Paying patients to meet weight-loss goals—and requiring them to pay up when they do not—appears to be a successful strategy for managing obese people. Several studies have suggested that financial incentives appear to help overweight and obese patients continue to participate in weight-loss programs longer and lose more weight than counterparts who do not receive such incentives. Participants also were informed that they could earn half of the bonus pool money via lottery if they stayed in the program until the end of the study.
Among patients in the financial incentive arms, 62% stayed in the program for the full 52 weeks, compared with a rate of just 26% for patients in the non-incentive arms (Table 1). Approximately 86% of large employers in the United States offer worksite wellness programs, many of which include financial incentives.
There is a need for further research in the area of financial incentives for weight loss, according to Dr. Many try to lose weight for their appearance, their health, or their significant others – but would you be more successful at losing weight for money instead?
In order to test this concept, researchers took 105 obese employees from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Those who worked as part of a group lost an average of 10.5 pounds — twice as much as those who dieted alone. Under this arrangement, a team member who met his or her weight-loss goals was guaranteed at least $100; however, he or she may get more money if other teammates fell short of their goal.
This form of competition weight loss is growing in popularity — especially after the success of TV programs like The Biggest Loser. This method of losing weight could prove useful for employers who are trying to make their office healthier for insurance companies. THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. You’re much less likely to give up when you put your own, hard-earned cash on your weight loss goals. HealthyWage: Pay a fee for the chance to double your money by losing weight, or join a group challenge to win even more.
Driver, MD, MPH, has indicated to Physician’s Weekly that he has no financial interests to report. However, when financial incentives are removed, patients tend to regain the weight they had lost. Driver and colleagues presented data from a study that investigated whether providing continuous financial incentives for 1 year would encourage participants to achieve and maintain weight loss. Lottery tickets were earned for showing up to weigh-ins, meeting monthly weight-loss goals, and checking in with the study investigators weekly through a mobile health application.
However, tighter budgets may make it difficult for smaller employers and medical practices to provide such incentives.
Provider and patient directed financial incentives to improve care and outcomes for patients with diabetes. A theoretically grounded systematic review of material incentives for weight loss: implications for interventions.


A new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, proves that money serves as a powerful incentive for losing weight. They were enrolled in a weight-loss program that aimed to see who could lose the most weight in six months and keep it off for the following three months. The fewer people who actually lose the required amount of weight, the more money each successful person receives. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Affordable Care Act allows employers to use an increased share of insurance premiums to offer employee inducements to lose weight and improve their health.” Some employers, like Scotts Miracle-Gro or IBM, already give employees incentives to lose weight and stay healthy. It's very effective, but I have a question about that: After a few days of taking the product, I started having a red face and neck, and my blood pressure went up. In fact, a study published last spring showed that people who are offered money in exchange for weight loss are more likely to succeed and maintain than those who aren’t given any incentive. Businesses will spend an average of $521 per employee – giving you the opportunity to earn rewards and line your pockets just by making wholesome changes. She is passionate about maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and encouraging people to engage in common-sense eating. They had people lose weight individually with a financial incentive of $100, lose weight as a team and split a lump sum of money, and sign up for monthly weigh-ins with no financial incentive. Each team had a pool of $500 each month to split among five members who had met specific weight-loss goals. Oz Show by facilitating a larger conversation on health, wellness, and important medical news as it happens. Placing a wager on it will keep you strongly motivated, and give you the opportunity to get way more back – just by staying on-track.
Since some people won’t meet it, you have a great chance of earning more money than you put down. One study actually showed that putting competition and cash together will likely get you three times the success rate. Caitlin believes in living a well-rounded life, to include balancing time with family, friends, fitness and food.
Driver and colleagues has the potential to help offset some of the costs of these programs. Our study has taken a step in the right direction by showing that continuous incentives make a big difference, at least for 1 year.
The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. Our results suggest that—as with typical medical practice—motivating patients by impressing upon them the importance of weight loss may give them confidence, but that may not be enough.
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