A town threatens to cut benefits if residents don't exercise.
The Westminster Council of England is trying to encourage overweight people to exercise by threatening to cut their benefits if they refuse to work out.
Part of the new proposal from the council reads: “Where an exercise package is prescribed to a resident, housing and council tax benefit payments could be varied to reward or incentivise residents."
It’s a nice way of saying that if the patients don’t show up for a work out prescribed by doctors; their social welfare payments can be cut.
The government says it’s trying to eliminate health care costs attributed to treating obese people.
The Department of Health in the United Kingdom estimated that the direct cost of obesity amounts to around 8 billion dollars a year.
Opponents of the proposal say that people can lose weight only if they want to lose weight, penalizing them for being overweight is not the best solution to the problem.
British Medical Association General Practitioner committee chairman Doctor Buckman from North London said: "The best way councils can intervene is to stop restaurants and fast-food chains providing the kind of food that make people put on weight."
What do you think? Should the government get involved with people’s exercise regimen?