DID my ears deceive me, or did I listen, on a recent breakfast news programme, to a massively overweight woman objecting to medical practitioners using the word “obese” when referring to her corpulent condition?
It is often said about fat people that there is a thin person struggling to get out of their bodies. In this instance I think that there were at least two and possibly three thin people trying to make their escape.
Let me provide some context for my question. A woman of substantial proportion, my guess is something in excess of 20 stone, sat on the sofa (reinforced, I hope) and complained that doctors should not refer to her as being obese because she had no obvious deleterious medical conditions.
Never mind the observable evidence that (a) she took up the space of two standard sofa sitters, and (b) she was wearing a marquee as a frock.
The fact her heart was pumping sufficient to drain a substantial area of wetlands seemed to elude her.
A representative of the medical profession squirmed on the other side of the sofa as he tried to mitigate the situation by saying that doctors had to be aware that the wrong use of language might offend their patients and could put strain of the doctor/patient relationship.
This woman is lucky that I graduated in law and not in medicine.
Were I her GP I would have felt bound to tell her that her weight was not only a danger to herself but also to the public at large. She could, with ease, have joined the Territorial Army as a road block.
If nothing else, I wonder if she had ever considered the hernias she might induce when the inevitable coffin bearers attempt to lower her chunky remains into the ground.
Of course, I speak from the position of never having to worry about my own weight. My personal physician advises me that I have the perfect weight for a man six feet four inches tall.
For this reason I have long regretted that I am only five foot eight.