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article image'Eat Fruit And Veg' — UK council to send out motivational texts

By Joe Z Hudson     Feb 4, 2014 in Health
Stoke - A council in the United Kingdom will send out text messages to those that have signed up for a service that motivates them to lose weight.
The Stoke-on-Trent Council spent £10,000 on the service which will send motivational text messages to 500 people to try and help them lose weight.
Running over 10 weeks, the programme will send out messages like "eat more fruit," "use the stairs more" as well as "eat smaller portions."
The city is an excellent target for this service as more than 70,000 adults in the area are classified as obese and the local NHS services spend £50 Million a year on weight related issues.
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."
However, not everyone is pleased with the scheme with Hope Chang from Chell Health — based in Stoke — said in the same BBC article: "To be honest, I can't see it will make a difference.
"You need to have willpower, and if you don't have it, an automated text message won't help.
"If I needed a reminder when I was losing weight, I would look in the mirror."
After 10 weeks the scheme will end, at which point local officials will gauge its impact and whether it should be continued with an expansion to a wider group of people.
More about United Kingdom, Obesity, Texting, stoke on trent
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