Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another Fat A-- Nation

It should be small comfort to learn that the U.S. is not the globe's only gluttonous country. In fact, most highly developed nations have the same "Super Size Me" problems.

The Aussies have come up with an idea to trim the blubber -- and also reduce their growing cost of health care, which in the end must be paid for by everyone, the obese and svelte alike.

The Australian General Practice Network (a physicians group) suggests the following: To combat the spiralling problem of type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers linked to obesity, they want the government to pay overweight people a 170 dollar ($141, U.S.) subsidy to do something about their expanding butts and waistlines.

"We believe that this (money) will go a long way to helping people get access to accredited weight-loss programmes where the people will be supported," network chairman Tony Hobbs told state radio.

Does this sound crazy? Or are they really on to something down under?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I can think of several reasons why it wouldn't work and would lead to unpleasant, unintended consequences.

What do you think?

Read more about it here.


Bob Thompson said...

In Canada being overweight and poverty are linked. If the fund the Aussies are talking about are tied to improving the life style of these people ie diet and exercise then I am all in favour.


Bob Thompson

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that the Aussie plan for dealing with the overweight is not a good idea. The fat and unfit citizens will be rewarded (with cash) for being out of shape. This can only encourage others to get fat, so they can collect the money. Instead, there needs to be a system whereby those who are healthy get the reward and those who persist in being unhealthy get some kind of disincentive (e.g., pocketbook pain).

John Puhalla