Lack of vital statistics leads to fattist thinking

I must take issue with the sentiments expressed in the article ‘Spotlight on… office gyms’ (Personnel Today, 24 July).

It quotes Nuffield Proactive Health chief executive Chris Jessop as saying that “employees who are seriously overweight are, not surprisingly, likely to be less productive and have more sickness than their healthier counterparts”.

My response to this is that it is unfounded drivel. There is no research to back up this comment, even from the most rabid anti-fat so-called experts.

There is certainly no research from balanced, objective, credible academics to give this comment any foundation, yet it is stated as so rather than as a personal opinion.

Jessop also suggests that employers have responsibility to curb the worrying trend of people having more sedentary lifestyles.

It is not my employer’s business if I have a sedentary lifestyle outside the workplace. To use a word such as ‘curb’ infers that employers should force their staff into living perceived healthy lifestyles.

I am fed up to the back teeth with the ills of the UK being blamed on over-weight people and the persecution of these individuals by people who think they have a right to tell them how to live.

When these statements are made by so-called experts they should be backed up with a reference to credible research.

Richard Essery
HR professional and trade union representative

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