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Thursday, March 19, 2015

David Cameron's plans for obese benefit claimants questionable, says the Lancet

Weight-loss programmes often fail and forcing claimants to undergo surgery is unethical – better to work on health of whole population, says journal’s editorial


David Cameron’s proposal to make weight-loss programmes compulsory for anybody who is obese and claiming benefits is “financially and ethically questionable”, according to medical experts.


The prime minister said last month that people who cannot work because they are overweight or suffering addiction problems could be compelled to go for treatment if they wanted to receive benefits. But an editorial in the leading medical journal in the field, the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology says weight-loss programmes rarely work in the long term.


Related: David Cameron calls on obese to accept help or risk losing benefits


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