It has been proposed by Westminster Council to cut benefits to obese people that refuse to exercise following a doctor’s orders. Although the initiative has not been made into law yet, I hope it eventually does. Keep in mind that the proposal does not penalize people for obese, thereby saving the 1% of obese people that actually have a legitimate medical excuse, but instead reduces the benefits of those that cannot make the simple effort of trying to stay healthy by exercising.
As is common knowledge, being obese can lead to many major health risks. The cost of these health risks then falls upon everyone in the healthcare system. Healthy people should not have to take the burden of the healthcare costs of obese people. These people should bare the burden themselves because it is their own fault that they are obese.
This initiative is good, but not enough; It is my opinion that benefits should be cut to everyone considered obese because simply put, the state of being obese IS NOT healthy (those with valid medical excuses being exempt). It is not enough to relate the amount of benefits to the amount of exercise because health is not solely determined by exercise. Somebody can get adequate exercise, but still not lose any weight and therefore bare the health risks of being obese. This is because they are eating too many “unhealthy” foods resulting in a calorific surplus and thus subsequently gaining weight.
The United States should take a lesson from the U.K. and implement similar punitive measures. Its too bad that there are some ignorant people that refuse to take responsibility for their own health that are holding us back.
Relevant Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12517229