Obesity and the Constitution

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Jack Ferguson on corporate food, benefits, class and the constitution.

Welfare reform has been one of the greatest successes of the current UK government. To those who have been the victims of their policies, this may seem counter-intuitive. But the fact is that their suffering was always the aim.

Aided by a cruel and vindictive media, the central goal has been to stoke resentment by stigmatising certain groups, in order to divide, conquer and spread moral panic. Working, no matter the quality or security of the work, is fetishised as good for people, and those who must submit to the discipline of employment are encouraged to hate and resent those who cannot find it, or are not physically or mentally able to.

As a consequence, the public in the UK has drastically misinformed views about benefits and their levels, and the government can mobilise support by being “tough” on claimants, while ignoring corporate fraud and tax avoidance on a gargantuan scale.

The latest instalment came last week with David Cameron’s announcement that he is investigating stripping benefits from those who are obese, smokers or have addictions, unless they submit to government mandated treatment programmes.

The Prime Minister was quoted as saying:

“Too many people are stuck on sickness benefits because of issues that could be addressed but are not. Some have drug and alcohol issues but refuse treatment. In other cases, people have problems with their weight which could be addressed, but instead a life on benefits has become the choice. It is not fair to ask hardworking taxpayers to fund the benefits of people who refuse to accept the help and treatment that could get them back to a life of work.”

The identification of these groups plays to the demonisation of the working class, portraying people as lazy, sitting around smoking fags, and further stigmatises addiction through a bizarre vision of it as some kind of personal lifestyle choice. However, it’s interesting to note that the lion’s share of the wide media coverage his proposals have received focused on obesity. “Obese to Lose Benefits” was the headline across many outlets, seemingly inevitably accompanied by a picture of a belly button bulging out between buttons of a shirt.

In fact, these are of course serious health concerns. Experts and charities were quick to condemn the comments, pointing out that threats and sanctions will do little to support people with complex health needs in improving their lives. But that, of course, is not the aim. Cameron’s attack on the unwell is part of the Conservative election campaign, scaring up votes by scapegoating.

But the prominence given to obesity in the narrative reflects deep-seated social beliefs about fatter people, their moral worth, and where responsibility lies for the ways we eat. Whereas more and more people understand that addictions are the result of complex circumstances and are often rooted in deep-seated trauma and abuse, people with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) are still regarded as personal failures. Their bodies must be submitted to a disciplining regime in order to be able to submit themselves to the world of work.

This is despite the fact that the science of fat is in a rapid state of flux and transformation. Just this month, a paper published in the journal Open Heart argued that the diet advice issued in the US and the UK since the 1980’s was substantially wrong, and that:

“Dietary advice not only needs review, but should never have been issued in the first place.”

The authors argue that the evidence base for condemning saturated fats as the main culprit behind rising BMI’s was a very small number of studies of very unwell people, which was then extrapolated to apply to the population as a whole in a way that is scientifically suspect.

This comes hot on the heels of a growing understanding that there may be differences in types of body fat, with some leading to heath problems but others actually improving overall health and lifespan.

Does any of this mean the UK does not face a growing list of diet related health problems? Of course not, but it does point to why we are failing to address them. Fatness has become a moral panic, with fatter people depicted as a threat to society, shortening lives and costing the taxpayer due to their lack of self-control.

The term moral panic was developed by social scientists to describe episodes of intense public anxiety about threats to the social order, particularly centring on stigmatised or scapegoated groups. Perhaps the classic historical example is the European witch crazes of earlier centuries, when the fears of agrarian societies faced with social and ecological change were violently acted out on the bodies of innocent women. More recent examples include disproportionate fear of crime encouraging bloated police forces, and the massive inflation of the risks of taking various drugs (ecstasy in the 1990’s, mephedrone in the 2000’s).

In a moral panic, these fears are stoked and spread by what are called “moral entrepreneurs” – those in a position of power and influence, who speak publicly about the threat from the stigmatised group. Their motives for doing so are usually about strengthening their own social authority by portraying themselves as the defenders against the threat, and indeed personally profiting from any “solutions” that are adopted.

This tactic of creating an external enemy in order to reinforce your rule and cast yourself as the one to vanquish it is one of the oldest of power relations. The current UK government has deployed it adeptly as part of its welfare reform agenda, shifting public anger from those responsible for the economic crisis and mass unemployment, on to those unable to find work or too sick to undertake it. One of the main side effects of the mass demonisation of people with disabilities as scroungers stealing from the “hard working” has been the horrific rise in disability hate crime.

