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Family Too Fat to Work Gets £22,000 a Year.

And they want more! The Chawners, who haven't worked in 11 years, explains why they want, nay, deserve more money! (Photo: Bernard Ashton/Closer)

"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."

The family claim to spend £50 a week on food and consume 3,000 calories each a day. The recommended maximum intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

"We have cereal for breakfast, bacon butties for lunch and microwave pies with mashed potato or chips for dinner," Mrs Chawner told Closer magazine.

"All that healthy food, like fruit and veg, is too expensive. We're fat because it's in our genes. Our whole family is overweight," she added.

Link - via tywkiwdbi

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by philosophile.


Aw come one, "we're fat because it's in our genes"? Yeah, sure, obesity IS hereditary, but if they didn't live on that kind of diet, they would be much, much healthier than they are now.
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'Emma, said: "I'm a student and don't have time to exercise" she said "We all want to lose weight to stop the abuse we get in the street, but we don't know how."'

Ride a bike... Go swimming... Lift weights... Do sit-ups...

Sounds like they're addicted to being fat, just like a drug...
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WTF?! Get telemarketing jobs. Off the top of my head that is a field that always seems to be hiring that does not require a lot of physical exertion or training.

I'll acknowledge that there may be a genetic component to obesity but is there also a lazy ingrate gene?

Eleven years is more than enough time to find a field to work in that fits their physical capabilities.
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Was going to tear you all a new one, but what's the point? I don't have the patience to school you and point you to the increasing mounds of research that indicate diet has very little to do with obesity... But you'd rather just rant against the fatties not working, so have your fun you bitter and cynical wankers.

And since when do weight problems cause epilepsy?
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One of my friends worked at a constuction company over the summer doing outdoor hard labor and he went from 260 lbs to 200 lbs. He's still a little overweight, but he looks a lot better than before lol.
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Feh, just another Octomom/McNugget emergency/whatever to distract us from things we should really be ticked off about. Or we choose to be distracted, rather than face some difficult truths.
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Granted, it is more expensive to eat healthy, at least when you're talking about cereals, cuts of meat, etc. But really, this is a little ridiculous. A lot of it seems to be a motivation issue. There are more worthy people who could use that 30,000 a month.
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Woogie (at #8)--my beef with them is not their size, but their apparent lack of desire to do something than suck off the taxpayers.

I have seen many obese people have productive lives in the computer science field (programmers, analysts), as well as other office jobs like accounting. Surely they could find a job IF they wanted to.

Cole--if they did that, a lot of politicians would lose their voter base.
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Quite honestly, those people don't look all that overweight to me. Yes, they clearly could stand to lose some weight, but compared to people who really are morbidly obese, they're relatively normal weight. I'm quite mystified as to why they supposedly can't work.
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this is annoying. I have sympathy for people with weight problems. I think a lot of people struggle with it.

But this is really really stupid. They shoudln't be paid to be overweight, and they CAN do something about it.
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Woogie, you're seriously defending these people??

They say they're too fat to work, so they deserve free money, yet the free money isn't enough to feed their fat faces so they are complaining for more free money.

If obesity has everything to do with their genes and not what they eat, then they just defeated their own arguement. They don't need anymore money for food than the rest of us.
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WTF, what is their excuse to not being able to work??
I've seen people bigger than them have absolutely NO problem going to work.
My DH's mother is about as big as that mother, has diabetes, has epilepsy, has just numerous problems, yet she JUST retired last year from teaching full time and is now substituting.
A guy my DH works with is bigger than all of them and he's a pharmacist!

What a bunch of no good pieces of useless leeching crap.
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Wow, I only thought my fellow Americans were capable of this level of sloth and gluttony.

I nice first step would be cutting out the bacon sandwiches... bacon is one of the most unhealthy things on earth that you can consume. I mean its tasty and all but just not worth the fat, sodium, and cholesterol.

Wouldn't mind something implemented where they would get additional monies for weight they lose and can keep off.
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Look, I hear this argument all the time, that it's cheaper to eat unhealthy than it is to eat healthy. It's NOT. Yes, it takes much more work to make a healthy meal from scratch using raw materials, but if you're feeding more than one person it's cheaper to cook a meal than to buy frozen dinners or fast food. You can buy a 20 lb bag of rice for $5, potatoes for 60 cents a pound, flour a dollar a pound, carrots a dollar a pound, etc. Raw, in-season produce is not that expensive, even in places that have to truck it in (like where I live). Yes, meat and dairy are expensive, but most people should eat less than they do anyway.
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These kinda of people make me ill. Also the fact that we elect governments who allow these kind of useless people to get a free ride.

