In lieu of a new study performed by the Mayo Clinic, results demonstrate that monetary incentives and rewards support that “money talks” when it comes to achieving weight loss success. Individuals had higher success rates when shedding weight if they were paid to do so.
100 Employees of Mayo were studied through an entire year as researchers required them to educate themselves on losing weight and consuming a health diet with the combination of exercise. These people were broken up into two groups: one where financial compensation was provided for weight loss, and another group that only were required to take educational classes on weight loss and nutrition.
Mayo Clinic physician, Dr. Stephen Driver states that:
“We found that people who receive financial incentives tended to stick with the healthy behaviors we all wish we would do more often.”
He also noted that the candidates who were financially compensated lost an average of 9lbs more than the other candidates who were not giving monetary rewards for their weight loss success. Whereas those who were not compensated only lost an average of 2lbs per a 52 week time-span.
Participants in this experiment were given $20 fo each pound they shed, but were penalized and even $20 for any pound that they gained during the study. This move helped to not only add incentive for weight loss but also to fund the research and project itself.
Driver also added that:
“About 86% of large employers are already offering some kind of financial incentives to help employees reach their health goals, But one problem employers run into with financial incentives is that they can be expensive. Part of our model was to allow the so-called ‘losers’ to fund the ‘winners,’ and I think that can help things to be more sustainable.”
This was not the first experiement in which people who were given monetary compensation for their weight loss has been studied, however this study took place over the course of a year, and it is the first in which participants were studied over the longest period of time.
There is a shortcoming to this study, however as Driver specifically stated in these following remarks:
“Because it was research, everybody knew which group they were in,” he said. “There may have been a higher proportion of dropouts in the non-incentive group.”
There were more dropouts in the study that were not provided the monetary incentive for their weight loss, which only proves further that “money talks” when it comes to weight loss.