Your Thoughts on This Family

LadyDi - 26259Miller
By LadyDi - 26259Miller Latest Reply 2009-03-24 17:26:18 -0500
Started 2009-03-20 18:34:51 -0500

Please let's not start an uproar here, as I am fully aware that there are sometimes medical reasons for one being overweight. I am not trying to point fingers at those who are overweight when it cannot be helped. This article and this family, however, gives me a problem. I don't know all the details, of course, but it would be interesting to know if they are now or ever have tried to control their diet and work on losing weight and becoming healthier overall. I know it's not easy, but it can be done. And it is (as we've recently discussed) more expensive at times to purchase healthier food items. But do they even have an incentive to improve on their health when they can use that as an excuse to sit home and collect over $43,000.00 a year (in American money)? Wow.

What's your take on this? Please keep your remarks to the point and polite.

Get AOL News Alerts ยป 'Too Fat' Family Wants Bigger Checks AOL
posted: 5 HOURS 34 MINUTES AGO
(March 20)

A British couple who say they can't work because of obesity-related health problems complained that the government checks they receive aren't enough to cover their living expenses. They aired their gripes in a story in the Telegraph.

Philip Chawner, 53, and his wife, Audrey, 57, haven't worked in 11 years. The government benefits they collect each year is equivalent to about $43,260 in American currency.

"What we get barely covers the bills and puts food on the table. It's not our fault we can't work. We deserve more," Philip Chawner told the newspaper.

The couple have two daughters — Emma, 19, and Samantha, 21. The combined weight of the four is 1,160 pounds.

Each family member consumes 3,000 calories a day, about 500 over the recommended maximum for men and 1,000 over the limit for women, the Telegraph says.

Audrey Chawner admitted the family's diet isn't the best. But healthy food is "too expensive," she said.

20 replies

roshy 2009-03-24 10:37:07 -0500 Report

if they were given real treatment such as counselling, wholistic therapy and were thought how to look after themselves in a more healthier benefical way then the goverment woulnt wouldnt be funding for thier bad lifestyle choices which is keeping this family in the rut that they are in! It all begins with education and awareness! Money doesnt solve everything!

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-24 11:48:00 -0500 Report

That is the approach we would like to think works, but sadly it does not for everyone. Some simply refuse to be educated or to change their lifestyles. They're set in their ways and have accepted the way they exist. I see people on a weekly basis who are like that. They have no desire or incentive to do better for themselves. Sad, but true.

roshy 2009-03-24 17:26:18 -0500 Report

Its like that saying!!

Give a man a fish and hell feed for a day;
teach a man ti fish and hell eat for a life time!!

or this family could use a good aul traditional kick up the arse to get them movin!! i know thats what i need!!

silver.lily 2009-03-21 09:52:24 -0500 Report

People out there can really be cruel, and some without understanding that they are being so. My late husband was approached multiple times where he worked by "well intentioned" people about losing weight. One time he left his desk for 5 minutes and someone left pamphlets about weight loss on his desk.
-here is the thing. Do skiny people think that we don't know that we are fat?
-We all know what we look like and, it's just that each of us has our own situation and we have chosen to do with it as we please. We can take the medication and accept who we are "I'm fat and happy and proud of it" type of mentality or we can wallow in self missory and make our conditions worse with strees and worry that we are not fitting into what society thinks is acceptable.
-The media makes being Obese into such a big deal and everyone is so obsesed with loosing weight that there have become an awfuly lot of really ILL skinny people, because they are not managing their weight correctly either. But hey they are skinny so it's ok right?
-if the media wants to help out they need to quit making obesity a stigma.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-21 14:31:11 -0500 Report

Eating disorders are definitely a problem as well, but we have seen a lot about that in the media as well. That too is a huge problem and can even cause death, as can being overweight. Both have an effect on health costs.

