What a great idea!
Especially considering that over the next 50 years, the cost of obesity and related illnesses to the U.S. economy could be as much as US$650 billion – equivalent to about 5% of current annual U.S. GDP.
The question I would like to ask is, how much of that $650 billion is going to be spent on the prevention of obesity. I would guess that the bulk of this money is going to be spent on trying to correct problems that may have been preventable in the first place.
As it has been shown that individuals from lower income populations have higher rates of obesity, providing access to free fitness equipment may prove helpful in reducing the impact of obesity on the health care system and the economy as a whole.
Even looking beyond the costs associated with obesity, exercise has many a number of other health benefits. Combined with an advertising campaign (like the anti-smoking Truth campaign) promoting healthful living, there is no end to the cost savings that could be achieved.
Never mind extending and improving the lives of millions of people.