A growing chorus of academics and activists have argued that the “obesity epidemic” should be understood as a moral panic. They argue that the links between fatness and ill-health are far less clear-cut than they are simplistically portrayed in misleading diet advice, and that society should recognise that there are a range of healthy body sizes, without there being a norm that people should conform to. They argue that the creation of unrealistic body norms causes more ill-health, as people eat in a disordered way to try and pursue an unachievable goal. This profits the pharmaceutical-diet complex, a multi-billion dollar industry catering to the artificially created need for weight loss “solutions”, and overwhelmingly seeking to push medicalisation and drugs.

Critics’ case has been bolstered by the recent scientific developments regarding fat, and the growing awareness that it is not possible to design cross-cultural, one size fits all dietary advice that applies in all circumstances. Up until now, most mainstream responses to obesity have attempted to treat human beings and their food as interchangeable machines in need of fuelling, instead of real people facing difficult decisions in a context of declining access (physical and financial) to fresh healthy food, and increasing calls on their time – not least through the overbearing demands of employment.

This approach rejects the use of the term obesity epidemic – indeed, it is sceptical of medicalising the whole situation by using the term obesity. Those involved argue that fatness has become a stigmatised category, a social group open to pillory and oppression, similar in some ways to more familiar ways of sorting people into a hierarchy by race or gender. Indeed, those who suffer most from the stigmatisation of fatness are those for who it intersects with other ways they are marked out for different treatment – women and people of colour. They argue instead for reclaiming the word fat as a simple descriptor, like short or tall, and reject the use of euphemistic or medicalising terms in favour of the more simple fatness. The refusal to feel shame for describing yourself as fat is seen as a political act.

The way that obesity is calculated is itself suspect. The Body Mass Index is a flawed measure, designed in the 19th century to measure average fatness across populations. It was never designed to give an accurate measure of individuals, and cannot do so. It works by measuring body mass, and then dividing it by the square of your height. But there is in fact no scientific basis for this squaring of height, and as a measure it ignores many other factors, such as bone density, muscularity and the simple fact that larger people will always have a higher BMI based on this measure. In other words, it correctly measures some people as obese, but would also put many very healthy people into the danger zone as well. The line between “normal” weight and obesity is arbitrarily defined, again with little evidence that crossing over it makes substantial impacts on an individual’s health.

None of this meant to imply that there are not serious problems with the way the UK feeds itself, or how much physical activity we are able to undertake on a regular basis. But instead of talking about these social roots of health problems, which might require government action and expenditure to tackle, the focus is put on to fatter people. They are villified and cruelly mocked, leading to huge problems of mental health and eating disorders. In the process, the public grows to blame them for their size, and to see them as moral failures incapable of self-control. An easy group to target then, in search of cheap headlines and electoral advantage, by making uniformed voters resent the support that truly obese people need.

It’s well documented how hard it now is to receive approval from the government to be placed on sickness benefits. The privatised regime of testing, the Work Capability Assessment, formerly operated by ATOS, now US multinational Maximus, is designed to catch out claimants, and to designate the vast majority of those who undertake it fit for work. This entails unbelievable surveillance of the every day lives of the sick and disabled, and humiliating regular attendance of interviews where they are treated virtually as criminals. In this context, anyone who is receiving sickness benefits because they are obese is likely to actually have a serious health problem and need support, rather than just having sneaked over the BMI dividing line.

But because their health condition is seen as a sign of personal moral failure, and they belong to a group who it is seen as acceptable to demonise, they don’t receive the same sympathy that, say, a cancer patient deprived of benefits might do. (There are many people with cancer and other terminal conditions who have been deprived of income and hastened towards death by the inhuman assessment regime; the difference is that the government doesn’t proudly advertise this as a crackdown as they are attempting to do with fatness.)

In making the announcement, Cameron said that he had instructed government advisor Dame Carol Black to rapidly investigate “helping” people on benefits to get treatment, and what impact depriving them of income as punishment could play in this process. Black has been a key part of underpinning in government policy the failed idea that getting into employment is always and in all circumstances good for people’s health, no matter what the quality of the work or its conditions. This is blatantly not true, and the idea that forcing people with complex health problems on to zero hours contracts and workfare is a positive health intervention is laughable.

