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NICE says ‘pay people to lose weight’

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published a report which advocates offering people incentives to change their unhealthy lifestyles. The advisory group’s Citizen Council came to the conclusion after it recently studied a number of incentive schemes, after which 20 out of the 32 members voted in favour of supporting them.


The initiatives that were researched included encouraging pregnant women to stop smoking by offering supermarket vouchers; people receiving cash for losing agreed amounts of weight; and children being rewarded with toys in exchange for eating more fruit and vegetables.


[quote top=NICE chairman Sir Michael Rawlins commented] “We clearly face several public health challenges in today's society, some more obvious than others, and we must seek to improve these in ways that are likely to achieve the best health outcomes for those affected.

The majority of the Council has voted in favour of the use of incentives under certain circumstances, but this clearly remains a divisive issue. We are now very keen to hear what the general public thinks about their conclusions.[/quote]