It makes me sick when I think of people who have real disabilities and make their own way because they have some pride, and them see people like this taking the tax money from real working people to get fat one.

Solution = take away all their free money. I bet they would suddenly be able to work.
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Anise? What? They don't look too overweight to you??
83 stone is 1162 lbs... Divide that by 4 and it's 290 lbs. I'm a female of average height (5'1'') and at an average weight (BMI is like 22), and that's 2 and 1/3 of me for everyone one of them.

How people live like that... without dignity, leeching off society and dwelling in their own entitlement issues is truly a mystery to me. I know people in lower socioeconomic brackets usually don't have the education or money to eat right, but this is downright absurd.
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At least one of the daughters is learning a trade and the other is looking for a job. Maybe they'll find success but the parents probably wont be looking for work anytime soon.

I dont think people are angry about their weight as much as their lack of work ethic or seemingly ungrateful attitudes.

Dont they have any pride? Im sure most of us have grown up with our parents and grandparents going to work, every day, no matter what. My father tore his acl and hated that his company was giving him workmans comp and refused to take money that he did not earn.

After reading the article I realized that they have more health problems than just their weight but I know people with every condition mentioned that hold down steady jobs without any issues.

I still maintain that, after a decade, they should have been able to find work that accommodates them. I guess if youre lazy and can just live off your neighbours there isnt any motivation to find work.
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You have to be joking right? Heck all that fat eaten on a daily basis... and they claim it is genetic. I'm with coconut - exploit them for public gain. EG: Don't do what these people do!
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They should make all the people who collect checks for being too obese to work meet regularly at a supervised gym so they can work that fat off. Not only will it save you money by forcing people to work that weight off, but the government saves money in health related costs that the tax payers will have to pay.

I mean, unless you are too fat to walk, I don't see a problem. Even if your diet isn't that great, the most important thing for weight loss is exercise. (and lipo-suction) :)
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not the one to pick on fat people, but hey, you eat it. sure you have some genetic base, but you dont baloon up like tis all of a sudden.
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As an overweight person this annoyed the daylights out of me. At my heaviest I was 345 pounds, active and working. I now weigh 285 (last time I checked), work out at least every other day and eat pretty healthy. I work a very physical job on a psych unit and would never think about asking for a handout. They just need to walk around the block a couple times a day and that would make a surprising difference.
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I'm easily as fat as any of them, and I work full time and eat a healthy diet. They're lazy and stupid, and it is people like them who are the reason that productive intelligent fat people are discriminated against.
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I agree with Nozzle. This is just one of those "easy target" stories that distact us from real issues.

Oh, and JonnyCat...I didn't think there were any real Nietzschians left in the world. Here's to enlightened self-interest !
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Obesity is a crutch and an excuse for these people, nothing more. They are fat, but not so fat that they can't do something! As far as I am concerned, this isn't a story about obesity, it's about laziness and entitlement.

I am laughing because the usual suspects that like to bash Americans every time there is a story about food or fat have nothing to say.
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Plenty of fat folks work their tails off every day. Doing the same jobs as everyone else.

There is no reason not to be working due to being fat.

The parents I am thinking of here as they've been on the scrounge for over a decade, while the daughters were 8 and 10 when this all started so are just a pair of big lasses nothing more.

It's the shamelessness with which they scrounge that gets me, their weight is not an issue it is a feeble excuse not a reason.

All of this must be viewed with one very important point in mind.

IT IS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH.
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"Solution = take away all their free money. I bet they would suddenly be able to work."

Or lose weight

I lived all spring, summer, and fall one year on almost nothing but oats, bulgar, and rice. I was very lean, and very healthy and it cost me almost nothing.
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I'm fatter than them, and I work.
Well, actually, I don't at the moment 'cos I've been looking after the kids, but I'm not in the house that often - I'm out working at the school or being a school governor or helping at the toddlers' group or digging in the allotment or refitting the bathroom.

