08 September 2010

Anti-obesity campaigns: charities have vested interests in WLS

I tend to tune out weight loss news stories, I figure that if you’ve seen one then you’ve seen ‘em all. But this juicy little number caught my eye this morning.

More obesity surgery 'could save millions of pounds'

Those rogues at the National Obesity Forum are behind this idiotic piece of research. I hesitate even to call it research because it’s of no value whatsoever and serves only to bolster this particular organisation’s eugenicist campaign of measuring and containing/annihilating fat people’s dangerous bodies. The tables look nicely formatted on the BBC website, I’ll give them that, but the numbers are meaningless without context or an explanation of the methodology.

This story is another salvo in favour of the argument that fat people are worthless lumps who are a terrible financial burden on society. Our poor health costs the economy countless millions. Lucky, then, that surgery is a magical fix, transforming these abstracted blobs of lard (ie you and I) into fully functioning members of society. What the research fails to take into account is the cost to the NHS of follow-up care for people whose health has been ruined by surgery, or of reduced life-expectancy relating to weight loss surgery. I wonder what kind of a dent that might make on this ridiculous cost-benefit analysis. Bodies here are machines to be tinkered with, and society is also a machine, where every tiny cog must play its part. Does this sound as bit fascist to you as it does to me?

At least the BBC mentioned that the research was funded by NOF chums, "two firms involved in making equipment used in obesity surgery". So they’d have no vested interest in increasing the numbers of people being recommended for weight loss surgery then, oh no. The NOF is for “Healthcare professionals who take an interest in the treatment and management of obesity” – one presumes so that they can cash in on it. Honestly, this whole report is so worthless that it beggars belief why it’s been published (I'm into the fat thermographs used to illustrate the piece though, ooh, hot hands, cold arse).

I would like to be part of a group that spits out press releases and refashions obesity research. If fatphobe numbskulls at the NOF can have this level of success in getting their hateful propaganda out in the world, it’s surely no stretch to start getting messages of a different kind out there. Anyone wanna start an obesity charity with me? I’ve got a mate who can design us some official-looking letterheads.


La di Da said...

If this is an international effort, sure! What a great idea. Tell 'em about it at the Sydney fat studies conference and perhaps there could be an Australian chapter of this obesity charity. :) (I'm not able to go but I will be watching vicariously via Twitter.)

Charlotte Cooper said...

It could certainly be international.

Whiner said...

It was an *astonishingly* bad article, I sent a complaint to the BBC about it last night and I would advise others to do the same.

The tables have that tiny little asterisk of "aftercare costs not included" but not word one about any potential side effects of the procedure...

cim said...

I see that the tables are "excluding aftercare costs", too, which strikes me as code for "excluding figures that would change the conclusion to one less convenient for our agenda"

Rebecca said...

I thought the picture was actually amazing! Firstly, not a headless fatty, secondly, really interesting!