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Personalized prices of goods and services based on people's weight to height ratio

Image credit: Adam Young / Feelforthewater

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jun 27, 2022
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County-wide experiment where people pay individualized prices of goods and services based on their height-to-weight ratio. The prices increase as people get farther from their ideal weight.
  • A way to reduce obesity in society and thereby achieve all of the benefits that stem from it (lower mortality, a lower burden on the medical system, etc).
  • Country-wide promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
How it works
One of the countries that are serious about putting an end to the obesity epidemic could introduce personalized prices of goods and services, based on the person's weight to height ratio. The healthier the ratio, the better the price the person pays.
The weight-to-height price difference would especially affect food, transportation (uber, taxi, public, flights), and anything else where rewarding a healthy lifestyle makes sense.
Somewhere between entering the premises and paying, a person would seemlessly be weighed and measured.
The optimal weight to height ratio would be loosely defined - give or take 15%. Anything above or below 15% starts changing the person's prices for the worse. Being underweight would affect the price for the worst as well.
All businesses would have to play along. This would be mandatory by law.
Medical exemption
A person who has a valid medical reason for their weight to height ratio being way off can obtain an exemption card in the same way handicapped people do. If they have the card, they pay standard prices for any goods and services that would otherwise be affected by the weight-to-height ratio.
Creative contributions

Plane travelling as a potential adopter

Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Jul 11, 2022
The airline industry is the only one that I can imagine doing something like this en masse in the climate of today's society. Mostly because people are already getting charged for extra weight on their suitcases, so they might be fine with obese passengers having to pay extra when they carry much more unnecessary weight than most suitcases. Especially as obese people also take up more spots in the seats, spillover of sorts. Public transport too - there's simply less room for other passengers, so you pay up more.
Also, this idea is a great premise for a sci-fi character/society examination story.
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General comments

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
A person with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 with 25% fat mass is healthier than a person with a BMI of 18 kg/m2 and 45% fat mass. Both these categories exist. Maybe a different measure of obesity is required.


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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
I think the idea would be taken with a lot of resistance in society, and rightly so. First, it would surely be viewed as discrimination by many. Second, to say that maintaining normal weight is entirely up to that person is a narrow perspective that is not fully correct. Many people who have overweight (as well as too small weight) have psychological problems they damper/express by eating too much or too little. Making them pay more for goods and services would only make things harder on them.
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Shireesh Apte
Shireesh Apte2 years ago
A restaurant in Indonesia is doing this. There may be others.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Shireesh Apte amazing gamification idea. I bet their customers love it🙂
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jnikola2 years ago
Hahahaha actually a very interesting idea, but, in my opinion, needs to be defined in a better way. Here you have a few problems.
The first one is that every shop, uber, public transportation or other needs to invest in weight scales and cameras measuring height. A better way of, for example, an AI estimating weight and height could be introduced in already existing security systems.
The second problem would be charging the same for people whose weight/height ratio is just slightly above and those who are dramatically obese. I didn't read it anywhere, but I assume you planned to put proportional increases on prices according to the ratio, right? That would be good and rewarding if people decide and manage to reduce weight. With every kilogram, they would get a small reward at reduced prices.
The third problem would be different body types. My friend and I are the same height, but he is 20 kilos heavier than me. We both look normal and healthy. It's just that his arms, legs and whole body actually are thicker, and wider and he could easily become a bodybuilder. On the other hand, my wrists are tiny, but my body is more "runner-like". This should somehow be implemented into the quotation.
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