280 pound UK Man not obese enough, has to gain weight in order to qualify for government-sponsored gastric-bypass surgery

January 28th, 2011

From the Mirror.

GORgING on chips, burgers and bacon rolls is a weird way to fight the flab, but hefty Darin McCloud has been piling on the pounds – just so he qualifies for a gastric band.

Doctors told the 20st diabetic he was too skinny to have a gastric bypass on the NHS.

So Darin – who says he finds it impossible to diet – vowed to eat his way to 21st and hit the trigger point that allows him to be considered for the drastic surgery.

He has been scoffing three-quarters of a loaf of bread, several packets of crisps and bacon rolls every day, and tucking into chips, takeaways and junk food for his tea.

This reminds me of the episode of the Simpsons where Homer has to gain 60 pounds in order to qualify for a disability, and work from home. Perverse incentives indeed.

Here is Dubner’s take at Freakanomics:

Can you imagine what would happen if Alcoholics Anonymous decided to require a certain level of alcohol intake?