In a bid to tackle to obesity crisis in the UK, the government could consider paying Brits to exercise and lose weight.
Around 63% of adults in the UK are considered to be either obese or overweight.
A third of children starting secondary school fall into the same category.
Could paying people really tackle obesity in the UK?
Nectar card founder Sir Keith Mills will soon advise MPs on how to use incentives and rewards to encourage Brits to follow healthier diets and do more physical activity.
It’s said Mills will look at schemes from around the world which have been successful.
The step challenge in Singapore, for example, succeeded in getting people fit and eating better.
It got people moving by offering them “health points” for every step taken.
This was then translated into a monetary incentive.
It’s thought this type of scheme could be rolled out in the UK to tackle obesity, should it be recommended by Mills.
Where has the money for the scheme come from?
The government has pledged £100m package to fight obesity.
More than £70m will go to councils and the NHS for weight management services.
This would give around 700,000 people access to slimming clubs like WW or Slimming World.
Losing weight is hard, but making small changes can make a big difference.
The other £30m will be used on other initiatives.
So what has Boris Johnson said about the obesity drive?
The PM was hospitalised for coronavirus himself last year and, as a result, decided to shape up once he was on the road to recovery.
He said at the time: “Losing weight is hard, but making small changes can make a big difference.
“If we all do our bit, we can reduce our own health risks – but also help take pressure off the NHS.
“This funding will give extra support to people across the country who want to lose weight too.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock reiterated his comments.
He said: “The urgency of tackling obesity has been brought to the fore by evidence of the link to an increased risk from COVID-19.
“So it’s vital we take action on obesity to protect the NHS and improve our nation’s health.”
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