Then of course there is the very legitimate fear about what exactly the government means by “treatment programmes”. The mastermind of welfare reform, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, is known for playing fast and loose with the lives of those who depend on his department for survival. Last year he made his own intervention on obesity, when he wrote to the Health Secretary asking for investigation of the possibility of mandating “liquid diets” for obese claimants.

The letter followed a meeting he held with representatives of private diet company Cambridge Weight Solutions, who market a range of soups, smoothies and rehydratable powders that their customers use to replace food and meals. They are advertised on the back of several prominent celebrity endorsements, but in meeting the government they sought access to a different lucrative market – claimants.

IDS was so impressed with this celebrity alternative to SlimFast that he wants it investigated as a possible sanction – get on this plan or lose your benefits. The problem he faced with the Department of Health is that the NHS and health professionals do not recognise the Cambridge Weight Plan, or any other form of gimmicky private diet commodity, as a real health solution, and will not authorise its use as government policy. For now.

The question remains however exactly what treatment programme David Cameron has in mind for forcing obese claimants to take part in, and whether we face the terrifying prospect of a government demanding its citizens starve themselves of nourishing food in order to receive an income, or even enforcing drugs and surgery. Given the laughable ineffectiveness of other welfare to work interventions, such as forcing the unemployed to work for no cost to employers under workfare schemes, the potential good this will do is hard to imagine, and it is easy to see how mandated treatment will be another excuse for private companies to fleece the public purse pushing failed “solutions”. The reality is that there is no effective simple medical weight loss treatment, and changing lives and bodies would require much more nuanced interventions across public policy.

None of the above is meant to imply there are not serious and urgent problems with the British food system. But welfare policy is clearly not the avenue to fix it. The simple fact is that most people in the UK live in what could be deemed obesogenic environments, places that have been made unhealthy through cumulative acts of government policy.

Decades of prioritising cars over people and bicycles in urban planning have turned British streets into rivers of kinetic energy which our basic survival instincts instruct us not to challenge. The food industry has been allowed to create ever cheaper, poorer quality commodities to feed us on a regular basis without any knowledge of what we are eating (see BSE, the horsemeat scandal). Such products have declined in price while the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables has remained stable. And of course, this is all in a context of economic crisis that has seen wages stagnate, unemployment rocket and job security vanish. People are left with very little time, money or energy with which to feed themselves properly, and are dependent on the products of an unscrupulous food industry. The media then demonises fatter people, leaving us insecure and unhappy – easy prey for the marketers of the pharmaceutical/diet industry.

In the very same week that Cameron made his attack upon fatter people, the government was heavily criticised for its relationship to the food industry and the key role it has been given in setting health policy. A study published in the British Medical Journal revealed the (in their words) “extraordinary” influence of corporations linked to sugar in shaping government diet advice and interventions. Companies such as Unilever, Mars, PepsiCo, Kellogg’s and Diageo have been given key roles in advising the government, and fund the assessment of the efficacy of government policy. This is a level of corporate influence that predates the election of the current government, and was just as prevalent under Labour. For example, between 2007 and 2010, private company Weight Watchers spent £610, 140 on assessing . . . whether it was helpful for the NHS to refer patients to Weight Watchers.

Food manufactuers and retailers have one clear goal – to sell more food. This is the reason that there has been a scientific outcry at the revelations of their influence over government, one that Cameron has to some extent sought to distract from by attacking fat claimants. When seen in this light, it becomes clearer why we are unable to get balanced scientific advice over how to truly eat healthily, since the process of devising it is fundamentally flawed. The food industry is systematically interfering in our ability to have a reasoned discussion.

All of this highlights the incredible role that the Westminster government has played in helping to transform its citizens into commodities and sites of accumulation, including in their own bodies. It seeks to submit all, no matter the life difficulties they have, to the disciplinary regime of work, or where work is not available, a miserable regime of surveillance and sanctioning. The ongoing privatisation of the NHS in England threatens to put everyone at the mercy of private companies pushing products of questionable health value, and their agenda provides multiple opportunities for profit from the likes of the Cambridge Weight Plan, or Maximus, who are shortly to get responsibility for assessing in work sickness claims rather than GP’s or real health professionals.

