.

    another burden thrown onto our healthcare system by stupid people, smokers, drinkers and fatties should all have to bear the cost of their freedom of choice

    you choose to eat so much & not exercise

    you choose to inhale carcinogenic smoke

    you choose to introduce toxins into your system by drinking alcohol

    You should have to pay for all the consequences !

    it's just wrong that the cost should be taken by others for these truly stupid people !

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aircraft

    Yeah, the whole passenger and luggage should be weighed, got charged excess baggage one trip when the was some great fat lard arse in the queue next to me who would have totted up at least twice my weight.

    If they started charging the greedy lazy lardbags, then there'd be an added incentive for them to lose a few tons.

    >you choose to eat so much & not exercise

    >you choose to inhale carcinogenic smoke

    >you choose to introduce toxins into your system by drinking alcohol

    It's only the first one that doesn't tot up punitive taxation.

    BTW Couldn't they just leave them in their houses without doughnuts for a couple of weeks and then they'd be a whole lot lighter?

  9. Huseyin Huseyin
    Paris Hilton

    But with all this talk of fat people...

    (see icon)

  10. Tim Croydon
    Stop

    Re: Aircraft

    I know I'm taking this too serious, but charging individuals by weight on plane would not be fair. I'm six foot tall, so why should I be charged more for flying than a 5 foot tall woman who weighs half my amount. And that's before you take into account my jeans and boots will weigh considerably more than the young lady's tiny skirt and strappy sandals.

  11. Alex Cooper
    Joke

    @Tim Croydon

    She has a tiny skirt and you're wondering why she gets special treatment??? ;o)

  12. Matthew
    Thumb Up

    damn strait!

    The fireservice's job is to put our fires, not to help fat people get to the hospital cause there too lazy to crawl there themselves

  13. Chris Taylor
    Flame

    @ tim

    Tim, we are all consenting adults, if you want to go to the airport in a tiny skirt and FMSB's then I won't object (especially if your six foot or more) ....

    Some very right wing views here, - airtravel is one thing, but emergency services are quite another. If a lardy pays their taxes they are as much a citizen as the next person.

    If it was private healthcare or indeed a private fireservice then I can see the tariff rising per claim, but we live (thankgod) in a society that values all its members equally, including the vastly overweight blubbermountains unable to reach far back enough to wipe properly.

  14. Smallbrainfield
    Paris Hilton

    How short is the skirt?

    Is she pretty?

  15. One-armed Freddy
    Flame

    Workaround

    If I set a fat person on fire then they wouldn't be able to charge me.

    Also, it would warm my house more cheaply than the central heating.

    Any ideas where I can buy a fat person? I'd prefer nearly new, though slightly soiled might be okay.

  16. Jason

    @Chris

    "If a lardy pays their taxes they are as much a citizen as the next person"

    If you need the fire service to get out of your house, I very much doubt you're working and paying taxes.

    But i've gotta agree with these charges, but not with making other services pay the bill.

    If you're fat, it's your own fault, why should we have to pay?

  17. Daniel Hutty

    @Tim

    Tim,

    if you think about it, it IS fair to charge you more than someone who weighs less, as it does in fact cost more to transport you (more aviation fuel is required to lift your mass than that of someone lighter). It's likely to be a very small difference, but it'll be there.

    Imagine, if you will, two identical flights, and the total luggage etc. weighs the same, but everyone on one flight is a skinny young 5-foot lass, and everyone on the other is a 6-ft-plus rugby player. I bet I know which would use the most fuel. (I also know which one I'd rather take the spare seat on... ;) )

  18. Chris Taylor
    Pirate

    @jason

    "If you need the fire service to get out of your house, I very much doubt you're working and paying taxes."

    Might work in IT ?

    UK never does things properly, if we are going to start singling out minority groups for re programming or special treatment or even eradication .... can't we start with politicians and move on to Local Councillors etc who think up these harebrained schemes

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Workaround

    You don't want one that's too sweaty, hard to light and the smeel would be bad.

    BTW I'm over 6 foot and would probably have to pay more than Kylie on a plane as well, but I know what I'd rather be sat next to.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Re: Aircraft

    What about if you work out a fair height to weight ratio and charge for excesses?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Re: Aircraft

    What about if you work out a fair height to weight ratio and charge for excesses?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Where do you draw the line though?

    So if we are going to charge people for medical treatment, for things that they caused themselves, where do we draw the line then?

    Several people have singled out smokers, drinkers, gluttons etc. - are we going to add people who drove recklessly and crashed, people who didn't look where they were going and fell off something, failed suicides perhaps? What about drug addicts? They'll have to do extra crime, to pay for their drugs plus the hospital fees they've racked up.

    Why not charge the person who brought all the food to the fat person, since we've already established that the fattie can't get out of the house themselves to buy it (or work to pay for it)?

    Pretty soon it all gets out of hand, doesn't it?

  23. j prince
    Go

    There's cash in them thar fatties

    Perhaps I should set up fat ambulance service if occurrences are that regular?

