And fast food makes up more than half the town’s options for eating out – like many deprived areas.
But Tier 3 obesity treatment here, essentially the final frontier for the most serious patients before surgery, is no longer available to NHS patients in Rotherham. And the service is on the decline around the country.
Joanne Keeling weighed nearly 30 stone when she joined the Rotherham Institute for Obesity. With their therapy, nutritional and physical support she lost five stone.
Her weight loss was on track to be life changing but when the clinic’s NHS funding was cut in 2017, so were many of Joanne’s hopes.
“I haven’t had children because of my weight,” she explains. “I do want to do something about it and I know I can. But mentally it upsets you… People can be cruel.”
Since losing the service, Joanne has since regained three stone – and clearly lost confidence.
She now only has access to a mainstream gym which she finds intimidating. And meeting doctors who don’t know her can be upsetting.
She recalls one instance: “The first thing he said was, ‘I am going to need to mention straight away that you are morbidly obese’.
“Then he said to me: ‘You’re 37… either lose weight now or don’t bother…to be honest I’m surprised you’re not dead already’.”
Joanne says her obesity has happened over a long period time and is linked to mental health issues. She says talking therapy at the clinic was what helped her most. And what she really misses.
But now the Rotherham Institute for Obesity is only available to the lucky few who can afford its £400 six-month plan.
One patient, Alan, has lost eight stone at the clinic: “I’m 68 now, I don’t think I’d have seen 55/60,” he says.
Another man Wayne has shed 14 stone with its help. “I was one of the lucky few that went through the system…my diabetes went into remission.”
Dr Matt Capehorn who runs the clinic says they helped 7,000 NHS patients collectively lose 33.7 tonnes over 8 years, prior to the cuts.
“We see patients every day that need a service like this. So it’s very frustrating as an NHS doctor that now I can’t help those patients.
“We know within one generation obesity, the direct and indirect costs, could potentially bankrupt the NHS because the projections are that it will cost £50bn a year. And this was a service that only cost £300,000 a year to run.”
In a statement, the Department of Health said: “We are committed to reducing obesity and the harm that it causes.
“That’s why NHS England’s Diabetes Prevention Programme will double as part of the upcoming long-term plan for the NHS – over 200,000 people every year across England will have access to targeted weight loss support and advice.
“We’re also helping people to live healthier day-to-day lives – as part of our obesity plan we’ve encouraged manufacturers to cut sugar from half the drinks available in shops and are consulting on plans to introduce calorie labels in restaurants.”
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