Everyone knows Fatties Hate Carrots
An article in the TimesOnline entitled “Cash Carrot for obese people to lose pounds” states that the UK is considering providing a financial incentive for individuals to lose wieght.
The new strategy to tackle poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles includes the suggestion that people should receive financial rewards or shopping vouchers for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Fabulous, so do people who are underweight get paid for gaining weight as well? And what happens when the inevitable happens and the weight returns or disappears? Do they then OWE the government money? This article is Obesity Hysteria at its finest:
Obesity is linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart and liver disease and diabetes but in Britain nearly a quarter of adults and nearly a fifth of children are obese after increases in the last decade. It is predicted that 60 per cent of men, 50 per cent of women and 25 per cent of children could be obese by 2050 if action is not taken.
There is an important statistical rule that is often broken when we look at projections like these. Today is not an accurate predictor of tomorrow. If something is (allegedly) increasing at a rate of 10% a year now that does not necessarily mean that that trend will continue. In fact it is highly unllikely. The only way that many people will be obese by 2050 is if they change the definition of obesity (again).