Nor are we scrounging - we saved too much while we were working to qualify for most benefits.
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There are people in my office who easily outweigh everyone in this family, and they're making 40K/year minimum. I don't understand why they can't work.

Once upon a time I had a very lazy friend, very smart but fat and lazy. His laziness got him fired from every job he ever had. He gave up, now he's on welfare and lives with his mom who supports his video game habit. The fat and lazy seem to have a sense of entitlement rivaled by no-one. As a chubby guy myself, it irritates me to no end...
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Aaron, there are heavier people than these who commute with me to work every day. One of them uses a scooter, but, come on, they live in the UK not in some third-world craphole-- there have to be as many scooter ramps as in the US.

Anyway, they are giving back to the community: they can use their bathroom as a stress-test for the local sewer system.
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The problem here isn't whether they are fat or not, the problem here is that they have readily accepted a learned helplessness. They have internalized the general idea that fat people are worthless, fat people can't complete basic physical tasks, etc, and they are living it out. How defeated in life do you have to be to stop earning your own keep and accept that you are as worthless as the world treats you? If you live somewhere where you can't get hired for a proper job, them yeah, being on the dole is probably easier and less demoralizing than taking a low-status, grueling job. But them being obese is not caused by their "laziness" - they've given up on living because they aren't respected.

These types of stories always come up in a recession to help bolster conservative arguments that people on welfare are fat, lazy, ungrateful, swindling the gov't, etc. It's a huge myth akin to the US "welfare mom" who is tricking the gov't into cash she "didn't earn". The truth is that the safety net most people have available to them IS small and limited, and in order to get it they have to roll over and become as helpless and dependent on the gov't as possible. It's not perfect, but using these types of examples to somehow prove that welfare programs should be cut is ridiculous.
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I must admit, I know and work with many people larger than these folks. They are not that big.

They don't have farmers' markets in the UK to get cheap veggies?

I use the term "lazy" very conservatively, as I know a lot of people have genuine issues, but I have to say that these folks really fit the word.

You guys are LAZY. Go out for a walk! Sweat a little. A LITTLE. Huff and puff some. Feel strained! That's the point of exercise! Change your fatty food laden eating habits just a little.
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I was just surprised to hear that this wasn't in the US. it just sounds like something we would do.

Oh, wait, never mind. In order to get on welfare in the states you have to be a crack head too.
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badedukation:- We do have farmers' markets, but they're very middle class and very expensive. At least, the sort we have round here are.

That's not to say there aren't plenty of places to get cheap veg, but farmers' markets don't come close.

What they should really have is an allotment - fruit and veg for very little outlay, and lots of exercise as well.
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We do this same type of thing in our country. I know of people in the U.S. who are disabled because of their weight problem and the complications it causes. You can live cheaply on a pretty healthy diet. Oatmeal is inexpensive and good for you. I eat cooked whole grains every morning and it's easy. Get a crock pot and make a pot of legumes for the family. My toddler loves beans. There are many varieties to choose from. Buy a big bag of inexpensive brown rice, potatoes and carrots, ect. There are really poor people who eat rice as most of their diet who are not overweight and unhealthy as these folks. I have found that a simple vegan diet is the cheapest way to go if you avoid all the fancy processed stuff. You have to change your mindset about food. It can save us from a host of cruel diseases.
Check it out - ravediet.com or check out the China Study from the Library
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A large quantity of people like this are not just parasiting, with their dietary habits are destroying planet and healthy, active, smart, beautiful living beings. In other hand, they are perfect reason for mindless capitalist exploitation of natural resources, most of us are part of.
In my society there is a nice proverb: Who doesnt work, shouldnt be eating!
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I was surprised that they were from the UK. With that much self prescribed entitlement I was sure they were Obama supporters looking for their piece of the pie
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22,000 Pounds per year for one family is actually not really a fortune. I am not saying that they should not work or anything like that but I feel that the story is made much bigger than it is. It is not that much a scandal, really.
They should start doing something about their lifestyle, though...
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The state/fed/county programs need to be reformed as to address the root of the problem. The majority of people receiving assistance are individuals suffering from health problems- morbid obesity being one of them.

