Every day, in every town and city, we all see fat people waddling along, heaving themselves into planes and cars, but are we allowed to comment on this, the way we were encouraged to shame smokers into quitting (who also cost taxpayers dearly in terms of the public health bill)?Putting aside that smokers pay for their health needs via taxes on tobacco, and fat people who getting themselves around in planes and cars are also paying taxes, and that smokers and fatties will pop their clogs early and not draw on the largest publicly-funded transfer - Super - do we really want to see fat people 'shamed'?
Why? Does it make us feel better when we can point out someone else's very overt weakness while conveniently ignoring our own hidden ones? Is it a collective bullying impulse that needs to be satisfied at a more 'civil' level?
The thought of shaming fat people depresses the hell out of me. And I'm not fat. So how the prospect appeals to a fat person, lord only knows. But is hardly surprising there is so much psychological ill-health associated with obesity (which by the way manifests in the taxpayer picking up a benefit tab).
There are only two healthy ways to approach the problem of overweight people. Leave them alone. They are allowed their choices too. They own their own bodies after all. And from a government point of view they probably appear in the nett contributor ledger over their lifetimes.
Or overhaul the way people fund their lifetime needs. Institute individualised savings accounts so that incurred health costs are borne by the person that caused them.
Then all the thin people can stop feeling aggrieved and resentful. Quite why they are I am still not sure. It isn't the fat people who go around saying it isn't their fault they are fat. It is the people who make their livings off studying them.
Deborah has identified the right target for our scorn.