Reality TV, that neanderthal peek into freak lives, is going to explore the morbidly obese on Wednesday night. Have dinner early, you won’t feel like eating later.
I am fascinated by some of the statistics that have emerged from the press release.
Once you reach the magic weight of 47 stone, as some of the participants have done, it requires 5,000 calories a day to maintain that weight. They don’t explain the tipping point, but I imagine that in order to reach that weight, you must be consuming in excess of 5,000 calories a day. You can’t walk, you can’t wash yourself, and you require special furniture in order to exist. Before anybody suggests it, the consultant in charge of the ward where this is being filmed has dismissed any question of ‘medical reasons’ for his patient’s obesity.
If you can’t walk, and you can’t wash, I think it is fair to assume that you are not going out to work either – so my question is, who is paying for those 5,000 calories a day?
We are told that the reason there is so much obesity is that ‘the poor and deprived’ cannot afford decent food and exist on a diet of Big Macs. Fair enough, let’s look at the cost of Big Mac’s.
A Big Mac costs £2.49. It provides 540 calories – so you need at least ten every day to increase your weight. £24.90 a day. Or £174 a week. Yet even the long term incapacity benefit is only £99 a week. Presumably you also need to pay someone to deliver them to you. How can this be achieved on benefits that we are told cannot be cut without causing extreme hardship? Can anybody explain how the obese are managing to afford 5,000 calories a day? There’s many a pensioner who would love to know.
Pensioners are having a particularly hard time at the moment; those who saved diligently throughout their working life in order not to be a burden on society or their family have found that interest on their savings is negligible. You would have to save a pension fund of around £300,000 in order to produce £174 a week for those Big Macs.
This is because for years, those who had no interest in saving £300,000 found their credit cards a useful source of the wherewithal for yet another pair of Manolo Blahniks or a personalised number plate for their Range Rover, and now interest rates have to be kept low so that those tottering around on the Manolo Blahniks don’t go bankrupt through the accumulated interest on their credit cards.
Pensioners, those who haven’t been arrested as paedophiles, are going without in order to save the financial skins of the Blahnik shoe wearers, who in turn are going without in order to finance the Big Macs of those wallowing at home – yet there is no riot.
The Greeks riot, the Spanish burn effigies of their leaders, the French paralyse the country at a moment’s notice – yet the British will sit down on Wednesday night and watch in awe as 47 stone waddles round their screen without so much as a murmur of discontent – nor will many question why it is that they are paying for this when they themselves are only able to afford a TV dinner for one…