Thursday, January 22, 2009

London goes after the mushroom

Let's hope she doesn't lead the child astray.

The picture accompanies this story from The Telegraph (UK):
Fat people will be offered cash incentives to lose weight and take regular exercise under a radical Government strategy announced yesterday to tackle the obesity epidemic.

Employers will be encouraged to set up competitions with money, vouchers and other rewards for people who give up junk food in favour of healthy eating and living. Those losing the most weight would earn the biggest prizes.

Ministers believe that by giving people incentives to do something about their weight now, it will help avoid larger costs associated with treating cancer, heart disease and diabetes caused by obesity. Similar schemes have worked well in America and British medical insurance companies already offer discounts for people who go to the gym regularly.
People respond to incentives. But be careful about the design. What's to stop me from bulking up first and then entering the competition to lose the most weight?

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Blogger Tawfik Diab said...

I think its great. Its a good way to inject money into the economy, reduce medical costs, and have people live longer and (hopefully) more productive lives. I think all of which would contribute to the well being of the economy. Not to mention, a majority of over weight people are in the lower tax bracket, giving them more incentive to focus on weight loss and less time resorting to substance abuse or generally being angry at their (increasing likelihood) unemployment. (promotes social stability) Good job health economists!

8:15 AM  

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