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The clotted cream gene

The latest Through the K hole - in which Professor Candid explains why attaching pegs to a patient's man boobs may not be the obesity treatment of choice.

Stockholm is set to host the 11th annual international obesity conference this summer. Professor Candid discusses how our fundamental understanding and management of obesity has radically changed over the years.

'It's no exaggeration to say that obesity has become a national pandemic. It now affects 21% of men and 17% of non-men and is the single greatest contributor to chronic disease in the UK,' he said.

'Even in my lifetime, attitudes to obesity have changed enormously. When I think back to my boarding school days I often remember a corpulent fag called Jenkins. He was shaped a bit like a bean bag and after gym we attached pegs to his man boobs and made him do star jumps until he passed out. This provided a lot of much needed hilarity for the older boys but even this obscene level of humiliation didn't motivate him to lose weight. In fact he carried on eating and we were all pretty sad when he jumped off the top of Bexley car park after bingeing on a banoffee pie.'

'Nowadays of course the medical profession has to tread more carefully and in line with political correctness and due to our professional unease when tackling people's behaviours we have begun to invent all sorts of genetic, biochemical and hormonal reasons for the clinically obese. And of course by the clinically obese, I mean fatties.'

An irresponsible parent from Chorley said: 'He wants cake all the time and I know he's just a child but I can't resist giving it to him. I mean there must be a gene that makes me cut off a great big slice of Victoria sponge and another gene for adding a huge dollop of clotted cream. I just can't resist that little look on his face when I serve it up to him, well what's left of his face anyway"

A peckish man from Wrexham added: 'Only last week I went to see my GP for help with weight loss. I told him I'd tried every diet going but can you believe it, all he could suggest was that I eat less food. I mean if we can get a man on the moon, why the hell can't I get some help for my waist line? By the way, is the moon really made out of cheese?"

At a recent conference, the editor of the Clinical Journal of All Things Fatty made an impassioned plea: 'Could everyone please stop eating deep fat fried lard cakes, it's like so tedious now. And besides I'm well bored with reading about fat. Every day at work it's fat this, fat that, fat the other. It isn't your genes that make you put Pizza Express on speed dial is it? And it's certainly not your glands that make you smash the lock on the fridge and gorge yourself on chocolate ice cream?'

The International Committee on Obesity Research said: 'We're coming dangerously close to saying that pies make you fat, but the raw data is still pretty crude and we've still got a lot of number crunching to do. And speaking of raw and crunching, I'm starving.'

Some of the committee's recommendations for European health policy include relocating fast food outlets to less accessible places, the so-called 'chip shops to hill tops' initiative, and providing armistice days for cake addicts.

Professor Candid concluded: 'As doctors, we are now stuffed full of knowledge. And isn't it an irony that the field of obesity research, like the UK waist line, will continue to expand. I've seen the future: it's wobbly and it gets out of breath when going upstairs.'

Written in response to Professor Edzard Ernst's blogpost: Light-weight evidence is not enough. Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen.

Through the K hole - credit: HaPe Gera, Flickr Through the K hole - credit: HaPe Gera, Flickr