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900,000 Brits too fat to work

Almost 900,000 people in Britain are out of work because they are overweight, according to a new study. The figure is five times higher than official records suggest.

According to Professor Dame Carol Black, a former rheumatologist consultant, the actual number of people claiming welfare payments because of obesity is around 880,000, many times more than the 160,000 stated in official reports

Black, who drew up a report for the Department for Work and Pensions last year that highlights how obesity affects the workforce, claimed on Sunday that the government figures “cannot be true.”

The former president of the Royal College of Physicians said she believes the inaccuracy may be due the claim forms, as applicants can only put down one reason for why they require subsidies.

Black, who is now the principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, believes there are hundreds of thousands of people who list a condition linked to obesity, such as diabetes, rather than obesity itself.

Speaking about her report at the Hay Festival of Arts and Literature, Black said: “You’re only allowed to go into the benefits system with one primary leading diagnosis so you can’t say on your form, diabetes, obesity, arthritis. 

“It doesn’t make any sense. The analysts and the economists on [our] team think that if you look at the benefits system, diabetes, heart disease… the number is closer to 880,000,”she said, according to the Daily Mail.

 

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