The Government has released new plans to pay people to lose weight. This risks creating an incentive for people to lose control of their weight in the first place and is a bit of a gimmick. As has been pointed out before this kind of problem can be avoided in a system of competing social insurers. Incentives for healthy behaviour can be allowed and will be kept at a sensible level by competition to provide affordable, quality insurance to both fat and thin.
The Government are not just grasping at straws in order to confront the obesity epidemic. They have a vested interest in making that epidemic seem as serious as possible. The more serious it is perceived to be the more they hope to escape blame for the dire state of our health service. This is a smokescreen - survival rates for conditions like cancer are substantially lower in Britain than elsewhere - and we need to avoid being taken in. While obesity is a serious issue politicians should be looking at the performance of the public services they are responsible for instead of trying to pin the blame on lifestyle changes.