The time has come that the demand for a real fat ward has become high enough to open one. More and more people have started to become bigger and bigger over the century. The fat ward is a place for supersize people to slim down, which they should have done way earlier. But I am glad that they eventually took the step to do something about their health, even when it happened so late (maybe in some cases too late).
This ward has supersize doors, supersize reinforced wheelchairs, industrial weighing scales and everything you need to support patients who are not just overweight, but overweight to the point where they are (or almost) immobilized. Over 600 weight loss operations (gastric bypass, balloons to reduce stomach size, stomach bands…) have been performed already.
It is expected to cost the NHS 50 billion pounds each year by 2050, and it is thought many more wards will open across the country.
So you may ask yourself: did some kind of medical condition cause these people to gain so much weight?
The answer is given by surgeon Peter Small, and it is: no, there is no medical problem underlying their enormous weight.
‘The vast majority of people are obese because their calorie intake over time has not matched their calorie burn. The usual patient we get has been trying all the diets under the sun and all the medicines under the sun and they’ve failed. And they’re just crying for their life back.’
Terry Gardner, a father of two, is one of such patients in the ward. He weight 47 stone (+-300kg) at the young age of 29. He is too big even for a reinforced hospital bed, and he can’t fit through his own bathroom door. After being housebound for a year he got admitted for an indefinite stay. He has been put on a controlled diet and has upcomming surgery.
He said: ‘At the moment I feel like my weight’s just eating my life. If I don’t do anything now I just feel like I’m not going to be here.’
His surgeon said he is almost pathologically obese. His weight the first days in the ward was not dropping either, so the staff suspected him buying junk food from hospital trolley. His stay in the Ward costs 250 pounds a day.
Obesity, income and our system structure
Obesity is a serious health issue and is growing worldwide.
In developed countries there is something called “the food gap”, which means that poor people eat crap food, don’t have access or money to buy what is healthy and nourishing for their bodies, or often lack education about the effects of food on the body. So people with lower socio-economic status have a higher chance of becoming obese. While in the developing countries it is the opposite.
In developing countries, the relatively richer part of the population is obese, because they suddenly can afford more food but choose bad option, while the poor over there do not even have money to buy it. I say “relatively” because they are richer in comparison to the general population in their country or area, but still relatively poor.
So this alone shows the inequality at the basic of the system structure : your position within the system (low, middle or upper class) gives you a higher or lower chance to become obese. This is unacceptable and not just. All human beings should have equal education about health and equal access to the food that is nourishing for our bodies.
But, to add to that, we have profit driven junk food in the shelves of the supermarket, and in our streets. We have adds and commercials promoting the food that is actually destructive for our health, and which in effect costs the health care system a hell of a lot of money. Just look at the cost of that fat ward for example.
So the system creates and actually feeds the problem, but also fights it and pays for it. Why? Because the system is made up out of individuals who do not have 1 coherent plan on how to effectively run a society that actually benefits the whole. Some individuals are all about health, bring awareness, do research etc… while others make profit from sickness.
The solution is one of multiple factors.
First of all we have ourselves. We decide what we put in our mouth, what we research, what we do to our bodies. Except, there is one catch, and that is what I have mentioned previously: your place within the social and economic structure. This shapes your mind, and also gives you the possibility (or lack thereof) to eat healthy and have enough money to buy good food.
But for those who can make this decision: do so. Your body is probably the most valuable thing in your life, it is who you are on this planet. Without it: your dead. The blessing of a healthy body is often only realized when one gets sick.
Then there are the people around us, the people who give their children unhealthy food, or who keep feeding the already obese person more and more of the food that made them fat in the first place. I have seen a couple of documentaries about this, where bedridden obese people were being fed by their family our partner the junk food and all the food their ate to become so obese.
And then there is the system. Which has to stop commercializing unhealthy food and creating economic inequality.
To see how it can be different in fact, check out the equal money system. Help in creating a system that will actually benefit the whole.
Check out the wiki pages as a start: http://equalmoney.org/wiki
Or the forum: http://equalmoney.org/forum/