  24. j prince
    IT Angle

    actually.......

    my mate has a piano removal company. He's always removing windows and crowbarring weighty objects around tight corners. Good rates national delivery. £CALL

  25. Danny Traynor
    Gates Horns

    Planes and skirts

    Surely the 5 foot hotties luggage will weigh incrementally more than the 6 foot egg chaser? I know my luggage is generally about half the other halfs :)

  26. Andy

    Mixed

    @Evil Graham,

    Agreed, very easy to get out of hand, and soon life becomes a prison, (except i dont own a plasma screen, jukebox, etc etc).

    Personally I dont think its a bad idea, not amazing but not bad

  27. Chris Cheale

    erm...

    ----

    another burden thrown onto our healthcare system by stupid people, smokers, drinkers and fatties should all have to bear the cost of their freedom of choice

    ----

    Smokers and drinkers do - something like 75% of the price of a pint is tax - if everyone stopped smoking and drinking tomorrow there'd be quite a tax shortfall for the next financial year.

    Please carry on blaming the smokers, drinkers, fatties, drivers and so on for uneccessarily draining the health service. Blame people who lead healthy lifestyles while you're at it - they live too long, spend longer in retirement and may need longer term care in their dotage; the aged are a serious problem after all. Blame anyone who spends money abroad, thus stealing tax revenue from our beloved government. Blame the mentally ill, the Unions (civil service strikes cost the rest of us) - and definitely blame the extremely rich who somehow manage to dodge the taxman.

    The mark of a civilised society is how they treat their most vulnerable - personally I'm all for "re-education centres" ... although I'm sure there was an Austrian chap some 60-70 years ago with similar ideas.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Daniel Hutty

    Got a thing about rugby players then?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @jonb

    'you choose to inhale carcinogenic smoke

    you choose to introduce toxins into your system by drinking alcohol

    You should have to pay for all the consequences !'

    You cannot compare smoking and drinking to being so excessively fat you need help to leave the house. Most people who smoke and drink still manage to go to work and pay their income tax, council tax and all the others that the government heap on us.

    I both smoke and drink but live a quite healthy lifestyle compared to most people I know. I have regular health checks and the doctor tells me everything is fine while warning me about the dangers of smoking.

    I know the dangers, I am an adult and capable of making informed choices. I realised long ago that no amount of exercise, healthy eating etc is going to stop me dying so I might as well enjoy my life.

    Now consider how it will affect the country if everyone gives up:

    Total tax revenue from tobacco sales per year - £9.3bn

    Total money spent on tobacco related illness by the NHS per year - £1.5bn

    Therefore, I have paid for my stay in hospital should I need it as well as any treatments while at the same time contributing far more to the economy than a non-smoker. Why should I have to pay more when I already have?

    Total tax revenue from alcohol sales and excise duty - £14bn

    Total money spent on alcohol related illness by the NHS per year - £1.7bn

    Again, as a drinker I have paid for any stay in hospital many times over while providing much needed tax income for the treasury

    Total NHS budget 2006/07 £95bn

    So total tax revenue from these two things provide enough tax for just under a quarter of the entire NHS budget.

    Total spend on illnesses related to these two things is about just over 3% of the entire budget.

    This is just taking into account for the alcohol and tobacco. It does not take into account the amount of income tax etc paid by the thousands of workers involved in manufacture, distibution and supply.

    Whereas someone who is unable to leave the house because they are so fat are probably having their housing costs and council tax paid for by the government, claiming benefits and just paying tax on the things they buy. As most food is tax free, this does not amount to much. In this case it is more than fair to charge them for use of the services as they have not contributed towards them.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    f**k you andyb

    Seriously - fat lazy lardy people????

    My wife was is twice the size of me, but eats half the food I eat and does twice the exercise. She diets, works and exercises.... so tell me, why is she labelled a fat lazy pig? We can stop being as fat as she could be, but without surgery or drugs we will never get her thin.

    I agree that alot of fat people are obese through laziness, but the media only shows one side of the coin. At the end of the day, some people can't help being fat - and they hate that they are because of people like you. She was walking down the road the other day on a walk, when a kid started playing a fattie song on her mobile phone and giggled. People are ignorant and prejudice against fat people just for being fat - they dont care why, just assume its the persons fault. Eastenders portays fat people are big, greedy thick bitches who live with their parents so it's no surprise really. At the end of the day, she could diet even more, but then she would be on the "juice" diet that makes people go up in arms about health issues in models and kills people - but as long as it makes her thinner huh!!

    This is a bad idea, next we will be charging more for council tax in bad areas for the extra policing needed there, or the fire service charging more to put out fires in high-rise flats because of the extra risk associated with using the lader or more hoses.

  31. Adrian Taylor

    why the anger ?

    I am amazed at the amount of nastiness and malice directed at over weight people on this comments board...

    if you went back over the last few posts and substituted gays,black people,foreigners,jews etc for the word fatties then there would simply be uproar.

    So why is it acceptable to attack people just because they are fat? If you ask me its because some humans appear to want to hate other humans and they will seize any way to do so...now you cant be racist openly or anti-Semitic then the narrow minds single out some other arbitrary section of society to attack.

    I feel sorry for people trapped in their own homes by depression, eating disorders and anxiety, and i'm not surprised they dont want to leave their homes seeing as though all you lot appear to despise them simply because they are heavier than you are !

