The government is adopting a radical new strategy in its war against the scourge of obesity, abandoning attempts to tackle the root causes of the problem directly, it instead aims to stigmatise the overweight. “Look, it’s worked with smoking,” says Health Minister John Pucker. “By forcing people out on to the street to have a cigarette, the workplace ban on smoking is making it clear to smokers that they are, quite literally, social outcasts.” Pucker is keen to see similar measures applied to the grossly overweight, and has welcomed proposals from top doctors to deny fertility treatment to the obese. “That’s just the sort of thing we have in mind – we don’t want the fat bastards breeding now, do we?” he enthuses. “People have to be forced to associate overeating with furtive, socially unacceptable practices like masturbating over pornography, cutting their toe nails in the living room or drinking their own urine.” In a highly controversial move, the government’s opening salvo in this new war on fat is to legalise discrimination against the overweight. “It will become perfectly legal to refuse someone employment for being obese,” explains Pucker. “It will also be permissible to have fat people thrown off of public transport or lifts if they are taking up too much space or blocking emergency exits. These people have to be made to understand that their fatness affects other people – passive obesity is a major health and safety issue.” Consideration is also being given to the introduction of legislation making it legal to shout “Fatty, fatty, fatty” and make pig noises at any overweight people seen on the street. However, Pucker has confirmed that any such legislation will fall short of making it legal to throw objects at passing fat people, or to attack them with baseball bats. “Obviously, we don’t want them injured, just humiliated,” he says. “They have to understand that their disgusting state of health is entirely their fault and that they really should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves!”

The Health Department is currently assessing the results of a six month pilot scheme in Loughborough, which trialled some of their proposed radical anti-obesity measures. “We started off simply by banning the consumption of chocolate bars in public, with spot fines being levied for offenders,” explains a Department spokesperson. “We wanted to ram home the message that non-fatties shouldn’t have to tolerate the disgusting sight of fat bastards stuffing their faces with King Size Mars Bars on the street – if they want to do that sort of thing, they should do it behind closed doors!” Some degree of success has been claimed for this tactic, with over a hundred thousand pounds being taken in fines during the first month. “This figure rapidly dropped off in subsequent months, as the fat gits got the message and started gorging themselves at home instead of in public,” says the spokesperson. “Obviously, having got them off the streets, the next stage was to start cutting off their supplies of unhealthy food!” Consequently, sales of confectionary were restricted to those adults weighing under ten stone, with sales to children banned outright. Every shop selling sweets of any kind were forced to move them to the top shelf behind the counter, and wrap them in plain brown paper. Each shop was also equipped with scales by the Department and legally required to humiliatingly weigh in public every customer seeking to purchase restricted foodstuffs. “We wanted to make buying a packet of fruit gums the equivalent of trying to purchase hardcore pornography,” the spokesperson says proudly. “We actually closed down two newsagents and a corner shop caught selling Kit Kats to fatties – all the others quickly complied after that!” Having restricted both confectionary consumption and sales, the scheme now moved into its most extreme phase: classifying potatoes as class A drugs and making sugar available only on prescription. “If it wasn’t for diabetics, we’d have banned sugar completely too,” says the spokesperson. “We always knew this would be the most controversial stage as it wouldn’t just affect the obese – normal people would suddenly find themselves deprived of sugar in their tea or on their breakfast cereal, so we were expecting some kind of backlash.” However, the Department wasn’t prepared for the scale of the ‘Sugar Riots’ which hit Loughborough, leaving supermarkets and corner shops wrecked as angry mobs sought out sweeteners. “We thought that the ‘norms’ would turn against the fat gits, blaming them for the lack of sugar,” explains the still surprised spokesperson. “In the end we had to ship in emergency supplies of artificial sweeteners to quell the rioting!”

Despite the temporary unrest caused by the sugar ban, officials are hailing the Loughborough trial as a success and are already drawing up plans to extend the measures nationwide. Nevertheless, according to independent observers, the pilot threw up more problems than it solved. “Of course the number of gross wobble-bottoms in Loughborough fell – they just moved to Leicester, which now has the highest cardiac failure rate in the UK,” claims nutritionist Beverley Slatter. “Moreover, the criminalisation of potatoes simply led to a massive illegal trade in the vegetables, with spud pushers turning up on street corners, offering one pound bags for a fifty quid a time!” Indeed, police sources have indicated that a vast – and highly profitable – blackmarket in fatty foods sprang up in Loughborough during the trial. “Bootleggers were running in chocolate bars and crisps by night and selling them to children outside schools by day!” says Slatter, who also claims that gang warfare quickly erupted between rival groups of bootleggers. “Drive-by attacks, with hails of potatoes felling gang rivals on the street, were rife – innocent passers-by were frequently injured in the cross-fire!” There were also reports of ‘Speakeasies’ opening up, using health food stores as fronts to illegally sell chips and other deep fried foods to desperate food-aholics. “It’s clear that such policies can only be a short-term fix for the problem of obesity,” insists Slatter. “Stigmatising the overweight simply risks lowering their self-esteem even further and forcing them into comfort eating! A proper long-term strategy addressing the social and economic roots of obesity whilst educating the population in better nutrition is what is really required.” The government, not surprisingly, is not impressed by Slatter’s claims. “Her allegations are all highly exaggerated,“ responds Health Minister Pucker. “Besides, we all know education just doesn’t work – the only thing that gets through to people is fear! Not only that, we just don’t have time for long-term strategies! This whole island is on the verge of sinking beneath the weight of these fat bastards’ blubber!”