The need for Scotland to gain democratic control over all powers related to welfare benefits and employment law could not be starker. A nation with so many stark health issues to be resolved cannot allow itself to be put at the mercy of a government determined to use the sick as a scapegoat to increase their own power, and to subject them to nonsensical treatment regimes aimed at enriching shareholders rather than improving health.



Categories: Inequality

Tags: , ,

23 replies

  1. This articulates so much that I have known.

  2. I would hesitate to believe a word our elite corporatised self-regulated arrogant universities tell us on this subject.

  3. Without sources, I’m somewhat skeptical (as a currently obese Scot) about the academics and activists suggesting there is a moral panic about obesity. What sources I have seen are generally questionable, dismissing a vast body of scientific evidence on links between obesity and cancer, diabetes and other conditions. It’s somewhat telling that they are also largely based in America, where private healthcare companies stand to make more profit from people in poorer health, especially if it’s a case of willful ignorance about the long term effects.

    We should absolutely stand up against discrimination of the overweight, but at the same time as a nation we should be encouraging healthy habits (more cooking lessons at schools, basic macronutirion – which does note the importance of some fat in the diet and working to find exercise options that work for everyone as an individual instead of being bellowed at by an old fashioned PE teacher) and providing enough support (at a minimum a level of benefits that allows for three balanced, homemade meals per day) so that everyone can enjoy the highest quality of life possible, which frankly isn’t the case if your body is overburdened by itself and increased wear on everything from your joints to your liver and kidneys.

  4. I am beginning to despise all these click-bait hate articles and the demonising of the old, the sick, the obese, the unfortunate etc. The sooner we separate from this uncaring neoliberal hell the better.

  5. Some good points but some duff ones that weaken your arguments. The line that BMI isn’t a good health indicator gets repeated over and over because it sounds so good. No indicator should be taken in isolation. Common sense should be included. If you have a BMI of say 30 AND other indicators of metabolic syndrome like high blood pressure and sedentary lifestyle then you should worry. Just because high BMI alone is not always associated with ill health doesn’t mean it isn’t *usually* associated with ill health and therefore a good indicator at the population level.

    The arguments about fat in the diet are more about the disaster of dietary advice driven by “food policy”. Should nearly all of us STILL consume less saturated fats (considering the rest of the lifestyles) the answer is YES. Should we replace it with Sugar and other highly refined carbs like has happened in the last 30 year then NO. We should replace it with more fibre and whole foods. Of course some people take it to the extreme. Butter is not going to kill you but a bar of dairy milk every day on top of the butter might just.

    Classic example of dietary advice is the inclusion of dairy products in food pyramids and other such devices whilst globally 65% of the human population have some form of lactose intolerance and consume very little dairy – but live healthy lives.

    Fish is another one. There are billions of people on the planet who consume no fish but have very healthy lives yet we continually get messages to eat more fish for our health. We need it for brain health apparently! Why? Probably economic reasons and to counteract the other rubbish we are being encouraged to eat for economic reasons.

    Which is where we come to Scotland and politics. If people are to be really health they would (on average) eat less calories. Less meat – especially the red meats produced in Scotland (lamb & beef). Less dairy products – especially when combined with sugars (Scottish dairy and sugar beet industry) . They would not necessarily eat more fish especially because of the ecological impacts of the fishing industry (Scottish fishing industry biggest political issue). They would drink less alcohol (Scottish booze industry – half of arable land is down to barely). They would do away with the car and walk and cycle (reduce the size of the automotive industry).

    A rural vista in much of Scotland is a view across a meat and alcohol production plant. If we live in a sweety shop we are quite likely to get ill!

    The Tories may be out to bully people as usual but our health issues are more complex and at a societal level.

    • Interesting perspective about living inside the factory that makes the ‘bad things’. Never really thought of it like that.

      Apparently the fish / brain thing is correlation not causation (people who eat a lot of fish tend to have healthier diets from birth and retain those healthier diets which supports development and health in adulthood). Or something.

      Thanks for the it’s NOT all someone else’s fault perspective.

  6. An excellent article. You have articulated exactly what many think .Thank you.

  7. “Working, no matter the quality or security of the work, is fetishised as good for people”

    Quite right – work is good for people. Without work, you have absolutely no chance of dealing with the health or other problems that people might face. No-one is entitled to any ‘quality’ or ‘security’ of work; if that were the case, who would that right be asserted against? “I think the quality and security of job appropriate for me is professional football player. I demand my right to a job as a professional football player”.