    If you all band together into an organised group perhaps you could persuade government to set up some sort of concentration/death camp to solve this "problem"

    To be charitable I am assuming all the negativity is coming from the mouths of uneducated young people with no life experience, if not then perhaps you should look long and hard at the amount of malice you harbour towards various minority groups.

    regards

    adrian

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Ned Fowden

    /flame

    "Fat people have no-one else to blame but themselves."

    I'm 1,93 cm and weight 148kg. I also happen to have a nice ,genetic -PROVEN- Hyper-Insulemia syndrome and losing weight is extremly hard for me. Should I shoot myself ?

    "if they get stuck in their own home thats their fault.....to not levy the individual is INSANITY."

    Hi, your grandma called, she just broke her hip-bone and has to be evacuated.

    Can we shoot her down now or do you have a credit card on your person ?

    "to pass this charge onto hospitals, nursing homes etc is wrong, just plain wrong"

    Same original budget here. from your pocket, all of them are paid.

    "another burden thrown onto our healthcare system by stupid people, smokers, drinkers and fatties should all have to bear the cost of their freedom of choice"

    It's your freedom of choice that made you cross out of the pedestrian lane. not mine I ran you over with my car.

    "you choose to eat so much & not exercise

    you choose to inhale carcinogenic smoke

    you choose to introduce toxins into your system by drinking alcohol

    You should have to pay for all the consequences !"

    I happen to be poor and can only afford Lidl, Aldi or Leader Price cheapest salt and fat enriched foods.

    I happen to be a walker, and I inhale the fumes of your cars

    With all this misery around me, I do try and buy something to drink to alleviate my misery.

    I'm already piss poor and slighly enhubriated. Leave me alone, bastard.

    "it's just wrong that the cost should be taken by others for these truly stupid people "

    Your parents did pay for your schooling from start to end ? you never benefited from any governemental help ? you paid the whole of your hospital notes ? you personnaly had every roads built ? I mean I am rich, my kids go to a private college, I have my own surgeon and use my 'copter or private jet. Why should I pay taxes and such for your own petty needs ? I hate poor people. it's just wrong that the cost should be taken by me for you, a truly stupid person

    /flame

  33. Ned Fowden

    Re: Evil Graham

    i'd love not to have to do that, in fact i'd love to blame the government for not providing enough resource.

    our services are already overburdened, the last thing we need is for each service to start charging each other.

    why should any hospital have to pay, it should come from the government and not add further burden to the other local services.

  34. Ned Fowden

    @ Chris Cheale

    and maybe if our government stopped giving hundreds and undreds of millions of our taxes away in aid to foreign countries we wouldn't have to worry about your stupidity.

    i in no way endorse our old Austrian friend's views, but the rest of us shouldn't have to suffer because of other peoples stupidity, no argument you can give will change my view on that.

  35. Cyberspice
    Flame

    Re: height to weight ratio...

    Use BMI. Anyone clinically obese pays more!

  36. Ian Dedic
    Stop

    Why stop at fat people?

    So if you want to change fat people more for things like health services because it's their fault they're fat, why stop there?

    If you broke an arm falling off a skateboard -- that's your fault, pay up.

    If you broke a leg falling off a rock face -- that's your fault, pay up.

    If you twisted an ankle running a marathon -- that's your fault, pay up.

    If you catch a nasty disease backpacking in India -- that's your fault, pay up.

    Who ends up costing the health service (i.e. all of us) more then -- fat people who don't do any of the above risky activities, or fit people who do?

    The whole point of something like the NHS is that it doesn't (or at least shouldn't) discriminate or charge on the grounds of how/why you need it, you get the treatment whether the injury was your fault or not.

    So all you thin active people out there (who I suspect are writing most of the diatribes against fat people) should think carefully -- you might find that charging people by "whether it's their fault" hits you even harder then them... :-)

    Ian ( 5 foot 10 and 11 stone )

  37. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The gist of this thread

    So it's basically blame the weal for their weaknesses. Yeah, let's do that. Go the Spartan way : if you can't take of yourself, then jump off a cliff. And if you can't do that, we'll at least help you by throwing you off.

    Surely, a society full of beautiful, fit people is worth some sacrifices, right ?

    Well, right up to the point where it's you that's being sacrificed.

    Anyway, the Spartans had it good, didn't they ?

    I wonder why they're no longer around ?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @Anonymous Coward

    So you're 148kg and your missus is twice that?! Not sure you'd actually fit on a plane, let alone have to worry about paying more! ;-)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Adrian Taylor

    >"substituted gays,black people,foreigners,jews etc for the word fatties"

    Yes, but the hypothetical disabled jewish black homosexual frenchman can't change that by simply stopping being a big greedy fat pig.

    >So why is it acceptable to attack people just because they are fat?

    Because we have to pay for the fire brigade to take them in an ambulance to the hospital. Which, if they weren't fat they wouldn't need

    1) The fire service

    2) The ambulance and

    3) The hospital.

    (Although to be fair they might need the hospital anyway)

    >I feel sorry for people trapped in their own homes by...

    ...the size of their doors?

    As for the concentration camp idea, it's a good one, but it would take years for some of these people to starve to death and we'd have to let them out once they were normal weight.

    >malice you harbour towards various minority groups

    You're the one who thinks that gays, blacks, foreigners or jews are as bad as fat people! I harbour no malice to any of those groups... well... except the french.

