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Pay the obese to take a walk: Now the nanny state offers rewards just for losing weight in £30m health drive

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Daniel Martin
UK Daily Mail
Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008

Overweight parents will be paid to walk their children to school under plans to tackle the obesity epidemic.

Those who attend keep-fit classes, weight-loss clubs or even go for a run in the park would also be eligible for rewards.

They will collect points on supermarket-style loyalty cards which would be redeemed against healthy food, sports equipment or gym sessions.

The scheme is part of a £30million drive to improve health which will begin next year in Manchester, one of England’s unhealthiest cities. If successful, it could be rolled out nationwide.

However, critics believe that the payments are tantamount to bribery – and that the scheme is open to fraud.

(Article continues below)

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Under the proposals, men and women will be invited to join exercise classes or slimming clubs.

Points would be given just for turning up, but participants can accrue more depending on how much weight they lose.

Walking children to school would count, as would using public transport, because it involves a walk to the bus stop or train station.

It is thought machines could be placed in schools and at stations so parents and commuters could swipe their cards, although details have yet to be finalised.

Going for a run could also be an earner. Joggers would swipe their cards at machines in parks and collect points given in accordance with the distance run.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 4:40 am

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