The weight is not what the real issue is, but how healthy one can be at that weight - thin or overweight. Far too much emphasis has been placed on appearance over the years, causing women and girls to sacrifice their health for being thin. That's very sad. Both situations are serious and hard to overcome - require a lot of love and support and a doctor who can properly counsel them and guide them to make the needed changes.

2009-03-21 08:00:47 -0500 Report

I don't know enough about this family to comment. I do know how people are horrible and treat people who are very obese. My best friend in the world, Ron, is well over 400lbs. Before I got sick last year, he picked me up for lunch. We sat down to have lunch and this lady and her two daughters (about 17 and 19) were sitting where I could see them, but thank God, Ron couldn't. They were not small by any means, none of them. They pointed at him and poked fun at him through our entire lunch. Needless to say, my blood was boiling. Ron got up to pay the tab and I payed the 3 idiots a visit. What I didn't tell those 3 "ladies" well, I told them off in a very loud way. They just sat there and never said a word. They don't know him and I was furious somebody was that shallow. He has tried over and over to lose weight and he just can't. He has several medical conditions that prevent him from any weight loss. Under his large frame is the funniest, nicest, most caring person I've ever met. People in this society judge others way too fast. I was ticked, and will do it again in a heartbeat if I come across more idiots like those people. Angie

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-21 08:25:05 -0500 Report

Good for you, Angie! There's just no excuse for that type of behavior. A lot of people will miss out on loving and loyal friends by allowing their outwardly appearance to dictate whether or not they accept them as friends. We can all stand to improve ourselves in some way. It's never easy, or we'd all be in good shape. He's so lucky to have you for a friend (and so am I)!

dyanne 2009-03-24 00:43:09 -0500 Report

I just had to tell you Wow I wish I had you here on my side !!! That was a great thing you did on your friends behalf. I myself am at the highest weight I have ever been so I understand. People can be very cruel. Un fortunatly weight problems are there for all the world to see. Food is the hardest addiction to break. Its legal you can do it anywhere,you have to food shop and you have to cook and you have to eat. So if food is your addiction you really cant get away from it. Now if I was an alcoholic and was walking down the street and was not drunk at the time no one would know my problem. Do you have to go to a bar??? Do you have to go to a liquor store to live.?? Absolutley not but most people dont think about all that . I wish people would realize its an awful problem and I dont know anyone who enjoys being fat. So on behalf of all overweight people who have been made fun of I thank you so much for what you did for your friend you go girl !!!!!
much love to you

lipsie 2009-03-21 07:37:00 -0500 Report

Thank you VERY much! You are right, I didn't even read about those people, everyone is different, not everyone cares or even tries for that matter. lol, I still can't believe I fell backwards earlier w/ my chair here, lmao I was so not awake. Now my bum hurts, ha ha
Don't ask where that came from, lol…loosing my mind here alone, well Ty is here by catching up on some rest.

lipsie 2009-03-21 06:16:00 -0500 Report

Well, I may be wrong to some but I am sorry it's me and if people don't like me for who I am, not what I look like then heck w/ it THOUGH I do agree with peoples concerns for overweight people's health, etc. And I agree with not having someone just sitting around/laying around not trying to do anything about things, to change and make things better. In my case, I do weigth 398lbs! I HATE it! I am miserable yes! I am ashamed yes! But I am me, and going to work on ME= Sheila = better person! It's gpomg to happen, hell that's one reason why I am here on this site, become healthy. As far as getting this bad, I dunno, MANY medical things..thyroid, I dunno and like she said above medication can cause increase in weight, if that's the case let me leave you with this thought…I just counted to be sure, I am on 30 medications total…24 are actual medicine rather than inhalers, nasal spray. So, take your pick on medicine cause weight gain, lol Thank you all! I do hope you all don't hold my weight against me, that would hurt. Sheila

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-21 07:29:09 -0500 Report

You have gone through so much (and continue to) that my heart goes out to you. But you are being proactive in trying to do something about your health. Perhaps these people are too, altho I must say it doesn't appear they are - no real effort anyway. I never hold someone's health against them, especially when I have no idea what has caused their problem or the details surrounding their current situations. I believe we all have to look at individuals for who they are inside, first and foremost.