    @Anonymous Fatso

    >It's your freedom of choice that made you cross out of the pedestrian

    >lane. not mine I ran you over with my car.

    It would've stopped quicker if you weren't so fat!

  40. Barry
    Go

    Flat Rate Would Work

    Fatties like "all you can eat" deals ;-)

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ned Fowden

    "our services are already overburdened, the last thing we need is for each service to start charging each other.

    why should any hospital have to pay, it should come from the government and not add further burden to the other local services."

    I think that's a very fair point, but in this country it's all the same money really, because it's all tax one way or another.

    The principle we are arguing about is whether we all chip in a little bit so the Fire Brigade can take an obese geezer to hospital, or whether we land said obese geezer with a bill.

    Personally I think there are far too many Daily Mail readers spewing their own warped rhetoric on this topic. Now that all their favourite 'isms have been banned there are only a few safe targets left, so off they go on one.

    I expect they're the same kind of people who come up to you at parties and say "I'm not racist but..." - and then say something quite racist.

  42. Finn
    Flame

    @Why stop at fat people

    We do stop at fat people.

    First of all, comparing obesity to accidents is idiotic: After all, skateboarder doesn't go out to hurt himself and backbacker doesn't go to India to catch a disease. In fact smart skateboarder wears pads and backpacker has shots, they avoid healt-risk at all cost.

    Being fat is no accident.

    What fatsoes should be compared with are other people who knowingly continue with activities that they know are harmfull to their health: People who smoke or excessive drinkers!

    But hey! Drinkers and smokers pay special taxes for their activities! Pack-a-day smoker for 30 years has paid enough sales-taxes to foot the bill of his terminal-care in local hospital, so if he has choosen to kill himself by smoking, I really don't see how it is anybodys bussines, but his.

    But what about the triple by-pass/diabates whale in next bed? He knowingly damaged his health, but left the bill to the society at large.

    You want unfair? Why the smoker has to pay, but fatso doesn't? We do stop at fat people. For some reason they are only ones who aren't treated as responsible of their choises.

  43. Matt
    Pirate

    well

    Discuss -

    your kid dies in a fire becouse the fire service is too busy moving a fatty on the other side of town.

    Fatty should have to pay for a removal service to get its fat ass out of the house.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    We do stop at fat people....

    ...cos they're stuck in the door!

  45. Andy Worth

    Dangerous masturbation?

    I think that hospitals ought to directly charge people who are bought in having had "suspicious injuries" involving vacuum cleaners, and inanimate objects stuck in strange orifices. Either that or take pictures and sell them to "You've Been Framed" for our amusement, and pump the money back into the NHS.

  46. Karl Lattimer
    Stop

    Why should my taxes pay for this

    Seriously, saying that the NHS will foot the bill for fat people is a further insult to the amount of tax I pay.

    If they're fat, they should either buy their own crane for lifting their enormous bulk, or pay the fire service themselves rather than insisting that I do!

  47. Charles Hammond

    Fat People are Human

    So how is paying for fat people different than paying for people that smoke or drink or are drug addicts?

    What about stupid people that climb mountans or have accidents racing horses or cars?

    Arent they just as useless?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fat people arn't human - so says anon

    they're bloats on humanity - at least people who smoke and drink both pay stupid amounts of tax into the nhs.

    Also we arn't talking about the NHS footing the bill - but the fact that the fire service have to be diverted from their job to move a fat basterd.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Fat People are Human (But the fat isn't - that's just yellow goo)

    >What about stupid people that climb mountans or have accidents racing

    > horses or cars?

    They're stupid though. Are you saying that fat people are stupid?

    You can't persecute people for being stupid, they can't help that.

  50. Walter Brown
    Flame

    Perfectly justified

    Being a firefighter in Arizona, in the good ol USofA, i can say this is perfectly justified...

    we have to move large patients on a regular basis, its difficult and dangerous. when ever people have to shift large amounts of weight there is a risk of back injury. not only that but calling out additional resources puts the community at undue risk while these resources are committed to moving this patient.

    on top of the ambulance crew, we often have to call 2 engine companies to get enough manpower to move 500lb (220kg) or larger patients. that leaves a large area of city without fire coverage, because once committed the engine companies can not abandon the patient for another emergency call.

    after 12 years in the fire service, i have seen the careers of 4 of my fellow firefighters come to early end due to back injuries from moving fat asses, i myself have suffered injury from it, not serious thank god, and i havent lost time at work from it, but i have been lucky.

    that is all...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got enough tar?

    Age: 25. Weight: 23 stone. Height: 6'2". Job: tech support. Wage £17k pa / take home £1,100 per month

    Monthly Bills:

    £350 Rent (shared) £100 Rates £250 Loan to buy car £200 Fuel £50 Insurance £150 Other / Misc expenses

    =================

    £1,050 Total

    £50 Remainder to spend on food / leisure / anything else I need

    Daily Activity: Wake at 6am Leave house at 6:45 2 Hour drive to work (assuming no delays on M4/M25) 9.5 Hour work day - Working at a desk, no gym for miles, attempted to take an hour’s walk each lunch time. 2 Hour drive home (assuming no delays on M4/M25) Home by 7 if I'm lucky, usually 8. Just enough time to eat something for dinner, talk to my partner and get to bed, ready to repeat tomorrow.

