Overweight people will receive cash or gift vouchers if they lose weight – as long as they have jobs.
Under radical NHS plans to tackle the obesity crisis employers will get funding to offer incentives for staff who slim down.
But top doctor Clive Peedell said: “This policy will do nothing to help the millions of unemployed and the growing numbers of self-employed people who may need help but won’t qualify.”
Outlining the plans, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens pointed out that such schemes had been a success in America.
He said: “Employers in many countries have voluntary schemes for employees where, for example, you actually get cash back based on participation in Weight Watchers or other type schemes.”
Asked what rewards could be on offer, he said: “It could be shopping vouchers, it could be cash, it could be prizes.”