Weight loss expert Steve Miller says fat doctors should be struck off
8th July 2015
obesityOverweight doctors should be forbidden from practising on the NHS as they are setting bad examples to the patients that go to see them, according to a leading weight loss expert. Birmingham-born hypnotherapist Steve Miller runs his own clinic in his home town, and argues that fat doctors should be struck off and told to lose weight; one of many suggestions he has put forth as drastic measures to tackle Britain’s increasingly problematic obesity crisis. In a written letter to NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, Mr Miller has argued for a much tougher approach with regards to those GPs found to be obese and setting a bad example to their patients, further suggesting that all NHS doctors should be subject to a yearly medical examination which will comprise of a weigh-in, to ensure they are maintaining a healthy weight. Moreover, Mr Miller says that any doctor found to have a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight/obese categories should be forced to attend a privately funded boot camp in order to lose the excess weight. If that wasn’t enough, the hypnotherapist has called for any overweight or obese GP who is not willing to attend the boot camp or agree to a personal training programme (at their own expense), should be held to disciplinary action and maybe even struck off if they don't shed the weight. Currently, NHS England already has an aim of decreasing sickness amongst staff, which includes obesity, by a third, which may save up to £550 million. This works out at roughly adding an extra 15,000 staff and 3.3 million extra working days. One of the ways of achieving this will be through the introduction of voluntary weight management schemes for NHS employees, in addition to urging staff to actively travel to work (i.e. walking or cycling) and the ban of unhealthy, fatty food and drink items on the hospital premises. As doctors are in a position of responsibility, Mr Miller says there should be tough ramifications for any overweight GP. He said: “Doctors are role models for their patients and that means setting a good example in their actions as well as their words. But there are far too many overweight and obese doctors sitting behind desks in surgeries across the UK. For a doctor to let themselves turn into a lard bucket sends a terrible message. Fat doctors should be suspended from work until they get into shape and if they refuse to undertake a diet and exercise programme then they should be reported to the General Medical Council and struck off.That might sound harsh but obesity is the single biggest problem facing the NHS over the next 20 years and we have to get tough on it as a nation. “That means a zero tolerance approach to fat doctors. It is laughable when a patient is told by a GP who looks like a Sumo wrestler that they need to lose a bit of weight. Patients take no notice and laugh away the advice. GP's are paid out of the public purse and should remember that being in a position of power need to be seen as a role model for health. Fat GP's are an advert for stuffing in yet more burgers and chips and swilling it down with a bottle of wine. It's ridiculous that any doctor with a belly overhanging their trousers should think they are fit to dish out medical advice, frankly.” Those with a good memory may recall 45-year-old Mr Miller presented the Sky1 television weight loss show ‘Fat Families’ back in 2011 and the controversial, and sometimes harshly blunt health guru is no stranger to weight struggles himself. The outspoken Brummie – who specialises in anxiety, panic attacks, weight loss and confidence building - is now down to a trim 11 stone, but was four stone heavier in his mid-30s, managing to shed the pounds by simple lifestyle changes, such as walking more and eating less. He added: “Simon Stevens needs to acknowledge the dangers of obesity and its acceptance in this country. We need to take action and I'm willing to step up if he will. The sooner we start speaking out, the sooner we start saving lives. Isn't that the purpose of the NHS? It needs to start within the medical profession. Once they bring their own house in order then perhaps we have a chance of stemming the ever increasing tide of the obesity epidemic. “GPs have a responsibility to manage their weight. No patient deserves to be advised by a fat GP who is lazier than they are. Overweight docs need to get their mind over the platter. They need to be hypnotised fast so they can lose weight and be an inspiration to obese patients. Fat GPs are a shockingly bad example to kids. Child obesity is out of control and a fat doctor does nothing to motivate overweight kids to slim down. Every GP needs to look in the mirror. If they see a fat bulge, they need to realise they will be perceived as a joke and their advice ignored.”