    I lived this way for two years. Please, if anyone here can find time in there for exercising or money in there to spend on going to the gym, I’d love to hear from you.

    I’ve been lucky in that I’ve gotten myself a new job in a similar area of work but with much more physical demands, I have been less depressed in this job and have been able to afford better foods. I have much more fruit than I used to and get exercise doing my job every day (typically hefting boxes of tech up and down stairs, or just running about fixing / prepping or in other ways setting things up).

    Tarring every ‘fatty’ with the same ‘lazy bastard’ brush simply doesn’t work; yes some can be labeled as lazy because they are, others are doing the best they know how with what they have available.

    Unless you’re willing to have an independent assessment of each individual’s situation and circumstances there is no easy way to charge a fat / obese person reliably for costs incurred.

    The only other way would be to have everyone pay for what they use at the point of delivery. However, this would require the removal of the NHS system and the introduction of an American-style system, and unless you have had your head in the sand over the last few years, you know how that works.

    There is no easy solution to be honest. Or rather; the easiest solution would be to have everyone pay at the point of delivery, those who have ‘contributed most to society’ by becoming rich enough to afford health insurance would be treated, and the chaff would be allowed to die and thereby decrease the surplus population.

    This would be a much fairer system for those who can afford it; although I was under the impression that the human race was evolving into a species which would help each other.

    If you see someone who is compelled to eat cake, try laying down the stick, and offer the carrot instead.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Er...

    Where's the Daily Mail angle?

  53. Wayne
    Stop

    Big guy with no pity...

    Personally, all of the arguments above are excellent examples of why I am morally, philosophically, and politically opposed to socialized medicine.

    I am a sports fanatic. I play rugby, American football, track&field (shot,Hammer), Scottish Games, and soccer(football). I am 6'1" and 20stone, and I have never been fat a day in my life.

    I have injured myself while playing above sports... and I was very happy to go and get stitched together or splinted or whatnot and then pay the bill for said treatment.

    Back on topic. When you accept the dole, and you accept the taxes that create the dole, you must accept the cost. Period. Personally, I would love for airlines to put some 'fatty' seats on the plane, as my arse fits quite well in a normal seat, but my shoulders are considerably wider... I would love to pay extra so that I didn't hang into the aisle. When I was in the US Marines I was glad that I was usually in a unit that had other larger than average men, so that if one of us took a round or suffered some other mishap we could be confident that someone could carrry our asses out of there.

    You take taxes indiscriminately... therefore you are obligated to give indiscriminately, or are you just trying to cheat your fellow citizens?

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    well

    become an hero!

    Or buy better food - what you doing getting £50 of lard?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obesity on 50 pounds per month.

    23 stone requires 3552 calories per day (Basal metabolic rate)

    Assume 31 days/month is 110112 cals/month

    22 cals per pence, how the hell are you buying food so cheaply?

    So, lets see what Tesco can do (I've skipped the salad section):-

    Pork Farms Individual Pork Pie 86pence, 551 cals = 6.5cals per pence.

    Tesco Large Melton Mowbray Pork Pie 440g 182pence,1518cals = 8.3 c/p

    Tesco Value Lard 500g 31pende, 4500 cals = 145.1 c/p

    Struggling a bit with the magic number there, but it's somewhere between pork pies and tesco value lard.

    Ah wait! Cheese'll do it.

    Tesco Medium Cheddar 1kg 538 pence, 4100 calories = 7.6 c/p

    !?!?!?

    So, even eating a diet entirely of discount cheese wouldn't maintain your bodyweight.

    I'm going to have to call "Bullshit" on this one.

  56. John A Blackley

    Interesting diversion

    All of the above was informative - and a little alarming.

    When I consider all of the taxes levied on the British and all the ways in which that tax money is spent (Note to some: There is no such thing as "the government's money" or "the government paying for something". It's YOUR money and YOU'RE paying.), the reaction to an insignifcance such as this is laughable.

    Listen, it doesn't matter. Yes, there are people who don't take responsibility for themselves (but not all obese people fall in this category). Yes, there are people whose views are hateful and intolerant (but not all who wrote here fall into that category). In the scale of the taxes paid in the UK, though, this doesn't even amount to a nanofart in a thunderstorm.

    Pay attention to what does matter. Why is the NHS funded so much and yet delivering such a pathetic service? Why are politicos telling you to not drink, smoke, eat, drive your car or take foreign holidays when they gorge themselves on alchohol-fueled banquets, smoke as they please, ride around in limousines and fly all over the world?

    A few obese people needing Pickfords to get them to hospital is less than significant. Oh, and by the way, what about charging the chronically angry for their blood-pressure meds and their stroke rehabilitation?

  57. tom

    I can't quite work out how...

    The phrase "carry your own weight", I think, makes my entire argument in support of the decision to charge.

  58. Jason
    Pirate

    Here lies Common Sense. It's rotting corpse for all to view.

    A forklift?

    If it requires a forklift to move someone out of bed then there is a massive problem to begin with.

    I'd say give the individual a choice. Liposuction, diet/execise, death, or a hefty service fee for moving their ass out of what once was a wall.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    I don't think that it's the place of the fire service to do this - they have more important things to do, like putting out fires, freeing people from wrecked cars etc.

