Paid to be overweight?

Hi guys!

I don’t want to be too negative seeing as this is my first blog but, when i heard this on Newsbeat on Radio 1 this afternoon, i thought it would be a good topic to bring into debate.

It seems that the government and Health Service are willing to PAY, yes PAY the British public for being overweight and obese, and for smoking. Lets be honest, how can this be feesable? How can the Government even comprehend this when something like the recession is going on and they claim there isn’t any money. In my opinion, if there is enough money to throw about, then surely some should be put towards more cancer research etc! Don’t get me wrong, I amn’t against people being overweight at all, after all it’s their lifestyle and everyone is entitled to their own choice, but the thing i amn’t too keen on is the fact that the Government is willing to bribe their own citizens so they lose weight.  Not only will they recieve cash, but the ones who evidently lose weight will win vouchers and prizes. What. To spend on more fatty foods?

I can understand that this could be a good incentive for overweight people, however who’s to say they won’t spend the cash on better, even more unhealthy foods? Apparantly, these vouchers and cash prizes are to try and influence healthy eating by spending the cash in supermarkets. Personally, if anyone should be getting lump sums of money it should be the opposite end of the public – the fit, healthy people who are actually forking out money themselves by going to the gym to become thin and eat the correct diet. Britain is already faced with people dramatically falling under the ‘obese’ category, with a quarter of all adults and one in five children being overweight. Surely the Government can think of other strategies to stop people over-eating? It would be quite interesting to find out what other people think of this. Don’t hate me too much!

Becky xx

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7 Responses

  1. I’m not so sure becky, if we want to combat obesity we have to start somehow. So by giving people cash insentives to lose weight, they won’t go and spend it on food because they will miss out on any other insentives. The Americans sponnsor people to lose weight, it is along the similar lines.

  2. I can totally see where you’re coming from Alex, there has to be some sort of way to battle obesity. However, how can the Government gaurantee that they won’t take advantage of the cash? Also, why should non-obese tax payers line their pockets when they chose to have this lifestyle? Quite a tricky one though.

  3. some don’t choose it like depression throws it on some people…i got quite chubby because i got injured in sport and was down because i watched all my mates playing…yes i picked it up again – but that was just an injury depressingh me, what if it was something much bigger. Food can be a comfort

  4. If such an initiative was put in place, it wouldn’t be as plain and simple as giving out wads of cash – there would have to be a lot more thought put into it than that. I agree that it seems ridiculous to reward someone for being unhealthy, but it’s far more likely that things like gym subscriptions and vouchers for things like fruit and vegetables would be available to those on lower incomes.

  5. I believe if people are over weight due to a medical problem, such as diabetes or an under-active thyroid, then yes, they should be able to claim help from the NHS, which yes, comes from tax payer’s money. Without tax payer’s money going to the NHS, at some point in each of our lives we would have been a little stuck to say the least.
    BUT….when it comes to obesity that is purely down to an unhealthy life-style choice, I completely agree with you Becky, I find it hard to condone paying people to lose weight, when all you have to do is take a glance to your left on the way back from the gym to see an overweight mother buying her overweight child a Big Mac. These people should not be conditioned to think that if they are overweight, they will receive vouchers and rewards, because, as with all areas of life, it will, without fail, be taken advantage of.

    I am a smoker, and accept the risks I am taking in regard to my health, I would never expect anybody else to have to pay for me or spend money on incentives to help me quit. It is something I can and will do myself.

    Interesting blog!

  6. I think that cash incentives are pointless when it comes to defeating obesity or smoking. All people need is to try harder. Vouchers, money etc. won’t help. This is coming from an overweight smoker. Don’t reward people for being idiots.
    Good blog!

  7. Thanks for the comments guys, I agree with you Sam about the fact that people who are clinically obese or have a medical problem are entitled to a sum of money to help overcome this. And Charlotte, thanks for your comment too 🙂

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