Should we have to weigh in at the GP?

As National Obesity Awareness Week commences, new statistics show that over 25% of us in the UK are overweight, but only 6% of us admit to it. One of the beliefs from the National Obesity Forum is that both adults and children should be weighed regularly at our GPs – children every three years and adults every year. But what do the Loose Women panel, Ruth, Coleen, Gloria and Jane have to say on this health-conscious matter?

The main concerns Gloria had surrounding the proposed new weigh in was the Doctors being involved in a potentially time-consuming process:

“There are many different levels of this. GPs are under so much pressure in the surgeries anyway, how are they ever going to get time?

“We all hate the word obese and a lot of people don’t like to admit to the fact that you are technically classed as obese. We all know if we’re overweight” Gloria continued, However, I do think with children though, it’s good to keep a handle on their weight. Whether this could be done either with the nurse at the surgery or the nurses in school.” Nevertheless, she did have her reservations: “I think the way it’s presented in the press at the moment is just not doable.”

Ruth steered away from making the weigh in compulsory however thought education was key when it came to children, saying “I do think there are a lot of people not addressing this, with their children as well. Your child [could be] weighed by someone every year, whether it’s the school nurse or your GP, because it’s a very fine line between being overweight and obese. It’s very dangerous. If someone actually said to you, I’m sorry to say your child is obese, maybe it would make you do something, before you go on to have bigger problems in later life.”

Coleen agreed that a succinct programme was key:

“If we’re talking about really obese, not just slightly overweight but obese, you would have to be blind not to see that. If you’re going to a doctor with a child that’s very obese or you are yourself and he goes, yes you are obese, do you think they’re going to run out and be like, ‘oh we better buy salad?’ ”, she continued, “They need help. They can’t just put them on the scales and say ‘yes you’re obese, next!’ It needs to be a one-to-one programme.”

“I think for some adults, it’s hard to change their habits” Ruth stated. “I think you can do it more easily with children.”

Coleen’s thoughts turned to the effects of telling children they were overweight:

“Having a teenage daughter, that’s all they talk about – ‘I’m getting fat, I’m getting overweight.’ In actual fact, they’re all really slim, it’s a very dangerous thing to say to a teenager ‘you’re bordering on overweight.’ ”

“The idea is good – it’s good to keep an eye on your children if they are getting particularly overweight, but it’s just not practical. The thing is with these reports is that we just don’t have the resources,” Gloria said, bringing her original point across.

“Getting bigger has become normalised in society. Our children are getting bigger, we make school uniforms are bigger, we make cinema seats wider, we make plane seats wider. So in a way it’s harder for people to look in the mirror and say ‘I’m big’, because society is so accepting of it,” Jane commented.

She also drew comparison to other appointments we have to keep:

“We go for dental check-ups, we accept that, so why would we not accept having a regular weighing in? Don’t do it in front of the child, write to the parents to just say it’s not good for your child’s health, and let’s look at ways of nipping this in the bud.”

Are we a society that’s much more accepting of obesity? Do you think a regular weigh in could help tackle the growing problem in our country? Or are you worried it may spark weight issues with teenagers? Let us know below.


Image Credit:

Daniel Oines /

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