Smokers should be given money if they quit the habit and fat peopleshould be paid if they lose weight, according to an NHS advisory panel.
Children should also be given rewards if they eat fruit and vegetables,according to the independent citizens’ council of the NationalInstitute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
A study looked at several such initiatives, such as one in Kent whichpays people up to £425 for losing weight and programmes in Bangor,London, Manchester and Oxford where schools give toys such as jugglingballs, stickers and pencils to pupils who have eaten fruit and veg.
The council said such rewards may be “an effective way of encouragingpeople to change their unhealthy ways”, however its recommendations donot constitute official advice for the NHS.
NICE is currently holding a public consultation on the issues and will then consider the council recommendations.
NICE’s Michael Rawlins said: “We clearly face several public healthchallenges in today’s society, some more obvious than others, and wemust seek to improve these in ways that are likely to achieve the bestoutcomes to those affected.”
Copyright Press Association 2010