I've always wondered why the foodstamp(U.S. example) program hasn't tailored themselves after the WIC (Women, Infants, Children) program. WIC distributes a strict list of foodstuffs that can be purchased as to fit the needs of the participant. Meaning, they can only buy what's made available to them.

If you are under the care of your local government(receiving foodstamps, etc), they should be able to institute some control over what you do with the aid they provide.

Poor Diet = Illness and Obesity
Illness and Obesity = Continued Health Care Cost
Continued Health Care Cost = Inflated Insurance
Inflated Insurance = Rise In Cost
Rise In Cost = Problems For The Taxpayer

Domino effect.

You want to be able to empower people to get back into the workforce. Self-sufficency.
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What is it with obese people who proudly claim eating 3000 or more calories a day, and then claim not to know why they're obese? Here's why, you're eating 1000 calories in surplus!!
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Well at least they are demanding a smaller handout than the bankers!

I knew one of these "I'm fat because of my genes" people. She was adopted so the excuse held up until a friend saw her eating a BOWL OF COUNTRY CROCK margarine like it was ice cream! Last I heard she was having to go through doors sideways.
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re Sass::

You make a lot of good points and I feel more sadness for them now than my initial response. I would venture that most of us here dont think they are evidence that welfare programs need to be cut. I think this is just a tabloid story written for sensationalism. I wonder how such information became public in the first place. "welfare family asks for more money" seems like it would be private information. There may be an agenda behind such stories but I think they can be useful as conversation starters.

My anger is directed at these specific people not welfare recipients in general. Maybe others feel differently. I do not think this family is typical of people that need disability benefits, unemployment etc. They do, however, effect the public opinion of other people that need to use the safety net that you describe.

Most people on welfare have had to swallow their pride to accept the limited benefits that they can get. The story presented is one sided so maybe this couple is not as ungrateful as they seem but based on some of the stories people have shared here I just find it hard to accept them asking for more after a eleven years of help. I can see your point about them losing self respect or feeling defeated. Im sure if the world tells you that you are a lazy jerk enough you may start to believe it. If I had a story like this written about me I would use it as motivation to show the world that I was not lazy. I dont think they need to take a grueling job just to stay off welfare but there are plenty of jobs that they can do.

I have seen many people heartbreakingly hang their heads in shame as they paid for their groceries with food stamps. My heart always goes out to them as I feel like they sought out public assistance as a last resort. If it were not for stories like this, maybe others would not have to hang their heads thinking that everyone was judging them to be lazy and ungrateful.

As for their weight I dont care. Hell, gain as much weight as you like it's your body. I wouldnt want anyone telling me what to eat or how to live but if I choose to eat excessively Im going to do it on my own dollar.

Sheesh Im a long-winded airbag :/ I like chatting with the Neatorama crowd though :)

On a lighter note this reminded me of The Simpsons episode where Homer choose to eat himself into disability so that he could get paid to work from home.
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This is absolutely ridiculous and gives honest obese people who actually go out and make a living for themselves a bad name. These people are utter pigs. The fact that they are mooching off of people's tax dllars is disgusting.
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@ cori

"I’m a female of average height (5?1”)"

Uh since when is 5'1" average height!?

Average height in the uk and the us for women is about 5 foot 4.

Even in Japan the average height is 5 foot 2

:)
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you know, I used the whole genetic excuse for years. I'm losing weight now... and I see that it's all bullcrap. I was lazy, and I wasn't watching what I was doing. I get so mad when I see people that say they don't have time to exercise but are unemployed or spend an incredible amount of time watching tv. I go to school full time, and I find the time in my day to be active.

They are ridiculous.
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Now, I hear what all you people are saying... but these people are living on a wage higher than my parents had whilst working their arses off whilst I grew up, and to ask for more money because they are over weight, that just typifies all that's wrong with the UK benefit system.

Now - I would love to just add that these people were fully able and fit to appear on the X factor, not once but twice. The whole family.

I won't put to paper what I think these sloths of the earth should do... as it would be too nasty.

These people need to realise who and how they live their life, and appreciate every penny.
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The Father is obviously a lazy peice of ****. I've seen a lot bigger men Managing 3-400 people. Seen bigger men in the Army, Seen bigger men doing a lot of jobs!

Makes me feel bad for everyone that has to pay the taxes for these lazy ******'s!

