I feel great sympathy for those suffering from obesity, a condition which is hard to live with and difficult to control.
It seems unfair that they should also be saddled with an extra burden – that of being accused of causing a drain on the public finances of the state and even, according to a recent report, of adversely affecting the global economy.
Obesity may indeed be associated with the early onset of expensive to treat health problems such as cardiac disease and diabetes.
These will produce a cost for health services such as the NHS. However, obesity subjects also, sadly, have a reduced life expectancy and so they will incur, on average, fewer of the care costs and illnesses of the elderly including such specific and expensive events as hip and knee replacements and late- onset cancer.
They will also be less likely to require state and other pensions long into their 80s and 90s, as is now becoming more and more common as life expectancy increases.
However brutally realistic it is to say so, obesity may save the state more than it costs.
At the very least, this proposition deserves investigation.
Gullane, East Lothian