    “the government can mobilise support by being “tough” on claimants, while ignoring corporate fraud and tax avoidance on a gargantuan scale”.

    Absolute rubbish. The current government (notwithstanding their faults, criticism of their connections, and what they haven’t done) have done more to close loopholes and increase the tax take – which has increased year on year since 2010.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/403370/20150114_Decreceiptsbulletin.pdf

    It was the Labour government, who Scotland voted for up to 2010, who ignored fraud and evasion.

    “The identification of these groups plays to the demonisation of the working class”

    No, it’s about saying to people in receipt of finite resources that if you are spending those resources on things that are non-essential and / or actively harmful to you, and other people are paying for through their tax contributions, that is not acceptable.

    (And the old ‘class’ card again – give it a rest ffs)

    “Fatness has become a moral panic, with fatter people depicted as a threat to society”

    No, but it doesn’t stop people penning hysterical, victimhood driven hyperbolic nonsense like this piece.

    “In a moral panic, these fears are stoked and spread by what are called “moral entrepreneurs” – those in a position of power and influence, who speak publicly about the threat from the stigmatised group”.

    Yes, its all a massive global conspiracy against people who are overweight.

    “They argue that the creation of unrealistic body norms causes more ill-health, as people eat in a disordered way to try and pursue an unachievable goal”

    This is absolute rubbish, and there is no evidence whatsoever for this. (My partner is a consultant psychiatrist who specialises in eating disorders)

    “Indeed, those who suffer most from the stigmatisation of fatness are those for who it intersects with other ways they are marked out for different treatment – women and people of colour”.

    Women and people of colour you say? You do surprise me. “Intersectionality” and the coalitions of the oppressed, more radical feminist nonsense.

    “They are villified and cruelly mocked, leading to huge problems of mental health and eating disorders”.

    More nonsense. The common driver of eating disorders is abuse, from lack of / poor parenting or familial support to actual mental or physical abuse. Typically, what’s going on at home. The vast majority of my wife’s patients are people who have / had rubbish or abusive parents.

    “serious and urgent problems with the British food system”.

    The what? what on earth is the ‘british food system’. We don’t have a ‘system’, we have a market.

    “The simple fact is that most people in the UK live in what could be deemed obesogenic environments, places that have been made unhealthy through cumulative acts of government policy”.

    Utter rubbish. Honestly, if you were going to make a point about problems of access to fresh food in some places / communities then fine, but again this is hysterical, hyperbolic nonsense.

    “Food manufactuers and retailers have one clear goal – to sell more food”

    You are a genius – I am glad you are around to point these things out to us.

    “When seen in this light, it becomes clearer why we are unable to get balanced scientific advice over how to truly eat healthily”

    This is called ‘a balanced diet’. If you really need to ask someone, ask you GP.

    “The ongoing privatisation of the NHS in England threatens to put everyone at the mercy of private companies”

    Rubbish. the proportion of treatments provided by private providers remains steady at about 5%.l

    Also, just one example; there is a private provider of midwifery services who’s performance and outputs wipes the floor with that of the NHS, and they charge the equivalent tariff. There are private providers who are sincere, and your ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ rhetoric is not helpful to the debate about the potential contribution of private providers

    “A nation with so many stark health issues”

    You mean Scotland – yes, indeed it does, and who’s fault is that?

    #itsallsomeoneelsesfault.

    (I’m Scottish btw, before you / anyone starts)

    • The Open Heart journal article to which the author refers was written by Zoe Harcombe, among others. I recommend Zoe Harcombe’s blog to anyone wanting to find out more about the bad dietary advice which has led to the obesity epidemic.

    • “Intersectionality” and the coalitions of the oppressed, more radical feminist nonsense.
      – a classic quote but one driven by almost complete ignorance of what you are talking about.

      I do also love the idea that ‘we don’t have a system just a market’. I think I may have a poster made of that

      • You say ignorance, I say seeing through obfuscatory pseudo-intellectual sophistry to see things as they really are. And I wasn’t born privileged either.

        Seriously, please do set out a description of the ‘British Food System” that in any substantial way differentiates it from a market. Sure, the government (significantly) intervenes in the market as part of its role in our ‘system’ (if you want to use that word) of state regulated capitalism.