    I do, in the same vane think that people with bad AIDS should be charged for the drugs they need - they shared the needle / didn't use a condom, they knew the risks, it's their fault.

    Oh, hang on a sec, that doesn't sound very nice does it, maybe callously persecuting people for things that they don't have that much control over isn't that nice. And before you say you choose to eat and fat people have chosen to eat too much, that isn't always the case. You have to eat, it's about the most important thing you do, we are reaping the Thatcher years here, stop educating kids about cooking and what to eat and when they are adults they don't know what to eat. Couple that with a very strongly programmed desire to eat fats and you end up with fat people. Duh!

  60. Chris Hunt
    Thumb Down

    Hmmm....

    Just to interrupt the hate-fest for a moment...

    The fire guy says "It is not frequent but still a regular occurrence." Well, I suppose, once every six weeks does count as "regular", but it seems pretty insignificant to me.

    Surely it can't possibly be worth the hassle of raising charges just to cover 8 incidents a year - especially if those charges are only going to be made on some other branch of the public sector. Hurrah!, x pounds has been shifted from this budget to that one! How many extra bureaucrats will need to be taken on to achieve this triumph in accountancy?

  61. kain preacher

    Drugs

    psychiatric drugs can cause weight gain to the point of being obese. I guess its their fault to right?? or would you rather them go off their meds ??

    Medicine proscribed for folks who had strokes can cause weight gain. But hey thats there fault to.

    Yep every one that is fat became fat by choice. No matter what the medical reason is. Gland problem , you chose to be fat. Insulin problem tough you choose to be fat. Even if you are only eating 2200 calories and still are fat its cause you chose to be fat.

    Any body that makes blanket statements is a moron. Alot of people posting here have blind hate for fat people. they wont even acknowledge the fact there medical reasons for some people being fat

  62. the Jim bloke
    Alert

    obvious solution - at least from an Aussie POV

    Firstly, i would like to point out that the bulk (groan) of morbidly obese people -requiring assistance to leave their homes - are unable to work, so it doesnt really matter who gets slugged with the bill, its all going back on the taxpayer.

    Nevertheless, in Aussie-land where we are coerced into private health insurance by punitive tax penalties - the obese should have a specific insurance plan which includes heavy lifting/ambulance assistance. Given the rest of the medical complications associated with obesity, it is only reasonable to put them on a separate tier to the general public. In the same way men dont need to pay for plans which include maternity options (assisted or otherwise) - if there are costs specific to the condition the are subject to, then these should be factored into their premiums.

    As a healthy, careful person I am opposed to compulsory health insurance - its gambling against yourself basically, with the insurance companys as the big winners, followed by the clumsy and unlucky.. but there are limited cases where it has some use.

    I have no idea what system the poms use, except they never seem happy with it.

  63. Chris Reynolds
    Go

    Airline Surcharge

    Maybe Airlines could make things fair by forcing 2m tall blokes like me to endure long-haul flights sat next to slim-but-not-too-tall-yet-quite-attractive young ladies (preferably wearing lightweight clothing, to save fuel of course)?

    But seriously, it's a natural urge to dislike paying taxes and then to see those taxes being spent not on something that will benefit you, but one something that could have been avoided if the person in question had better judgement or more self control. It's not just clinically obese people. Smokers Long-term unemployed, benefit cheats, vandals, extreme sports enthusiasts (who knowingly put themselves in danger knowing that our taxes have paid for a helicopter than can winch them off a mountain and into a hospital where they can receive treatment for free).

    Thing is, once we start charging obese people (and yes, I know that this article states that the patients themselves will not have to pay, but there are strong arguments above for the alternative to be the case) for these services we set a precedent that will end up with us being charged extra for all sorts of things.

    You live 10 miles from the hospital? Then the ambulance will charge you twice as much as the person who lives 5 miles away.

    You have 6 kids instead of the average 2? Well the fire and rescue team will get the first two for free and will charge thereafter.

    Ridiculous, but the underlying sentiment is similar.

  64. Tom

    This is pretty easy if you ask me....

    ...A chainsaw works wonders to remove an exterior wall. Works quite fast as well. I leave the repairs as an exercise to the (fat) homeowner. Of course the rental of the forklift might be an added expense.

    As to the sharing of the "HEALTHCARE" costs is another matter. Socialized medicine remove the personal initiative to be healthy. Maybe a tax on BMI (body mass index) is in order. Legislation of "good behavior" is a losing battle. It never works, and usually has unintended consequences (think prohibition in USA).

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fire Services and airlines

    Around here (Pennsylvania, US) our fire departments usually operate the emergency response ambulances, so they don't have any right to complain. Also, I've NEVER known ANY firefighters to deny ANY excuse to take ANY of their tools to ANYTHING. And I know a lot of firefighters. The general rule of thumb is that if something more imminent happens, they throw the sawzalls back in the truck and go deal with that - and then come back to whatever recreational activity they've selected (whether it's gratuitous cutting up of cars, of making way for lardo to get out of the bedroom).

    Also, when a NON fire department ambulance service responds to something (it happens occasionally) they'll often call for fire department assistance to do such things as lift a stretcher up and down stairs - which, granted, requires far less resource than sawzall-powered home improvement, but is still "excess strain".

