Home Health Fat men were offered up to £400 to lose weight and received daily text messages urging them to ‘avoid the kebab shop’ in NHS ‘Game of Stones’ trial

Fat men were offered up to £400 to lose weight and received daily text messages urging them to ‘avoid the kebab shop’ in NHS ‘Game of Stones’ trial

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GPs send daily text messages to obese men with advice including

The NHS is paying obese men up to £400 to lose weight while sending them text message reminders to lose weight.

In the test, called the Stone Game, men receive daily text messages with advice including “walk a different route home to avoid the kebab shop” and “don’t treat your body like a pogo stick.”

The researchers said the scheme could now be rolled out across the NHS, adding that the levels of weight loss achieved were much greater than those seen in weight loss classes.

The study was funded by the government and recruited 585 men from Bristol, Glasgow and Belfast through GP surgeries.

GPs send daily text messages to obese men with advice including “walk a different route home to avoid the kebab shop” and “don’t treat your body like a pogo stick”.

Men who lost 10 per cent of their body weight in a year and kept it off received a £400 cash incentive.

Men who lost 10 per cent of their body weight in a year and kept it off received a £400 cash incentive.

They were challenged to lose 10 per cent of their body weight in a year and keep it off, while being given a £400 cash incentive.

Typically, the men lost 4.8 per cent of their body weight and got £128 each, while 27 men succeeded and received the full £400.

The messages were written “by men and for men,” which proved more popular than classes in which men said they didn’t like being told what to do.

They received £50 if they lost five per cent of their body weight in three months and another £150 for losing ten per cent in six months.

A final £200 is awarded if they maintain this weight for another six months and men are weighed four times a year.

The trial is still ongoing and the approach will now also be tested in women, according to findings presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice.

Experts said paying people to lose weight is likely to be cost-effective for the NHS in the long term, as it reduces the costs of treating obesity-related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

The plan will also apply to women.

The plan will also apply to women.

Study author Professor Pat Hoddinott, from the University of Stirling in Scotland, said the program is “ready to scale up now and we are confident it can be done”.

He added: “Weight loss was greater than with many of the behavioral weight management services currently offered across the UK. “They are often very intensive and we found they do not appeal to men.

‘Losing weight can make people feel better, reduce the risk of many health problems such as diabetes and help health services in their aim to keep men healthy. However, we know that men often don’t like attending traditional weight loss groups.

‘Research showed that offering cash incentives was a popular and effective way to help men lose weight.

“This initiative would be a low-cost solution that the health service could offer to men, requiring only four short weight appointments and paying money only at the end to those who lose more than 5 per cent of their initial weight.”

The plan was an “attractive option for GPs”, the researchers said, and better than the current recommendation given to patients to attend 12 weight loss sessions.

She said: ‘Attendance drops a lot for those (weight loss classes); At first it’s good, but people stop coming. As a GP she saw that all the time, so she wanted to design something that was easier for the NHS. The texts alone were not enough; the financial incentives were a little extra motivator.’

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Professor Haddinott said she hopes that in the long term the plan will “pay for itself” as patients will need less treatment.

Research shows the NHS spends an average of £979 to £1,375 a year caring for an obese patient, compared to £638 for someone of a healthy weight, due to lower rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and joint pain. .

Jane DeVille-Almond, president of the British Obesity Society, said cash rewards would likely be cheaper for the NHS than the cost of paying staff at more intensive weight loss clinics.

She said: “This is exciting news and we definitely need an easy and cost-effective way to get society to lose weight.”

“Men are a particularly difficult group to engage in our healthcare system, so text messaging and financial incentives are a great way to go.”

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