Stoke-On-Trent Council Will Send Residents "Motivational" Texts If They Get Too Fat

The voluntary scheme covers 500 people at a total cost of £10,000.

1. Once the council has recruited 500 participants, the texting will go on for 10 weeks.

Alan White / Buzzfeed

Some of the texts users will receive.

2. Cabinet member for health Adrian Knapper told the BBC:

On average it costs the same amount [£10,000] to perform just one intervention operation to help people manage their weight. Our programme 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.

3. At the moment the messages will only be general words of encouragement. Rather than this sort of thing, which would either be great or terrible.

4. But the scheme has still attracted criticism from health campaigners and other local politicians.

The leader of the opposition said that if the money went to community groups it could be used to support people losing weight and also for other projects, UK health charity campaigner Vanessa Furey described the messages as “bullying by text”.

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Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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