Beefy Brits to Get Paid for Walking

England allots $47M to tackle obesity 'epidemic'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2008 7:05 PM CST
Two women wait to cross a road on August 25, 2006 in London, England.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Fat people in Manchester, England will soon be paid to go outside and walk around, the Daily Mail reports. Part of a $47 million national plan to tackle obesity, the scheme will reward walkers and joggers with free gym time and healthy food. But critics say people are bound to swindle the system. "There is clearly potential for abuse and fraud," said a rep from the TaxPayers Alliance.

Other British municipalities are taking part in the Healthy Towns initiative:

  • East London will reward restaurants on the road to the 2012 Olympics stadium for stocking healthy food.
  • Social housing tenants in Halifax will be urged to grow their own fruit and veggies.
  • Breastfeeding "champions" will teach new moms in Sheffield the benefits of avoiding formula milk.
"If we don't take action now we will condemn our children to reduced life expectancy," Health Secretary Alan Johnson said of England's obesity problem.