Friday, 26 November 2010

NHS - encouraging a healthy lifestyle?

If the slightly hysterical UK media is to be believed, an obesity crisis is looming over us. The BBC Panorama programme is exploring whether "bad" foods need to be taxed, the government meanwhile is turning to fast food and fizzy drinks giants such as McDonalds, KFC and Pepsi for the answer. Which does feel to me like having your house robbed and then asking the burglars how to improve home security - they will have a good insight into the issue, but may be tempted to give the answer that helps them more than us.

Anyway, apparently this crisis will cost the NHS gazillions of pounds whilst their ward beds are creaking under the weight of 50 stone health hazards ordering KFC family value buckets from their bedside internet terminals. Or something.

Clearly there will be a hidden cost to the NHS caused by obesity as they deal with the secondary health issues brought on by the condition. And so one might assume the NHS would be interested in promoting a lifestyle that prevents obesity. Like eating more healthily. Or exercising more. Possibly even using a cycle?

But, as previously noted, reality falls sadly short of the aspirational web-prose when visiting the St James Health Centre. And this doesn't appear to be an isolated case - I was again disappointed when visiting the Forest Road Medical Centre.

Once again, no secure stand to lock a bicycle. If you look closely you will see some brave soul has locked their cycle to the plastic down pipe in lieu of anything that might actually deter a thief. But how are car users treated in this narrow area - maybe there isn't enough room for parking of any kind? Well the one way street manages to accommodate several free parking places right outside the centre, and next to it is this.

But clearly no space for a Sheffield stand or two.

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