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Friday, January 25th 2008

England To Pay People To Lose Weight

I guess as long as the government is going to be making health care expenditures, that this is as good a use of tax money as anything else.

Obese and overweight adults in England could be paid to lose weight under plans being considered by the Government. The new strategy to tackle poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles includes the suggestion that people should receive financial rewards or shopping vouchers for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

The report points to evidence from the US that showed that small financial payments, as part of a broader programme, were effective in encouraging individuals to achieve and maintain weight loss.

I failed to find that study or report from the United States. If there is evidence incentives work, then that is really sad. In fact, depending on what that study from the US (or other evidence) says, it makes me appalled that tax dollars fund care for any health conditions even remotely linked to obesity.

Getting Your Jeans On Not Incentive Enough

There is a huge marketing campaign towards losing weight and fitness. Everyone knows the health risks of being obese. And if providing incentives for people to lose weight is independently more efficacious than virtually any other public health measure then that is terribly sad. Everyone Britain who only loses weight to get the carrot at the end of the stick should be ashamed of themselves.

Oh well, if it’s going to happen at least I’ll hope the British program works.