Can Ca$h Motivate People to Make Healthy Behaviour Change?

What motivates you to lose weight? Is it money, is it health, or is it the desire to not see money lost? We all know that there is an obesity epidemic in this country. Losing weight is hard. There is no easy fix to this problem and so Americans find it to be a very difficult struggle. There are countless diet programs, fitness experts, and incentive programs that promise us success. Which ones are the most successful? In this article they explore the incentive program concept. And the incentive is cold, hard cash. Is cash the key to helping individuals keep the weight off and gaining back their health? Exploring this idea is worth the investigation. Find out if this is the right kind of incentive for you that will help you to reclaim your health.

Key Points:

  • 1Over the course of the 4 month intervention individuals in the incentive groups earned an average of approximately $300, in contrast to $0 awarded to those in the control group.
  • 2However, during a subsequent 3-month follow-up, study participants gained back much of the lost weight after the cessation of the financial incentives — a finding which is common to most, if not all, weight-loss intervention studies.
  • 3The thinking goes — if an overweight individual has previously had trouble adhering to a diet and/or exercise program, investing some of his/her own money may provide a novel incentive to stay on track in order to avoid losing money — the basic concept of loss aversion.

a 2008 study suggests that monetary reward may be a more potent motivator for behavior change and ultimately, weight-loss.

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