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'Stop obese getting disabled parking': MP

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'Stop obese getting disabled parking': MP
Sveinung Stensland. Photo: Norwegian Conservative Party
08:54 CET+01:00
A Conservative MP in Norway has launched a campaign to stop morbidly overweight people getting disabled parking tickets, arguing that having to walk a bit further from their parking places would help them shed a few kilograms.
"It is strange to send out a signal that if one is overweight enough, then you get to park for free and drive without paying through tolls," Sveinung Stensland, who represents Rogalund for the Conservative Party told NRK. 
 
"We may soon have a situation where someone is five kilograms short for getting a parking permit. Should we say then: gain five kilograms? How should we handle it?" he asks. 
 
Jon Kristinsson, director of the Centre for Morbid Obesity at Aker Hospital, argued that only about 30 to 40 of his 5,000 patients a year qualified for a disabled parking permit. 
 
The pilots union boss Arne Lien complained that outrage at overweight people receiving disabled permits stemmed largely from a sense that the condition was self-inflicted.  
 
"It is by no means certain that obesity is all because you have eaten too much food," he told NRK. "Obesity can result from genes, and it can have other causes. It is a simplified way of thinking about it to say that it is self-inflicted." 
 
Stensland argued that even if it wasn't the intention, making it easier for overweight people to drive everywhere would only make their problem worse. 
 
"For very many who struggle with their weight, the problem is not only eating, it's excercise," he said. "A shift in everyday life to, for example, walking to the shops instead of driving, is important." 
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