Calling people fat will help them lose weight -- minister
DOCTORS should call people "fat" rather than "obese" to make it clear that they needed to lose weight, Britain's public health minister said yesterday.
Anne Milton, a Conservative, said the term "obese" distanced people from the problem and that calling them fat would encourage "personal responsibility".
She said many National Health Service professionals were worried that if they called people "fat" they might cause offence but she insisted that anyone with such a weight problem needed to know.
"If I look in the mirror and think I am obese I think I am less worried than if I think I am fat," said Mrs Milton after the publication of the British Government's public health plans.
The minister said she was speaking in a personal capacity but that did not deflect criticism of her comments. Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, accused Mrs Milton of scientific ignorance.
"The word "obese" is a medical description of a weight that is such it might dispose someone to medical problems," he said. However, some medical professionals supported Mrs Milton. "The term obese medicalises the state," said Professor Steve Field, of the Royal College of GPs. "It makes it a third-person issue. We need to sometimes be more brutal and honest". (© Daily Telegraph, London)