Too many staff working in the NHS are worried about branding individuals fat, a health minister has claimed.
Anne Milton (pictured), who said that she was speaking only from a personal point of view, urged health professionals not to skirt around the issue and to call people fat rather than obese.
Her comments came after the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) addressed concerns over obesity in pregnancy.
In new guidelines, the NICE medical experts claim that staff in the NHS are being forced to deal with an “epidemic of obesity” among women who are pregnant.
Ms Milton said that people had to take “personal responsibility for their lives” but she also argued that if medics used the term fat it was more likely to motivate people to lose weight.
“At the end of the day you cannot do it for them. People have to have the information,” she said.
Speaking in an interview with the BBC, she said: “If I look in the mirror and think I am obese I think I am less worried [than] if I think I am fat.”
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Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
“Let’s give the power back to the clinicians who know what they are talking about, let them give facts and not what patients wish to hear, we may then achieve something!” – Lisa, Birmingham
“You don’t have to tell them because they are aware of their size. Give them a leaflet and number to call for help” – Maureen, Brentford
“How long are we going to pussyfoot around their felling rather than telling the truth, that sorry you are fat, unhealthy, smoking etc. So far our diplomatic approach hasn’t worked, let’s try honesty for a change” – Soha, Manchester