Lunchtime at the Mad House and the conversation is always one of two things, work, meaning customers and the annoying or stupid calls we’ve taken, or weight loss. Strange that when I was about to join the team my biggest fear was being the oldest and the fattest so not fitting in. Turns out I might be the oldest but I fit in just fine because we’re all desperately struggling to lose weight or trying to pretend we don’t care.
Today Rae was reading the Echo while she drank her Cambridge Diet soup.
“Listen to this,” she said, reading from the paper, “Obesity costs the Southampton public a staggering £147m every year, it has been revealed. With above national average figures showing one in four adults now clinically obese, city bosses are calling for immediate action to tackle the problem.”
“How do they work that out?” Panda asked. “I mean how does it cost that much?”
“Hospital admissions I guess,” Rae said, “you know obesity related illnesses.”
“So how do they know what’s an obesity related illness and what’s just an illness in a fat person? If someone cuts their finger and they’re fat do they put that down as an obesity related illness or what?”
“Don’t be silly,” Rae said, “they mean stuff like diabetes and heart attacks.”
“You think?” Panda wasn’t convinced. “Seems to me it’s just another excuse to have a pop at fat people because £147 million seems like a lot of money to me. I mean, his many people live in Southampton?”
“About two hundred and fifty thousand,” Primo said.
“So that’s about…let me see…something like six hundred quid a head,” Panda said. “It’s all just sensationalist journalism designed to make us feel guilty.”
She’s probably got a point. I’m all for losing weight and getting healthier but the media do seem to have a bee in their bonnet about weight issues at the moment and I can’t see it’s helping people much.