The city council in Stoke-on-Trent has come up with a novel and cheap method of encouraging overweight and obese people to lose weight, sending motivational SMSes.
With around 70,000 adults in the city being classified as obese, the local NHS spends more than $81 million annually for treating treat weight-related illness. The city council hopes that the new method of sending in messages will remind and encourage obese people in making an effort to lose excess weight. The council revealed that it will be conducting the project over a period of 10 weeks with the first 500 people who sign up with the council, which expects to spend around £10,000 on the project.
Stating that the whole project would cost the same amount of money required to perform one intervention operation, cabinet member for health Adrian Knapper said, "On average it costs the same amount [£10,000] to perform just one intervention operation to help people manage their weight. Our program means people who already want to lose weight and have signed up with us to get support will receive a cheap and effective nudge to help keep them motivated".