So England’s National Health Service (NHS) is thinking of providing obese people with cash incentives to slim down. According to an article in The Independent (see here) 402 people who have signed up for something called ‘Pounds for Pounds’ have already been paid up to £425 (R4,670) by the NHS primary care trust in Kent. The trial started in January 2009.
Hold the salad – but are you kidding me! Here I am struggling, like every other woman (and man), to keep the calories (or kilojoules) down to a minimum, by eating healthily and exercising (as much as I can), and some tubby people are getting paid for this?
OK, the article claims there has been some success with more than 100 people shedding 2 stone (0.91kg) a year. That’s great, I am happy for them, but that’s not what I am complaining about. I think it’s a complete waste of money, firstly and secondly highly offensive to those who are actually pulling their weight (pun intended). Also, what about those who are struggling to put on weight, such as those suffering from anorexia or bulimia? Don't they deserve incentives too?
I think the money could best be spent on education. Teaching people to be responsible for what they put on the table and into their mouths. Especially the mouths of children. When I interviewed Joanne Fedler author of When Hungry, Eat she said to me that losing weight was all about a lifestyle change. It’s not something that happens overnight. Remember, if you are overweight, it took you ages to get to that point. You didn’t just one day pop a Big Mac into your mouth and hey presto gained 20kg. No, weight gain happens over time. And if you want to lose weight you have to give yourself time too.
No money should make you want to do it. Do it for yourself. Do it for your health. Do it because YOU want to. Then, consider the other benefits. Like the fact that you will make your friends, family and all those around you happy. I’m not saying fat people don’t make others happy, what I am saying is that if you are happy (with yourself) it will show, and then others will be too. Money simply can’t buy that.
So if you want to lose weight turf that doughnut aside, get rid of all the junk food in your house, tell your family and the dog there will be a change in diet for everyone. And then get on your bike and peddle. Or do exercise you love doing. Most people successfully lose weight if they do something they love, not when someone forces them to do something they hate. Also, please don’t try these ‘wonder’ diets where you lose 10kg in one day. News flash – but they don’t work! You may lose some weight immediately, but you are guaranteed to get it all back and then some if if you introduce normal food back into your life.
Time and time again it’s been proven that you lose weight by exercising more and eating less.
Do it for yourself. Not because some socialistic system or politician told you to, or pays you.