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Obesity Helpline Number on Larger Size Clothes, Isn’t An Insult?

August 19th, 2009 · 10 Comments ·


In year 2006, writing in the British Medical Journal (from Times Online UK), health specialists in the UK are suggesting to the government to consider the following ideas to deal with obesity issue:

  1. Clothes made in larger sizes should carry a tag with an obesity helpline number. So, what sizes are considered to be large then? All clothes sold with a waist of more than 40in for men and 37in for boys, women’s garments with a waist of more than 35in or size 16 or above, and more than 31in for girls.
  2. Sweets and snacks should not be permitted near checkouts. Placement at children eye level is not permitted too.
  3. New roads should not be built unless they include cycle lanes.
  4. Food likely to make people fat should be taxed. These foods include processed foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat.
  5. Introducing health checks for all school leavers, both primary and secondary

All suggestions seem fine except the first one. Though I understand the kind initiative to fight obesity, I believe that having a helpline number on your clothes label may look like an insult for huge size customers.



Category: Fitness News

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10 responses so far ↓
  • Angie Tan // Aug 19, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    I agree with you. It is an insult.

  • Tami // Aug 19, 2009 at 4:59 PM

    I don’t. I used to be a size 22. And although you are aware of the problem. You sometimes need a kick in the butt.

    I get annoyed at people who sit back and do nothing and then claim that no one has informed them.

    There was an article where a lady was sitting on benefits and lost enough weight that they took away one of her benefits (she’d had a stomach staple on NHS as well) and then had the nerve to say “sometimes I don’t emotionally feel like eating an apple. So i’ll have 4 packets of crisps instead”
    She needs to be reminded that she’s over weight and it’s not acceptable. But hey ho, people can live their lives as they like. Just don’t expect me to pay for it.

  • Nisha // Aug 19, 2009 at 5:54 PM

    I think all of them are a great idea. If obese people see it as an insult then I think it’s only because it hits a nerve.

    It’s not someone pointing a finger and laughing at them or calling them names. It is simply a reminder that there is help out there and that they don’t need to face their weight struggles alone.

    And I agree with Tami. So may obese people have so many excuses that they use as a shield to protect them from the ugly truth – that all of their wieght issues are their own doing.

    You shouldn’t feel insulted by the initiative to help solve one of the biggest social health problems the Country has seen. It’s not pointing the finger at you and calling you names, it’s just telling you, you have a problem but here’s someone who can help you solve it.

    Those that do feel insulted are more than likely lying to themselves.

  • Tami // Aug 19, 2009 at 6:04 PM

    here here Nisha! Spot on.

    People need to know that they have a problem. I understand that it’s not as easy for some people. But I didn’t give myself excuses, never thought i’d see the day where I went to the gym regulary but now i’m down the gym 5 days a week and thinking about Training to be a combat instructor.

    As long as they aren’t forced to wear t-shirts saying “i’m a fatty” I don’t see how it’s insulting. As Nisha said, if they find it insulting it’s only because the t-shirt is hitting a nerve and it isn’t doing it in an ostentatious way. It’s just saying “We can help you”
    They put pictures of diseased and dead body parts on Cigarette packets, which say things like “YOU ARE GOING TO DIE!” Whats the difference between something that clogs your arteries and may cause cancer to another thing that… o wait clogs your arteries and may cause cancer

  • Nisha // Aug 19, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    Tami, that’s amazing!

    As a personal trainer, I’ve helped loads of obese people face their fears and you are just one shining example of what you can do if you allow yourself to face your worst nightmare head on.

    Great example of the ciggies!

  • Tami // Aug 19, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    lol you say that. I still like cake though!!! And I got a long way to go. I’ve plateau’d recently and have upped my game. I do a mixture of group fitness (which is what REALLY got me hooked) and i have a real determined gym buddy who goes with me on the days where we can’t do the group fitness. When i’m down, she pushes and when she’s down I push… and when we are both down we do circuits. a good gym buddy is the key… and I have backups! lol

    I had a lodger who is overweight and she used to see me come home from the gym and put on some salmon and steamed Vegies and then sit there with a mircowave meal and a chocolate bar and packet of crisps and 1/2 a cake (she’d been home all afternoon and hadn’t made a meal) and try and excuse herself by saying “i’m just having one of those days where all I want is bad food, do you get those days”
    My reply “yes… but I don’t let ‘those days’ turn into ‘those months'”
    People constantly excuse themselves and people around you let you get away with it. I will help people but I wont lie to them. I could be being too harsh, but you can only fool yourself long enough.

