January Crisis – Diets, Debts and NHS

The first week back at work after Christmas always features me listening to radio phone in shows where people are taking advice on debt and diets or bemoaning the demise of the National Health Service. It’s like Groundhog Day is the first week of January.

At Christmas, I am led to believe, we spend too much money on presents and eat too much, so come New Year, we are fat and in debt, particularly if we were poor and in debt in the first place. This is based on the statistic that people with a low income spend more on their children at Christmas than more affluent folk. Mad isn’t it, but I don’t suppose people get rich by being carefree with money?

I can understand the getting fat bit, as I have been eating and drinking too much since my 50th birthday in November. I finally stopped on New Year’s Day before I turned into a lump of Mexicana cheese with a truffle on top. I am trying to clean up my act as I now feel heavy. It’s my own doing; there is no one else I can blame.

And that’s what gets me, the fact that I can only see a lack of personal responsibility in all this. People act as if though these issues are out of their hands and the only way to solve them is to take up emergency help from psychologists, debt management experts and dieticians who are all cashing in.

Let’s be honest here, there are three proven steps to help rid yourself of these issues.

Debt: Don’t buy presents on credit cards if you can’t afford to pay it back
Diet: Trying burning off the calories you consume by exercising more (I have to do this now!)
NHS crisis: Stop going to the doctors when there is nothing wrong with you

Yes, yes, yes, I know, the issues with the NHS run a lot deeper than that, especially with regards to underfunding and private companies swarming all over it like wasps around a pint of cider. However, if it is the national treasure people claim it to be, why do they abuse it so badly by missing appointments or turning up at A&E with a head cold?

Also, if people didn’t buy shit food or things they can’t afford and burnt off more calories instead, they would feel less depressed, therefore less likely to be taking antidepressants and becoming another statistic in a country rattling to death with subscription pills.

The awful deterioration in mental health is, in my opinion, linked to physical well-being and trying to keep up with uber-capitalism and the borrowing/spending frenzy that it causes amongst folk who are living in a state of perpetual fear of not having a car or a conservatory as big as the smug bastard next door.

Somehow, we need to get people educated out of this spiral of unhappiness but the problem is that the people pushing this crap food and antidepressants as well selling the debt to people who can barely afford it, are getting extremely rich from proletarian ignorance, so why would they want education to halt their gravy train (or burger, chips and a donut train)?

I reckon that if people were taught that it is quite clever to eat and drink healthily, exercise regularly, and only spend what is in their bank account, the obesity and mental health crisis would halve within a couple of years and the NHS would benefit accordingly.

However, the conspiracy theorist in me believes that there is a lot of money in health. The less healthy people are puts a strain on a service that is free at the point of delivery, thus leaving it open to a campaign to justify privatisation.

As I said, there is a lot of money to be made from privatising health and a lot of people wishing for it are entrenched in the establishment.

It’s like we are slowly killing ourselves to make a few private investors very rich out of a health crisis.

Ask Richard Branson.

*I know that mental illness is incredibly complex, however, bad diet and overspending doesn’t help.

2 Responses to “January Crisis – Diets, Debts and NHS”

  1. Trevor January 5, 2018 at 9:45 am #

    Great post Bob, really enjoyed it.
    I’m feeling (and probably looking) fat this January too. I tried reading one of those “Give up sugar” articles which are all the rage, but it also advocated giving up wheat, fat, carbs and pretty much everything but concluded by saying dark chocolate was ok!

    I’m partial to a bit of dark chocolate, but it appeared my entire diet should be made up of dark chocolate and brown rice in order to shed these additional pounds and something didn’t seem to quite add up.

    I tried a t-shirt on today and bought it despite feeling my gut poking out around my shorts. When I left the shop though I consciously looked around at my fellow shoppers. Everyone was fat. It was a frightening realisation. I agree it’s stoked by the fast-food industry (it’s cheaper here to buy a two litre bottle of fanta than a one litre bottle of water).

    Australia has a semi-privatised health service model (kind of designed to stop time wasters going to the doctors) but I’m a bit unconvinced about it. It costs me about 25-30 quid every trip. We’re not sick very often (fortunately) but a 5 minute appointment with my son (where surprise surprise the doc dished out antibiotics cost me 25 quid and I’ve definitely put off seeking medical help simply because my tightness outweighed my sickness.

    I know it’s a cliche but certainly obesity is the new smoking. And yet governments in both the UK and Australia went to huge lengths to effectively outlaw smoking and push it to the margins. Meanwhile there’s a fraction of the effort being taken about obesity – I can’t imagine MacDonalds having to sell their stuff in plain packaging and I too can only imagine ultimately there’s more money to be made from our fatness than there ever was from our lung disease.

    • Bob Lethaby January 11, 2018 at 11:57 am #

      Thanks for the reply Trev, I wholeheartedly agree as I eat a truffle. More walking needed

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