Apparently, Ministers believe that by giving people incentives to do something about their weight now, it will help avoid larger costs associated with treating cancer, heart disease and diabetes caused by obesity. Similar schemes have worked well in America and some insurance companies already offer discounts for people who go to the gym regularly.
Experts say that most of the population will be obese by 2050 unless urgent action is taken and the associated rise in ill health would cost the NHS £50 billion a year.
Other than going to suffer the self-inflicted torture of the rowing machine at Hartsdown gym at lunchtime as part of my New Year's resolution to stay fit, I rather wonder whether the greater population group targetted, will respond well to being offered money for weight loss. Should we be using our taxes, which quite obviously are not going far enough these days - given this year's council tax rises - to fund a national weight loss program? What do you think?
Do you know your own body mass index?
A person with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 is overweight, those with a BMI above 30 are classed as obese. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25.
BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared. A BMI of 20 to 25 is considered normal, 25 to 30 overweight, and over 30 obese.
So if you weigh 80 kgs and are 2 metres tall, it's 80kg divided by (2*2) = a BMI of 20