Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Secret Plan to Send Overweight Children to 'Fat Camps'

Tens of thousands of overweight children – some as young as four – will be shipped off to fat camp, under a Government scheme to tackle obesity.

Primary school pupils identified as being overweight will automatically be offered a place on a state-funded diet and exercise scheme.

Parents groups said the new NHS rules meant Labour had moved "beyond a nanny state, to a dictatorship."(my emphasis)

Health experts warned that the public branding of young children as fat could damage their confidence, expose them to bullying and trigger eating disorders. However, paediatricians welcomed the move.

Under existing regulations, children are weighed when they start primary school – aged four or five – and again as they leave, at 10 or 11. Parents of all children receive a letter saying whether their children are healthy, overweight, underweight or very overweight. Latest figures show that by the time they leave school, one in three children is overweight.

When it was introduced three years ago, the weighing programme was met with a backlash from parents. In its first year, more than half withdrew their children from the scheme, for fear they would be bullied after the class weigh-in.

When families were advised that pupils would not be told their weights, nor singled out and told to diet, but that data would simply be used by local health planners to monitor the spread of obesity and to help them set up the right services, participation rates increased.

The new guidance, slipped out to NHS Primary Care Trusts in England during the school holidays, orders an immediate change of approach.

From this month, pupils whose weight is too high – or too low – will automatically be offered a referral to "weight management services" in areas which already run such programmes
Read more

I don't know about you, but I don't think any government should require anyone to attend 'fat camps'. While it sounds like a good idea to help children get fit and stay active, this is something that is a parents responsibility. Parents need to become more responsible about teaching their children good eating habits and talking to them about reasons why staying active and eating right are best for them. Should their child have genetic reasons or otherwise for having a weight problem, the parents need to seek the help and support of a pediatrician or specialist not the government.

Without getting overly political or opinionated on this issue, I believe the government should not be taking part in the health and weight decisions of people young or old, especially at the expense of others. Health care and who pays for it should be and always has been between the patient and the doctor in the United States. This is one of the biggest issues about national health care, who is going to pay for it and who will make the decisions on what is covered and what is not, why should the majority of taxpayers have to pay for the care of others or suffer the cost at the expense of the few who do not take care of themselves or do not take it upon themselves to apply for insurance. In addition, according to statistics, many choose not to insure themselves because they are young and healthy or  according to the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that 25 to 75 percent of those who do not purchase health insurance coverage “could afford to do so". Additionally, 25% of uninsured already qualify for government health insurance, if they apply for Medicare/Medicaid or state aid such as ACCESS or SCHIP, which is subsidized by the federal government through our taxes already or they may seek medical care through non-profit organizations, such as Christian and Catholic hospitals and clinics, hospital emergency rooms, as well as the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration. Health care and the governments role are a hot issue in the United States as the current administration, and democratic party are pushing for a universal, government run health care system. However, many on the right and among independents do not want the type of government controlled health care being proposed in Congress at this time because it will lead to less personal choice and freedoms and more government involvement in their medical care and decisions, as well as personal privacy.

The current bill, HR3200, will not reduce insurance costs, nor create competition but will eventually lead to less choice in health care as private insurance companies slowly disappear because they will not be able to compete with the government care, whereas the bill proposes after five years everyone without insurance, who loses insurance or changes jobs must get on the government plan and this will be enforced through the IRS or you will be fined. 

Imposing government run health care will eventually lead to less quality of health care for all. An increased number of people on health insurance through a public option/government insurance will limit the number of doctors available, leading to rationing of care, less quality of care and longer wait times, as is one of the problems with care in the UK and other countries with government health care. One example of this shortage and lack of care is explained in this article regarding Babies Born In Hospital Lifts And Corridors.

What our health care system needs is a change in insurance tort reform laws to reduce frivolous lawsuits, allow interstate insurance competition like we have with car insurance plans, and allow for vouchers to those who are unable to afford insurance or don't receive insurance options through employment, yet don't qualify for Medicaid/Medicare, state subsidized plans. Along with some of the ideas outlined here Health care reform that actually works!

In closing, if you are opposed to the government controlling your health care and eventually dictating what you can eat or not and making parental decisions for can join More Than 1 Million Have Signed Petition Opposing Obama's Health-Care Plan.

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