Morbidly obese Jodie Sinclair weighs 28st and needs a mobility scooter to get around but has declined repeated offers of a free gastric band op
A former pub chef who claimed £75,000 in benefits because she was too fat to work has refused weight-loss surgery offered by the NHS.
Morbidly obese Jodie Sinclair weighs 28st and lives on Disability Living Allowance and Income Support in a rent-free council home in Peterborough.
But she has declined repeated offers of weight-loss surgery, claiming she “doesn’t eat that much”.
Jodie, who uses a mobility scooter to get around, said: “I’d rather just go on like I am and be on benefits than go under the knife.”
Despite her obesity crippling her 5ft 5in frame, Jodie maintains she eats just three square meals a day.
Her average daily intake is a fry-up or sausage roll for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, crisps as a snack and a large portion of pasta for dinner.
The 28-year-old went on sickness benefit aged 19 and was then bedbound for two years due to her size.
When an NHS dietician was sent to her home to help her lose weight, she refused to give up her daily fry-ups, claiming they were a “bonding exercise” with her mum, who is on disability benefits for arthritis.
A string of doctors have begged disabled Jodie to have a gastric band fitted to help her lose weight and get her back on her feet.
Yet Jodie, who suffers from a string of obesity-related illnesses, refuses to have the operation , claiming her size is down to fluid retention, not poor diet and a lack of exercise.
She said: “I’m not going under the knife for anyone because I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong.
“Doctors keep on shouting at me to lose weight but I don’t even eat that much.
“My cooked breakfasts are my treat. My mum would come over every day and we would have sausage, bacon, beans and toast but the dietician had a go at me for that.
“She said ‘what’s the point in me coming here if you won’t try?’ so I told her not to come again. I wasn’t going to give up my breakfasts.”
Jodie told the Sunday People that one doctor had suggested she suffers from lipoedema, a long-term chronic condition which causes fluid retention in the legs and lower body.
She has also been diagnosed with type two diabetes and has to take medication to control the condition.
Jodie said: “Every time I go to the doctors they tell me I’m going to die if I don’t lose weight. But none of them understand that I have a condition that’s making me this weight.
“I eat potatoes and pasta, not takeaways, so it’s not my fault.
“They don’t believe me that I don’t eat too much so I had to get my own mobility scooter – the NHS wouldn’t provide one. My boyfriend bought it for me so I can get out.
Jodie receives a monthly Disability Living Allowance of £315 and £360 in Income Support as well as a free bungalow.
As a result of her weight she now also receives help to bathe.
She explained: “I have carers come in and wash my legs and make sure I’m clean because otherwise I could get infections and that would be horrible.
“I live with my boyfriend and he doesn’t work either but I don’t want him to have to do that for me – it’s not his job.”
Jodie believes she should also be entitled to a free cleaner because she is “too big” to keep her home hygienic.
She added: “I used to get the carers to change the cat litter and help me with the cleaning when they came over but now they’re always too busy so I have to do everything myself.
“I can’t get down on the floor and clean so it’s causing real problems.
“The council inspectors come round and criticise me for being too lazy to do the cleaning but I can’t do it.
“I’m getting into trouble with them for keeping the place dirty. But if they want it pristine they need to get me some help.”
Doctors say the only thing that can save Jodie from dying prematurely is the life-saving weight-loss surgery she refuses to accept.
She said: “They think they know everything but I know better. I know that op won’t help me, so they need to work with me how I am.”
Time to end this abuse of the system’ says Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum
The amount of people claiming they are too fat to work is truly shocking and Jodie’s a shining example of how the disability allowance is being exploited.
If a medical problem is causing the obesity then there is a social responsibility to help that person.
But when faced with someone refusing that help, they should have their benefits stopped.