Chemists required to tell fat customers they should lose weight under new NHS rules

17 January 2020, 11:23

Pharmacists are advised to let their customers know what's best for their health
Pharmacists are advised to let their customers know what's best for their health. Picture: Getty

The brutal new guidance will cause a few awkward and potentially upsetting moments for both parties.

New NHS guidance will potentially cause very uncomfortable situations for those visiting the chemist, as overweight customers will be told they need to lose weight.

Pharmacists won't simply be able to hand customers their prescriptions, but will have to encourage them to lose weight if they look like they need to.

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The intrusive rules will also suggest that the pharmacists discourage shoppers from boozing and encouraging them to eat healthily, which probably won't go down well with many.

The brand new guidelines are drafted by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, who say that with two in three adults being too fat, chemists could advise on well-being.

The guidance states: “Community pharmacy teams can engage with people who regularly buy over-the-counter medicines, collect prescriptions or ask for advice, and use the opportunity to start a more general conversation about health.

“They can offer support with adopting a healthier lifestyle, including stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and managing weight.”

Pharmacists will be urged to give their advice
Pharmacists will be urged to give their advice. Picture: Getty

Chemists will be encouraged to refer to GPs for more help with this.

However, endless critics have said that these methods could easily offend people.

One named Christopher Snowdon, who is the head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank, revealed: “I suspect the majority of customers would feel as offended by a pharmacist commenting on their drinking habits and body weight as they would if it came from any other shopkeeper.”

It's been heavily criticised for being too intrusive
It's been heavily criticised for being too intrusive. Picture: Getty

Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum, said the scheme could be delivered tactfully.

He shared: “Some people may object, but a lot of people will also welcome being offered help, as long as it is done in private.”

Professor Gillian Leng, who is the deputy chief executive of NICE, said: “This is a vital opportunity to support people to maintain good health.”