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Mr Faty and the great obesity debate

According to Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum, we – by which I think he means you and I – are criminally ignoring measures to prevent or treat obesity in children.

According to Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum, we – by which I think he means you and I – are criminally ignoring measures to prevent or treat obesity in children.

He's quoted as saying that, 'All the messages about healthy eating and exercise for reducing weight are just being tossed aside by GPs and primary care.'

Yeah, of course. Mr Blobby Junior appears in my consulting room. I callously rip the tennis racket from his pudgy grip, yank off his sweaty trainers and tear up the health eating leaflet he has tucked into his running shorts – and then I, er, toss them aside.

Next, I force him to the floor, exploit his gaping look of astonishment by sticking a funnel in his gob and finally pour down it a shedload of orlistat. Job done.

At least, that seems to be the NOF's view. The truth may be rather more prosaic. I have never prescribed a weight loss drug to a child, but I can understand why other GPs have. After all, we don't actually go out hunting in packs to find these kids. They find us – or, more specifically, their parents do. And you can bet that, by the time they've gone to the bother of booking the appointment, they're looking for rather more than the earnest advice about exercise and diet that they've heard and failed to implement a hundred times before.

Of course, patient pressure is no reason to prescribe, but it does paint a slightly different picture to the one the NOF seems to be conjuring up. And, of course, many of these prescriptions may actually have been initiated by a specialist, which means we're doing things by the book – the BNF, to be precise.

Or maybe I just don't recognise a good spoof when I see one: after all, Tam Fry is an anagram of Mr Faty.

Copperfield Copperfield

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