Get paid to lose weight under new government incentive
A new government initiative to offer cash incentives to obese people to encourage weight loss and regular exercise was announced yesterday.
The strategy to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in Britain will see employers organise competitions with money and vouchers as rewards for those who ditch junk food and turn to healthier alternatives.
MPs believe offering cash incentives will spur people on to combat their weight problems and will avoid larger costs related to treating cancer, heart disease and diabetes, caused by obesity.
Similar schemes have been introduced in America with success and already in Britain insurance companies offer discounted memberships for those who visit the gym frequently.
According to experts, the majority of the population will be obese by 2050 unless serious action is taken and the knock-on effect could see the rise in bad health cost the NHS £50 billion a year.
The strategy put forward by ministers stated: ‘We will look at using financial incentives, such as payments, vouchers and other rewards, to encourage individuals to lose weight and sustain that weight loss, to eat more healthily, or to be consistently more physically active.’
However, Dr David Haslam, the clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, described the cash incentives as ‘desperate’.