This story just emphasizes to me an overall, staggering problem we have currently. It points out the fact that being overweight has an effect not only on the individual, but on society and the health industry as a whole.

Good luck with your continued efforts, Sheila. You appear to really be tryng, and that's all anyone can ask of you. Most important of all is that you are working on YOU - YOU will be healthier and have a better quality of life by improving yourself. Good for you, and God bless you!

sparkysmom 2009-03-20 20:40:22 -0500 Report

As an obese person myself I would wait to see if there were a medical reason for the weight. Personally I take a couple different meds that make it hard for me to keep the weight off. I'm 6'1" and weigh 335 -340. I don't overeat although strangers have been known to walk up to me and tell me if I cut the sweets the weight would fall off. I don't eat sweets. There might be a reason for the weight.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-20 21:45:10 -0500 Report

You bring up a good point - many medications do cause weight gain. How much probably has to do with the dosage taken and the person's own body. Thyroid problems can cause one to be overweight, and it is believed that genetics plays some part as well. Kids who have overweight parents are at least 10 times more likely to be overweight than their peers who do not have overweight parents.

However, families also share diet and lifestyle habits that may contribute to obesity. Separating genetic from other influences on obesity is often difficult. Even so, science does show a link between obesity and heredity.

In the case of this family, they are saying their weight issues are genetic. That may be true. The health problems they have are all consequences of being overweight, however.

It is terrifically hard to lose weight for most people, regardless of the situation or cause. Especially once it gets to the point of obesity. There are many ways to deal with it, however, and improvement can usually be made with the help of professionals and determination and effort on the part of the individual.

kdroberts 2009-03-20 20:10:48 -0500 Report

See, this is why I hate the media. Firstly, why are these people in the news to start with? Secondly, if AOL are going to Americanize the story then why can't they report the facts? The family doesn't get $43,000, they get about $31,000. Still a lot I agree but a far cry for $43,000. About $6000 of that is from the daughters, one is on unemployment but looking for a job and the other is a student hairdresser and gets money from a hardship fund for students to pay for her training. A great deal of the parents money comes from support for diabetes, epilepsy and asthma treatments. So, when you look at it without spin, $7750 per year per person on average doesn't seem too crazy. It's actually skating close to the 2009 average US poverty line for families of 4 and as people say to me all the time "it's so much more expensive in Britain than it is here."

I think they are a bunch of idiots and they could be doing a lot to help themselves for sure but it's annoying when one piece of pointless journalism gets taken and all the facts reworked to presumably forward somebodies agenda.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-20 20:58:42 -0500 Report

You are right, of course. I hesitated to even post this since I really didn't have more information to go on. Not sure where you got yours, but that's good to know. You are correct about the media. They know how to sensationalize anything to increase readership (viewership). Thanks for filling in some of the gaps for us.

Sarguillo 2009-03-20 19:10:26 -0500 Report

You know, I read this earlier today. My mouth dropped. I guess they have an entitilement mentality in England. They make about $43,000 a year in government subsidy and want more. Without being judgemental, All I can say is WOW. You should have seen the picture of the family. I couldnt tell who was the mother, nor the daughters. They all look old. I feel for them. Been there myself. I hope they get the help they need (and I dont mean more money).

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-20 21:07:29 -0500 Report

I did see the photo. I don't begrudge anyone the help they need and deserve, believe me. After reading KD's comments below I am a little less upset, I guess. As I volunteer with a program that assists those in need and sees so many who are unable to get the help they need and should be getting, it bothers me to read stories like this. For those of us who do work hard to maintain our health and do work hard to take responsibility for ourselves, it is difficult to read things like this. If nothing else, this story emphasizes how our individual health impacts overall health costs and society as a whole.

I would hope, too, that they are getting help for their weight problems and any health issues they may be facing.

Next Discussion: Weight Loss Achievement »