    Who cares? They're getting paid anyway, whether they're sitting on their asses watching TV, or putting out burning buildings, or cutting holes in walls. In fact, we have rather large contingents of VOLUNTEER firefighters, who DON'T get paid and do it just for the human compassion thing.

    The tools firefighters use for fatty-extraction are the very same tools they use to extract people from cars. You can't claim additional wear and tear on the tools from their being used on wood and plaster.... That's all negligible compared to steel and aluminum. The costs of a fire department responding to a fatty-extraction call are negligibly higher when you compare them to their idle costs. The only real additional expense is in transport, if there are no "heavyweight" ambulances available. These things are wider and have heavier rear axles (and occasionally dual rear axles) than a regular ambulance, and are becoming fairly commonplace in the US. Usually this will be accomplished with a quick and dirty rental truck with a hydraulic lift gate - a whopping $70 expense, which is ALWAYS picked up by the ambulance company, and in turn billed along with the regular transport fees.

    Also, these extractions serve to keep skills sharp - remember, firefighters will often have to tear into a part of a building for one reason or another. It's also worth noting that if something catches fire, or someone has a car accident, they're obligated to leave and come back later.

    In summary, a fire department engaged in the extrication of a fat person from their home is spending virtually no more money than normal, are engaging in low-impact, and actually pretty fun training, and aren't letting houses burn down. There isn't a single negative to the whole thing. This is just some paperpusher's idea of a good way to bring in extra money to pay for $SHINY_NEW_PIECE_OF_KIT

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @kain preacher

    What utter twaddle.

    Anybody who is under supervised medication will not be allowed to get into a state of such obesity that they can't get out of the house.

    And while I'm at it - "Any body that makes blanket statements is a moron." - I think that's a blanket statement. Think of a phrase with pot and kettle or hoist and petard.

    To the fat anonymous coward, God only knows what you must be stuffing in your gob to maintain 23 stones but it's likely a change of diet will help. Seeing as you are on a budget it might be some consolation to know that it's actually cheaper to eat a healthy diet.

  67. Oz
    Dead Vulture

    Re: Obesity on 50 pounds per month

    Your calorie assessment is wrong. According to my BMR calculator it's nearer 2850, which is far more reasonable, and practical to maintain on Tesco Value Cheese and Pork Pies.

    Ironically, I arrived home from work yesterday to find a police car, ambulance and fire engine blocking my road. Yep, you've guessed it - they were extracting a rather large lady from her house via the downstairs bay window. By the gathering of onlookers outside the house, it was a sport the whole neighbourhood could enjoy.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Airline Surcharge

    While I agree entirely with the airline seating plan you suggest, I'd also suggest it would help balance the plane as well..

    >You live 10 miles from the hospital? Then the ambulance will

    >charge you twice as much as the person who lives 5 miles away.

    But it doesn't cost twice as much?

    If they did tehn perhaps both people and hospitals would be sited closer to each other substantially improvign the services. At the moment, hospitals can be so remote as to require transport to get anywhere near them.

    >You have 6 kids instead of the average 2? Well the fire and rescue team

    >will get the first two for free and will charge thereafter.

    You should be paying a sodding surcharge for 6 kids anyway! Haven't they heard of contraception? Do you know why the planet is shagged out? It's people breeding as if they're third world subsistence farmers.

    Families with massive numbers of children tend to be from religious groups that are attempting to breed their way into numerical supremacy. If that's what they want to do I fail to see why I should pick up the tab for it.

    >A chainsaw works wonders to remove an exterior wall.

    Maybe in the mid west US where houses are built out of cheese, but in lancashire most houses are brick and those that aren't are granite or blonde sandstone - you'd need one bitching chainsaw.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: BMR calculator it's nearer 2850

    That still makes 17 and a bit cals a penny, I think there's some kind of discount value pork pie multipack that fat people must live off.

  70. Rob
    Stop

    What planet did you say you lived on?

    "...although I was under the impression that the human race was evolving into a species which would help each other."

    What planet are you living on, we're a dispicable society of animals that refuses to learn from it's mistakes.

    "for these services we set a precedent that will end up with us being charged extra for all sorts of things."

    Again, what planet, we are being charged for all sorts of things with stealth taxes that our government desperately tries to introduce at any point possible to make up for the fact that it's screwed the finances of this country up and doesn't get enough tax money. Hands up anyone under 40 who thinks they'll get a state pension (you at the back with your hand up, your a moron, here's your coat, and no you can order your own taxi).

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    RE:got enough tar

    Why do fat people these days cry out like it's some kind of disability that they have no control over? You can only put weight on in relation to the amount of calories you consume. Fat doesn't magically appear.

    What the hell have you been eating to weigh 23st age 25? Sounds like you did nothing in your support job but sit at your desk eating. As for living on £50 per month, why take a loan for a car that comes with the additional expense of insurance etc if you knew it would leave you with only that? Surely saving a few hundred quid for a second hand one would have been a better idea. You would still be able to get to work, never heard of a bus or train? Or are you simply unable to walk to the station or bus stop?

