Benefits for obese people could be stopped

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that people who are unable to work due to obesity, drug or alcohol problems, and refuse to be treated, could lose their sickness benefits.
He has instigated a review of how the existing system operates, as he believes that it fails to convince those with long-lasting, treatable health problems to seek medical help.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), is currently received by approximately 100,000 people, and replaced incapacity benefit and income support back in 2008.
Mr Cameron said: “It is not fair to ask hardworking taxpayers to fund the benefits of people who refuse to accept the support and treatment that could help them get back to a life of work.”
However, there have been opponents to Cameron’s actions. Labour have criticised the policy, claiming that it would not help get people off benefits and into work. Kate Green, the Shadow Minister of State for Equalities, said: “David Cameron’s government has stripped back funding for drug support programmes and their Work Programme has helped just 7 per cent of people back to work, so it is clear the Tory plan isn’t working.”
Campaigners have also expressed their concern with the Prime Minister’s proposal. A spokeswoman for Big Matters, an obesity support group, said: “I think it’s naive to think that people don’t want to change their life. Many of them have tried every diet under the sun and they still have a weight problem.” Furthermore, the proposals may discriminate against people with certain health conditions that can cause weight gain, such as Cushing’s Syndrome.
This political debate highlights the major role health has in our lives, which is why it is highly important to try to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly, when possible. Consuming more fresh fruit and vegetables, and eating less sugar and processed foods, are some of the most effective ways to keep you and your family healthy.

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