Paying the obese 
to lose weight only encourages greed

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TACKLING obesity by giving cash to obese people supposedly to give them the incentive to lose weight is a shocking misuse of funds. As they have already shown, they are greedy, by overeating. It is not fair that those who eat sensibly and don’t let themselves become obese contribute towards awarding these people money. Looking at themselves in the mirror and/or not 
having enough energy to walk as fast as they used to should be sufficient incentive for obese people to do something about it.

As if that were not bad enough, the latest wheeze is to provide free exercise for obese mothers-to-be. Gillian Smith, director of the Royal College 
of Midwives in Scotland, 
welcomes the initiative and implies that, unlike alcohol and smoking, people don’t know about the health risks of overeating and obesity and that many women don’t see themselves as overweight (News, 30 November).

If these obese women don’t know the health risks and can’t recognise obesity when it’s staring them in the face, then they shouldn’t be having children in the first place, as they will no doubt pass on their bad eating habits, resulting in health problems, including obesity, to their children.

Nor does one need to go to a gym, or pay to go anywhere else for that matter, for exercise. One can easily exercise without paying for it, in one’s own home or going out to the nearest park. Indeed, exercise in the open air is better than in the often stuffy atmosphere of a gym.

Above all, greed and irresponsible eating habits should not be rewarded.

Sandra Bussell, Edinburgh