Universal Healthcare is not automatically fat-friendly

As one individual in the UK put it, commenting on the recent article by Marianne Kirby from the Rotund:

Given that we’re obliged to contribute to a universal health provider, there is a legitimate public interest in criticising avoidable behaviour which increases the burden upon it, whether that be over-eating, lack of exercise, or substance abuse.

If the time comes when it is possible to opt out of contributing to that system (rather than merely consuming it), and choosing one that rejects the wilfully unhealthy, that legitimate public interest will no longer exist.

Now, please look at this more closely. The junk science the UK citizens are fed gives them even more reason to legislate thinness. Why, oh why, does anyone believe junk science would magically “go away” with universal healthcare? You’re still going to get outsourced groups writing the medical guidelines, and they’re still going to claim that fat raises risks in all cases, and they’re still going to recommend that fat people need to be eradicated.

Excuse me, but I’m already hated enough for my body in the USA. I don’t need a “legitimate public interest” in it, too.


14 comments on “Universal Healthcare is not automatically fat-friendly

  1. anniemcphee says:

    This is probably going to sound rude, but I don’t mean it that way – DUH! Heh.

    All it does is compound the problem and make you *really* fucked. As it is people here are so used to the idea of “insurance” (which started driving costs up) and then HMOs (which only compounded the problem exponentially) that the idea of paying for your own is actually repellent to a whole lot of people. It’s just slowly going to steamroll ahead until we’re where the UK is at and eventually when the already-socialized health care systems reach the fully totalitarian stage, we’ll be close behind. It’s really pretty hopeless, my fellow Cassandra. But, er…I’m sorry. So long as they let us talk, we gotta speak the truth right? Keep telling it like it is.

  2. Bri says:

    I live in Australia, we have universal health care. It is NOT fat friendly. I don’t know why anyone would think it is.

  3. anniemcphee says:

    Most of the people who live in Canada and the UK and other socialized medicine countries that DO sing its praises, I’ve noticed, are those who are generally healthy. Or who aren’t in an allegedly unhealthy group like fat people or the elderly. Go figure.

  4. nuckingfutz says:

    I have to admit, I’m for universal health care in the US. But not because I think it’s fat-friendly. I know that (as a whole) it wouldn’t be.

    The reason I’m for it is that I grew up poor, and if it weren’t for the fact that I had a “green card” (Medicaid; because I was technically a ward of the state), I would have had to go without insurance.

    There have been several times in my adult life that I was without insurance. I have over $30,000 in medical bills due to my daughter’s epilepsy to prove it.

    It’s things like THAT that I think of when I think about universal health care.

    As for the fatphobia… well, that’s another issue altogether.

  5. goodbyemyboy says:

    Honestly, getting involved with fat acceptance was what made me decide once and for all that universal health care was a very bad idea. There are still serious problems with the way health care is run in the U.S., and I have no idea how to solve them, but I don’t want to make them worse.

  6. Bee says:

    Having just moved from one country with universal health care to another, I remain staunchly pro-UHC. It’s far from perfect and sometimes really is used as an excuse for fat hatred, but it works. Here in Europe at least…

  7. I’m in the UK and I love the NHS. I am fat and I’ve had a few doctors comment, but when I replied with my an outline of what I eat [and my exercise schedule they let it go.

    I have a rare autoimmune condition [Wegener’s Granulomatosis] and the NHS has done an amazing job taking care of me. I cannot fault my team of doctors they are wonderful.

    Ultimately, all doctors are people and they’re going to let some of their prejudices into their treatment of others – even though they shouldn’t. With the NHS though, there is a chain of command to complain to and get issues addressed. When I lived in the US that wasn’t the case, if a doctor is mean or misdiagnoses you the only response you have is to sue them. And if you don’t have hundreds of dollars laying around the chances you can sue them are slim.

    Universal health care is awesome.

  8. Sarah says:

    Personally, I’m not willing to trade the personal liberty over my body in exchange for the public good. That is one of the many reasons I’m opposed to UHC. And I know it would be a mess in the United States.

  9. Bri says:

    UHC does have many advantages but that does not make it fat friendly. While the Australian health system has a lot of flaws, I would still choose our system over that in the US any day of the week.

  10. Tiana says:

    I just came back to this post to see what people were saying about it because I have some trouble understanding it. Why does universal healthcare equal a lack of freedom? Forgive me if I sound stupid, but isn’t it a bad thing that for some people in your country, it’s a toss between seeing the doctor or having enough to eat?? Serious question. I may be misunderstanding what you have in mind if you speak of universal healthcare.

  11. BigLiberty says:


    There are programs for low-income individuals in the US, so that they can get healthcare. And no emergency room can turn down someone who comes in with a problem, regardless of whether or not they can pay.

    That’s not what I’m talking about in this post: I’m talking about a system which forces individuals to purchase healthcare, whether the providers are private or some large single state provider. This also includes hiding and redistributing the healthcare costs in the form of higher taxes or fees on certain groups (like smokers or fat people).

  12. Tiana says:

    Okay, I think I get it now. Nevertheless, it seems to be mostly poor people who disagree. I wish someone invented a system that worked for everyone … *sigh*

  13. […] Why Universal Health-care Should Be Opposed by Fat Activists I’ve been thinking about this for a while, ever since a my short post on why universal healthcare is not automatically fat-friendly. […]

  14. […] Universal Healthcare is Not Automatically Fat Friendly […]

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