Reports of a 16 stone woman who took the NHS to court to demand a gastric bypass did not exactly trigger an outpouring of sympathy from Nursing Times readers.
In the case, the woman launched a judicial review when her primary care trust refused to pay for the procedure. She had previously paid for a gastric band herself, but the band came loose after two and a half years and her weight went from 10 stone to 16 stone.
The PCT decided not to fight the case and the woman will now be allowed to have the operation.
Not exactly slim ourselves at 46 stone, Beyond the Bedpan instantly sympathised with the poor woman. It wasn’t our fault our best friend planned a hog roast last weekend. (Long story, but let’s just say the other guests went home hungry.) And we had to have the jelly doughnuts on the way home - there are four food groups after all. In any case, between that and the nightly pints of Ben and Jerry’s, the pounds have started to add up. But don’t blame us - Beyond the Bedpan Towers isn’t exactly a modern workplace with a colourful gym and full-time masseuse. And the other children used to taunt us on the playground.
But we digress.
The point is it’s a wonder anyone can stay thin in this world, but Nursing Times readers just didn’t seem to understand. Even with dozens of places to lay blame - the tastiness of cake, tricky to read food labels, narrow pavements, mean employers, lifts, mother’s milk or the lack thereof, genes, hydrogenated fats, the NHS, those ads where they show pictures of giant burgers - most of you seemed cruelly bent on blaming the people doing the eating and failing to do the moving around.
One commenter said: “Why doesn’t she just try eating less! This is a magic wand which she doesn’t have to pay for! Especially when we have a cash strapped NHS!”
“There is a simple exercise for losing weight - shake your head from side to side every time you are offered food,” quipped another.
A third summed it up with an equation: “4000 calories of food a day + 4000 calories of energy used = happiness.”
That’s all well and good for skinny people to say, but could someone pass the crisps?