        And honestly, the market works really well for me. I can buy everything from organic vegetables to processed junk food. (And I’m on a just above median salary, before you start). And if I could buy only cheap but very healthy staples if I so chose / or had to.

        Beyond the regulation required to prevent me from being injured or poisoned (though no doubt you’ll embark on a rant about how ‘junk food’ is ‘poison’ that is ‘forced down our throats’) I don’t require the government to instruct me on what to eat – and neither does anyone else.

        It’s like the (possibly urban myth, but its an instructive tale) of Kruschev visiting an american supermarket in 1959, and marvelling at the efficient allocation of resources through choice, and comparing that to the shortage and misery of the Soviet system.

        “How is this all planned?” Kruschev asked.

        “Planned? planned Kruschev? What are you on about? It’s the invisible hand of the market!”

        Yes, we do just have a market – a regulated market under state regulated capitalism where the state’s role is to ensure that we don’t directly come to harm from our choices. (see also ‘toys’).

        The purpose of expressions like ‘British Food System’ is to perpetuate the meme that we are all weak willed fools in the face of some global conspiracy. Sure, great effort is put into trying to influence us. Of course that’s the point of us having the education system we have, so we are educated to make informed choices. (Though as I remember from my youth in Scotland, half of the pupils didn’t bother what that, but of course that’s all the fault of ‘the English’, ‘Westminster’ and ‘the Tories’. And not, for example, the mindless, moronic west of scotland drinking, drug taking, bad food & no exercise and general self-abuse culture.

        #itsallsomeoneelsesfault.

  8. Baffled by Hyperbole

    Lesley Riddochs ‘Blossom’ gives examples of how government policy in other countries shapes their built environments for healthier living ( e.g.. cycle lanes ) . It really was an eye opener as to how far behind we are. My sister now lives with her four kids in Sweden. Are you aware of the Child Wellbeing rankings ( Unicef) and gulf between Sweden and UK ? I would be interested to know what you think are the main reasons for this and whether you agree with Lesley Riddoch that inequality kills?

  9. wow, Can you pls send a ref for this “hard working” has been the horrific rise in disability hate crime. where did you find that info?

  10. @ Baffled by Hyperbole: You say “it’s about saying to people in receipt of finite resources that if you are spending those resources on things that are non-essential and / or actively harmful to you, and other people are paying for through their tax contributions, that is not acceptable.”

    But who decides what is essential and non-essential, and what diet is actively harmful or not? I would not want to live in a society where the contents of my supermarket trolley were subject to Government approval.

  11. Baffledbyhyperbole is a Yes Minister trol

  12. ‘All of this highlights the incredible role that the Westminster government has played in helping to transform its citizens into commodities and sites of accumulation.’

    Stanley Cohen…great BBC ‘thinking allowed’ doc on him recently. Moral panics.

    Personally the biggest moral panic in Scotland is Westmonster. Everything it does, without recourse to rational enquirey gets lumped and blamed, while Scot govt gets brushed aside. Things/ trends are usually ubiquitous and not strictly national etc…

    I see the ‘outraged’ poster failed to mention that the SNP govt have out sourced NHS to Weight watchers also? Prior to the indyref.

    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde….'”Following a full tendering process we have awarded a contract to WEIGHT WATCHERS to provide community-based weight management services as part of a two-year pilot project.

    “People identify with WEIGHT WATCHERS and evidence shows that their model is one which works. We will carry out a full evaluation of this work at the end of the pilot in two years.”

    Sick of this natty BS.

    • Donations to the Tory party: totally unacceptable.

      £500,000 in 2007 to get bus regulation removed from the SNP manifesto from Brian ‘Stagecoach’ Souter, a hardline free-marketeer capitalist, proselytising christian fundamentalist, homosexual hating bigot and all round nasty piece of work, who uses his capital to threaten and bully anyone who stands against him

      and numerous large donations since, last one just before the referendum –

      ABSOLUTELY FINE!

  13. I’m not sure psychiatrists are the answer to eating disorders, but one thing I am sure of is that a climate of judgement definitely isn’t. This is a brilliant article and people are becoming more aware of how damaging and manipulative the food and drugs industries are.

  14. Reblogged this on The Babel Fish and commented:
    Obesity and the Constitution via @bellacaledonia A thoughtful look at diet and the demonisation of difference.

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