Obese doctors should be setting a better example, according to Steve Miller, television presenter for the show Fat Families. Miller reportedly called out the NHS, saying that there should be a higher bar set for doctors to practice, particularly those in family medicine. He states that their bad example makes them look less credible in front of their patients. He announced his views.
“Doctors are role models for their patients and that means setting a good example in their actions as well as their words. But there are far too many overweight and obese doctors sitting behind desks and in surgeries.”
Miller believes that removing obese doctors from the occupation until they can get their weight under control is one of the best things to do to combat the obesity epidemic, which is the plight of two-thirds of the American population. He believes that if we have more health care providers setting an example and giving first-hand advice and suggestions to their patients, we will have a society that cares more about losing weight.
“It is laughable when a patient is told by a GP who looks like a Sumo wrestler that they need to lose a bit of weight. Patients take no notice and laugh away the advice.”
In order to make this come to pass, Miller has written several times to NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, admonishing him to take administrative action. The main point of his letter says it all.
“Fat doctors should be suspended from work until they get into shape and if they refuse to undertake a diet and exercise program then they should be reported to the General Medical Council and struck off. That might sound harsh but obesity is the single biggest problem facing the NHS over the next 20 years and we have to get tough on it as a nation. That means a zero tolerance approach to fat doctors.”
Though Miller’s words are harsh, NHS in England, at least, seems to be listening to this plea. They have taken serious measures to implement a healthier medical atmosphere in their clinics. They are adding new measures to include work-based weight watching, which includes removing unhealthy snacks from the break rooms and vending machines.
Traditionally, these types of work-based weight loss schemes have proven very effective, and could lead to a closer result of what Miller is advocating.
Luckily for the overweight doctors in the world, it doesn’t look like the NHS is taking Miller’s request too seriously. Though they likely believe that doctors who are setting an example of a healthy weight would be more credible, they aren’t likely to fire thousands of doctors based on their weight alone.
[Image via TheMedschoolProject.com]