What If We Were Paid to Get Healthy?

Lisa Austin Nutrition Related Leave a Comment

Raise your hand if you would do what it takes to lose any unwanted pounds and get to a healthy weight if the government paid us with an incentive? Wow! That would be something I think most people would sign up for.

The UK public health service, the NHS, wants to encourage companies to reward employees who lose excess weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It hopes to save money in the health care system and benefits while reducing the number of sick days people take. Sickness-related absence costs UK employers and taxpayers about $35 billion a year, the NHS said.

How’s your bank account?

There’s evidence that dangling a juicy carrot works. A study by the Mayo Clinic, ranked the best U.S. hospital in 2014, found that 62% of obese people offered $20 a month succeeded in meeting their weight loss targets. More employers like JetBlue are implementing wellness programs for their employees to decrease time lost from work for illness.

Canadian Food Guide

Have you ever questioned the Canadian Food Guide? Following the Canadian Food guide is a recipe for obesity. There’s no denying the fact that our agricultural practices dictate what is considered a healthy, balanced diet. Those practices should not play a factor in what we are being taught to eat. . Obesity is a risk factor for other illness like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, degenerative joint diseases and some cancers, and unlike high cholesterol and blood pressure it’s easy to see.  So you don’t have to go to the doctor to know that you can start treating or preventing those illnesses by taking steps to lose unwanted pounds and get more active.

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The Canadian food guide has gone through some changes but it still is not where it should be to be healthy and to promote a healthy weight. This guide shows that we should be eating a large variety of pastas and grains and much less in the protein category.

Canadian Food Guide

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[ut_one_third] This pyramid is a much better representation in my opinion of what it should look like. It focuses on activity, water, complex carbs and goes so far as to tell you how often you should be eating your protein and other nutrients. You will lose weight eating like this but you may be difficult at first. If you stick to it, in no time, you will not crave the simple carbs like breads and pastas  and you will have so much more energy. Natural Health & Nutrition Pyramid [/ut_one_third][ut_two_thirds_last]food-pyramid_final2  [/ut_two_thirds_last]

In my Opinion

I think the incentive program would be a great way to start educating people about how their lifestyle affects those around them. But that is only a small portion of the problem.

The education process needs to reach our schools and our children. Children need to be educated as to how our bodies use macro-nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, and fats to turn them into energy. As well, they need to know why our bodies need micro-nutrients and how being vitamin deficient can, over time, affect overall health. This needs to be common knowledge like being able to add 2+2 and that blue and yellow make green.

I know this is just wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be great if fast food places would only have healthy choices, even on their value menus? Greasy processed foods would be a thing of the past. 😉

I think the initial incentive of getting paid to get healthy could make a difference in what society thinks about food and what are normal eating habits. I hope Canada adopts a similar health campaign to what is being discussed in the UK. It may be an expense now, but in the future it would save our government billions in healthcare costs. In a couple of years, society’s perceptions can change dramatically. With a healthier population we would have fewer illnesses and diseases while living longer, happier, and livelier.

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Why or why not?


Not sure how to navigate the sometimes misleading information about nutrition? It Fits training packages can include nutritional coaching so that you are eating for your goals. Contact me to find the package that’s right for you. Let’s discuss your needs.

 

In the meantime, download my Quit Dieting Starter Kit. Learn how you can be eating real, filling food to help you lose weight. Know what portion size you should be eating, use a template to help make meal planning easier, and find out what macros are and how to use them to eat with your goals in mind.

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