    As for those having a go at smokers and drinkers, if you had read all the comments you will see that they pay a lot of money to do this, money that benefits everyone but most food is tax free. Yes some people have a medical condition causing them to put on weight but these are in the minority. The rest just like stuffing their faces and can't be bothered to exercise the weight off once they notice they are piling it on. You can't reach 23st without seeing yourself in the mirror and at some point thinking hmm I'm getting a bit podgy. Better still, why not change diet and stop eating all the burgers, crisps, cakes, chocolate etc. You don't have to cut them out completely, but a balanced diet makes it easier to control your weight.

  72. Nick Pettefar

    Your You're

    People, please remember that "your" is for when something belongs to somebody:

    Your mistakes;

    "you're" is short for "you are"

    You're mistaken.

    "Their" is when something belongs to somebody too:

    Their mistake;

    "They're" is short for "they are":

    They're mistaken.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Sympathy for the Fat Devils

    Thank the Lord I'm from Yorkshire. I once made a bad decision and went to Lancashire, believe me, if you lived there, you would be sad, depressed and fat.

  74. the Jim bloke
    Paris Hilton

    income for obese people

    What jobs -and income- are available for clinically obese people, who have trouble leaving their homes, and invalidate a companies insurance whenever they are required to walk up a flight of stairs ?

    So far as urban myth has it, they're the main source of voices for the "live phone sex" industry.. that might explain why it seems to be so much more prevalent these days..

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    BMI is BullSh*t

    "Use BMI. Anyone clinically obese pays more!"

    My ridiculously lean brother came over from the UK a few weeks ago - commutes about 250 miles/week by cycle, has to take a special protein diet just to cope.

    He was telling me about the BMI madness in the UK where doctors are rewarded/punished for the progress they make on improving BMI regardless of the actual lean-ness or fitness of the person involved.

    See, he's relatively short and after being weighed and measured by the nurse, walks into the doctor's office. Doctor with head-down looking at the charts starts by saying "we're going to have to do something about your diet and exercise to get your weight down"... looks up... does double-take... looks down..looks up again... "ahem, forget about that".

    BMI is based on a set of figures that take no account of ethnicity or muscularity and make assumptions about everyone being sedentary. Some pages warn about this but the stupid NHS regulations apparently have no leeway for doctors to apply judgement.

    He also told me of a very small-framed friend of his who has a Chinese husband who is also of slight build and had a mandatory visit from a nurse because their 6 month-old baby was "undersized".

  76. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    The problem's really quite simple

    Some people are just lazy and lacking in self control.

    I mean how difficult is it to actually inform yourself about a subject before speaking (hint:Google) or failing that control the impulse to indulge in ignorant hate-filled diatribes.

  77. Ian Dedic

    What type of society do we want?

    A lot of people writing in seem to want to live in a "USA"-style society -- you know, one where you fall seriously ill, it isn't covered by insurance, and you end up with a bill for $200,000. But hey, the taxes are lower.

    If you want such a society, stop whining about issues like this and move to the USA,

    If you want a society which at least tries to look after everyone regardless of how much tax they pay or what their need for such support is, stop complaining when somebody else takes out more than they put in, regardless of what the reason is.

    Someday it could be you needing brain surgery for cancer because you spent too long talking on your mobile...

    Ian

    P,S. Irony warning -- I don't believe mobiles cause brain cancer.

    P.P.S. Of course they might do, it's difficult to prove a negative.

  78. David Herbert

    Who's doing the rescue?

    In most parts of the country they are called the "Fire and Rescue Service", so I would think that this sort of 'rescue' is exactly within their normal operating procedures. So we already pay them to do it.

    As the majority of really large people do not have jobs - as they can't get to them, or people won't employ them as a health and safety risk - they are on the dole. So we are paying for them to get even bigger, to sit in front of a satelite TV that we probably paid for and to ring for pizza/Indian/Chinese delivery.

    And to answer an earlier point about the distribution of weight on the aircraft, this has been done before, although on Concord it was the baggage that was allocated positions to aid the aircraft trim.

  79. Fozzy
    Unhappy

    Obesity is no longer the problem.

    I recently watched a program in morbid fascination as the medical profession had to review their definitions of disorders and had to create a new term

    "Super Obese".

    So now we have a situation in society in which chubby, fat, obese or even lard arse does not capture the whole you. No, now we have had to create a whole new term to capture and describe the level of laziness they have attained. Where there are special centres to deal with this "epidemic" Where special reenforced widened wheelcahirs need to be made for you so you can be pushed around, because you have difficulty walking. Where your daily exercise routine oonsists of walking about 150 emtres. Where after fnally losing all that weight , plastic surgeons will cut off 20Kgs of flabby skin - from each leg

    How in the hell can someone possibly look in the mirror and not notice they have put on a couple hundred pounds and not do anything about it !!!

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I totally agree.

    I think they should be billed for more than there weight I feel they should be billed for each pound the weigh, for each pound they SHOULD way and finally for each pound they are OVER there ideal weight! Then times it by 2 because this is how long it took me to write this. Oh yeah not to forget VAT so that the FAT cats of the government "u like the way I done that" The pill should be invoiced to the individual. This may be a deterrent for other fat people not to become fatter. Unfortunately this is the only way. Fight the Urge!

    http://www.mcdonalds.com

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