After skimming over my Bloglines today, I ran across this article with a shocking announcement that was part of a wish list proposed by the [TAG-TEC]Australian General Practice Network[/TAG-TEC].
A doctors group has proposed that overweight people be given a $170 subsidy to attend an accredited weight-loss program.
“We believe that this will go a long way to helping people get access to accredited weight loss programs where the people will be supported.” -Dr Tony Hobbs, Australian General Practice Network
This group believes it will go a long way to helping cure the [TAG-TEC]obesity[/TAG-TEC] problem by getting overweight people the education they need to lead a healthy lifestyle. And at the end of the 12 weeks, they would be measured to ascertain their progress.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH HERE
Let’s assume you pay people to lose weight. They get to take some classes that are offered at a community center or health care facility. This isn’t free folks. Somebody is footing the $170 and the bills to pay the educators, open the center, provide the materials and educate the individuals.
We hardly do this for people who smoke, drink or have too many children they cannot take of and that costs billions a year in terms of related health care costs and social services.
After doing a survey of 10,000 people, Gymticket.com found the #1 reason people didn’t seek to improve their health or continue to workout was…
Lack of Motivation.
I hardly think $170 subsidized by a section of a private health care industry is significant motivation to cause a stampede of people to devote 12 weeks of their lives to curing their obesity. And what defines obesity that a person would quality for this?
If I use the [TAG-TEC]BMI[/TAG-TEC] (body mass index) in the United States, I’m technically obese. I’d go for the money and be on a forced cutting diet to lean up. Is that fair even if I don’t need it?
As “Bruce” said in a comment from for the original article, “Perhaps just pay thin people not to get fat?”
Shouldn’t we reward people for being thinner? Not the other way around. How about a subsidized gym membership as an incentive to keep working out?
The solution is to find what motivates people on their individual basis.
Heck [TAG-TEC]Richard Simmons[/TAG-TEC] really seemed to care about his clients. He was involved in their lives. He got to know them. He wanted to help them. He didn’t give up and it took longer than 12 weeks thru some government program. His motivation and the drive of his clients wasn’t based on some $170 as motivation.
I have no problems with more information being made to the public. I try my hardest to provide what I believe is good education to my readers, subscribers and customers in hopes they will make informed choices. I’d rather see the $170 spend on a per person basis for useful consumer health education and awareness campaigns vs. just paying somebody a little bit of money, sending them to some class for only 12 weeks and then most likely dropping the ball.
What do you think?
Should we pay people to lose weight? Is that the cure to the obesity epidemic?