Curly's Corner Shop, the blog!

South Shields premier political blog

Free gym for the fatties

with 2 comments

Mr. Angry feels discriminated against

On the subject of exercise referral schemes, which the NHS is taking to like a duck to water, Mr. Angry is feeling all indignant (naturally) about the amount of “fatties in the gym.” I’m not so sure whether to sympathise or not, having made good use of the rather excellent services provided by South Tyneside Council in partnership with South Tyneside Primary Healthcare Trust. The referral scheme lasted six months and got back into the habit of strenuous exercise, even if it did half kill me, but at the end of the period I was faced with making a decision – carry on and pay a huge fee for annual membership at the South Shields Temple Park Centre, look at alternative gyms (which were even more expensive), or buy some equipment of my own. I opted for the latter choice which was more cost effective.

There are some who argue that by keeping us fitter and healthier we become less of a drain on the stretched resources of the NHS, but this means that we will invariably live longer and drain the resources of other services instead as we need more years of care in old age and subsidised travel on public transport. It also means that the Treasury will reap fewer rewards from the taxation of our lifestyle spending habits, viz. cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, hence even greater strain on resources.

Then there are those who believe we should just live the life we want, and die younger and quicker with fatal heart and lung diseases, which may be a cheaper option for society in general and allows government the means to fill it’s coffers with the said lifestyle taxes. This also increases the employment opportunities for younger people as we oldies expire before normal retirement age.

Decisions, decisions.

It’s good to feel fit and healthy, and it’s also good to enjoy a little indulgence once in a while, the old maxim “all things in moderation” was always a decent code to live by.

Perhaps it would be best for government and bureaucrats to allow us to make our own decisions instead of interfering with the process, we are after all adult enough!

Written by curly

February 22, 2008 at 10:36 am

2 Responses

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  1. Just for the record, I have no problem with fatties in the gym per se, in fact having them around the place does wonders for my self esteem. It is the fact they get to use it for free that I take issue with… whilst I am paying £40 a month for the privilege.

    Mr Angry

    February 22, 2008 at 11:09 am

  2. More worrying surely, is that the NHS is pissing away money on this sort of thing without any evidence that it will actually have any effect on health outcomes.

    Pete in Dunbar

    February 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm


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