150 years ago, these guys would be gladly taken to a field and left for the wild dogs!

The fact that they seem so smug about it just pisses me off!

Lets just hope none of them reproduce!
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Ugh its making me want to puke, If they wont work for a living... I'm guessing they have a hard time washing the dishes at home, washing their clothes and even wiping their own a$$*'s

Send em to Africa! Let the Lions chew on all that fat! :D
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This family needs to be re-socialised so they feel shame and quilt for not contributing our capitalist system. There is only one way for humanity to live and that is the capitalist way. Everyone must work, consume, be happy and normal. It's the way nature intended life to be.
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I do have to admit that criticizing these people is a lot like shooting fish in a barrel (honestly, how can anybody defend them???) but it makes me curious as to how they convinced officials to give them money in the first place. Not to make excuses for them, but there HAS to be more to the story. We've all seen lots of people more overweight than this family who work every day-- there's got to be more to it that wasn't reported or it just doesn't make any sense.
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Also,to be fair (I wish they let you edit these comments, but they don't), it sounds like the 2 daughters are really trying to break the family pattern and both training for jobs.
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I'll admit I'm about as heavy as the girl all the way to the left. Maybe a little bit more. (I have PCOS)

Why the hell can't these people work? I know I can do almost everything physical that my peers do (There's no way I will able to run a mile in under 6 minutes). That includes all the walking, lifting, jumping, running, etc.

My parents and I live off of ~$35,000 per year. They still can afford to send me to private school (That costs $10,000 per year. What can I say, the public school system sucks where I live!) and we still have more than enough money to get by. I think these people are just not budgeting their money correctly, but then again I don't know how much more expensive things are in the UK compared to the US.
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You don't even need Subway, just self control. Honesty, you can lose weight eating anything if you just don't eat too much of it. You could eat nothing but bacon and fried icecream and lose weight if you watched your portions. That just wouldn't be very satisfying or healthy though. I prefer a vegetarian whole food diet because you can eat more and it's less expensive. I'm so glad I switched. When I had a weight problem in the past my body did not deal with it well and I was sick a lot.
I do feel sorry for that family in some ways. They are probably miserable. Their government is enabling their wrong habits. Clearly they need help but how to give it is the question.
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i work 30 hrs a week as a nurse and if you include my child tax and family allowance i earn around the same as this family scrounge.
i also have weight issues, typical yoyo dieter and at my heaviest have been 16 stone (im only 5ft).
i have always worked since i left school, even when my children were weeks old, didnt have a choice.at one point i juggled full time work, full time study, looking after 2 young kids plus housework, cooking etc.
i have some sympathy with this families weight issues having struggled all my life with my weight. but not for their attitude, greed and laziness.
i struggle terribly financially at times and this family have made me so angry, sitting on their arses all day saying we want more....for nothing.we regularly do without basics (food, clothes,heat), nevermind luxury goods, holidays.
plus there is no way they only spend £50 a week on food. i spend more than that, including packed lunch stuff and my kids are normal healthy sized!!!!!!
what the government should do is tell them (and other such scroungers) unless you start to lose weight and can prove it, we will stop your money. simple.
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note to the above comment. after tax and insurance deductions, my total income a year is only around £18,000. what a joke the benefits system is when a hard working, knackered person with professional qualifications earns less than this lazy lot!!!!!!!
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Im a fattie and I still work. Its not like they are confined to a bed or something. Im almost as big as them and I still run around with the kids and play frisbee golf and am in training for roller derby. Its not how much you weigh its how much of the weight is from fat and how much is from muscle. Get the hell off the couch!! Its fun!! This pisses me off because it makes all fatties seem like lazy asses. They found a loop hole and are using it to get what they think they deserve. And just because fruits and veggies are spendy dosnt give you a reason to eat nothing but crap all the time. Trust me. Im a fattie I know.
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In my country, if you are without a job and need to receive money from the government, you HAVE to go through a mandatory treatment, course or anything like that where the goal is to remove or reduce the factor or those factors that make/makes you not able to work. If you are too fat to work you will receive money, but you have to go through a treatment with diet and exercise. If you do not have any experience or education that will make someone hire you, you have to go to a course while receiving money. If you are clinically depressed you have to use anti-depressants and/or see a therapist while receiving money.
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