Wandsworth's health service, already struggling to deal with a feared outbreak of medieval pigeon plague, was groaning at the seams last night as vast numbers of fat people were reported throughout the borough.
Wandsworth was previously known around the world as a suave, sophisticated district of south-west London in which svelte and chic middle-class mothers donned Alice bands as they shopped for healthy organic produce along bustling Northcote Road. Only the tramps and vagabonds showed signs of obesity - and this was due largely to well-meaning folk who lavished them with fatty gifts as they lolled around lazily on their special bench outside All Saints Church. "Oh," said local mum Cressida Parker-Bicyclette, "you never used to see fat people around in Wandsworth. There was so much space on the pavements! Those were the days!"
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However the recent explosion in the number of fast food outlets (see WandsworthEye's report of 02/08/2012) has caused a huge upsurge in rates of obesity, and local public health officials say they are "speechless" with shock at the extent of the borough's bulging waistlines. Last night reports were coming in of ambulance services on 24-hour standby as fat people tumbled over in the streets, unable to carry their greedy bags of shopping. "Mark my words," said one leading NHS figure, "this is a crisis potentially even worse than the medieval pigeon plague at the National Opera Studio".
Experts were last night blaming the Liberal Democrats for the unprecedented downturn in the borough's health fortunes. "The minute they signed the coalition agreement, kebab shops were springing up everywhere on Wandsworth High Street," said leading nutritionist Octavia Belle-Wether. "If only people had listened to the prescient warnings of much-loved WandsworthEye, which has campaigned so vigorously on the subject." Weeping into her glass of diet mineral water, she wailed: "This area's gone so downhill. It'll be bingo halls and men walking around in football shirts next."