    There is a lady at my gym who is huge, legs the size of my stomach type huge. But she gets out there and pushes herself and doesn’t make excuses and is lovely, everyone encourages her and she is looking a HELL of alot better. THAT takes courage

  • astrothsknot // Aug 22, 2009 at 5:46 AM

    Fat people are not going to magically see the error of their ways because there’s a phone number on the clothes. It takes something drastic before they go and get help such as getting stuck in a turnstyle at the railway station. And then it’s only rare cases that seek help. Most just carry on making excuses for themselves. S’not my fault, guv. Can’t help myself.

    They’ve had years of making excuses for themselves, they’re immune to the advice of others. a phone number won’t make any difference. They are very good at turning the blame on others who won’t participate in their reality. Instead of thinking “I can’t fit into the seats in the cinema” they just stop going or petition for larger seats.

    I congratulate those of you who halted your own self destruction. You are all inspirational

  • Tom Parker // Aug 24, 2009 at 8:41 AM

    I think they’re all good ideas but then again I think there’s got to be a point where people exercise some willpower. Even if you do all the above people are still going to find themselves in situations where they will be tempted by sweets, processed foods etc.

  • sarah // Nov 19, 2009 at 2:11 AM

    Hi i am a fifty three year old mother and grandmother of three lovely grandkids all three are girls the last two was born in the same year of 2008 one in febuary and one in may, my oldest grand is eleven year old, my weight be up and down, my problem is with sweet i don’t eat it regular but when i do it i go fool with it maybe about a week that adds up what i miss two month, but i do have thyroid problem, because i had part of it remove, and i have to take medication for it every day because it goes up and down that the doctor have to change my miligram so it can keep thyroid on a good level, i am not trying to have an excuss about weight because i have the kind that make me big, but since i have the surgery my weight goes up and down, i use to be five hundered, but now i be like three twenty or two thirty, i just had a hernia remove about ayear and a half ago it left me wide in the stomach area, the doctor say if he would have known that the hernia was going to have my stomach strecth like that he would have talk about giving me a tummy tuck, to remove some of the skin cause my stomach is mot that big inside it just the flab so he put a mask in my stomach to keep it from swagging, so i am trying all i can to lose it, i can’t speak for no one else but i can for myself you don’t know what some people are going through with their body, i guess you don’t want to believe me about my problem, but you no what that will not stop me from dressing nice and take care of myself. I then had surgery in my stomach twice, for gallbladder that was remove about the time after hugo storm, ten had a hernia remove in 2007 i am 4”-5 that why i will get me a body magic to left my stomach in place so i can get muscles back, with a mask im ny stomach i realy don’t know what exercise to do unless i ask my doctor cause now we have a fittness at the doctor office now, i can go and do exercise now, but i know you trying to help people but you are running out putting the word fatty on t-shirts, i think it was very rude, some folk think when they loss weight and try to come back as a role monitor and trys to be funny with it , if you are going to help somebody, just get up a meeting, invite the obesiy over where ever you have it at, then let them know that you just started to lose weight, put this on the t-shirts together we can make a differnt with our weight. thank you.

  • Tami // Nov 19, 2009 at 5:05 PM

    “but i know you trying to help people but you are running out putting the word fatty on t-shirts,”

    Sarah, no one said that they should put “fatty” on a t-shirt. That was the point, an obesity helpline number tag inside the shirt is subtle and a way to get the message across. Not big obscene note on the front of the t-shirt.

    I think the thing that what we(if I can say we) are trying to say is if you have excuses then a gentle push might help. Some people don’t have excuses and try very hard and are not getting the same results as others. This is where going to the Doctors would be helpful. Everyones bodies are different and react differently. And the older you are the harder it is to loose weight as well. I can’t help thinking that if we were all healthier and fitter at a younger age we wouldn’t have half the illnesses that we have in our cultures.

    And I have had 3 obese lodgers living with me. 1 who is also a Diabetic and I have sat down and helped them with meal plans, laughed with them and I even bought a stationary bike for them so that they didn’t have to cycle on the street and feel looked at. They all say that they want to do it and I support them but I tell them also that I’m not gonna lie to them. When they sit down and eat a packet or crisps or an extra large portion of white rice, I say “your doing yourself damage, you’ve chosen to eat that no one has forced you”
    I don’t have excuses for people, never have and never will. I’m not thin by any means and if I eat a chocolate bar I know that i’m doing it and don’t try and think “well my leg has been hurting recently… I need a break” doesn’t work like that.

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