Mandatory Treatment Proposal Dropped But Dame Carol Black’s Report Does Target Obese People For Action
In relation to obesity, the report reveals that just 1,600 ESA claimants have obesity as their main disabling condition – a tiny proportion. It also points out that employment rates for people who are obese is as high as for the general population. Only severely obese people have significantly lower levels of employment.
However, this does not prevent Black from wanting to target obese claimants on the grounds that
“Obese and severely obese people are over-represented amongst the sick and disabled” and that “there are as many as approximately 800,000 recipients with a main disabling condition for which obesity could have been a contributory factor.”
Black recommends that “the Government commissions research to investigate the impact of obesity on the working population and the extent to which obesity plays a role in health-related benefit claims, in particular long-term ones.”
The research, Black says, will help the government to understand the “the true labour market costs of the obesity epidemic and help build a case (if justified) for further societal, employer and government action.”
Claimants know only too well the kind of societal and government action they can expect: hate campaigns whipped up by the DWP press office and the media against obese claimants to justify whatever mandatory work or training programmes the DWP believes will cut claimant numbers.