Home > Online Clinic News > Demos Obesity Solution A Non Starter

Latest News

by Marijana Domazet, Sunday, March 17, 2013 | Categories: Obesity

As the deep and serious consequences of obesity continue to spread in Britain, the criticism of the government’s effort to tackle the obesity epidemic also increases. In an attempt to suggest more aggressive tactics, the think tank Demo has published a report where controversial recommendations include a points system that rewards healthy behaviour.

According to the report, there ought to be incentives for maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and healthy eating. These include: giving priority to non-emergency treatments to individuals who are able to demonstrate that they exercise and eat healthily, for individuals to earn points when they buy healthy groceries, and for individuals on benefits to receive extra payments if they go to the gym.

While we understand the intention of the report is to increase personal and collective responsibility in our society, it is hard to see how these recommendations could be implemented. We do not agree that patients should be prioritized according to their lifestyle, because ultimately the treatment should be based on clinical need rather than political arguments. Similarly, rather than giving individuals points that may or may not be used some day, why not put pressure on the big chains to have offers and competitive prices in place that encourage a healthier diet? But the recommendation that angers us the most is to reward individuals on benefits for going to the gym. This disregards the circumstances that bring many individual to receive benefits. It is also rather ignorant of the obvious fact that gyms tend to be extremely expensive, so some individuals may choose cost-effective types of exercise such as running.

There is zero chance of any of this happening so there is really no point in commenting further.

We use cookies on this website. By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. Find out more Close