You’ve probably heard and agree that money is the root of all evil; nowadays it seems that money also becomes the root of weight loss. Confirming the move of Mayor of Varallo and Agora Publishing who offered money to people who lose weight, researchers have examined the effect of money incentive to weight loss. The researchers compared money incentive versus healthier cafeteria and onsite fitness center and found out that money incentive is more effective compared to better cafeteria and onsite fitness center.
Unlike the Mayor of Varallo who offered 50 Euro to lose 8 pounds in a month (approx US$ 67) and 200 Euro (approx US$268) to maintain it and Agora who gave US$1000 to the employee who lost the most weight, the researchers only offered meager US$7 – US$14 for participants each time they lost a percent of their weight. So if a person lost one percent of his weight then he would be rewarded with either $7 x 1 or $14 x 1.
Over 200 overweight employees were involved and they were divided into three groups. The first group received no incentive while the second group received $7 for one percent of his weight; the third group received $14 for one percent of his weight. Take note that all of them weren’t given any specific help on how to lose weight.
The first group who received no incentive lost an average of 2 pounds over three months, the second group lost 3 pounds on average and the third group lost 5 pounds.
As conclusion, the researchers agreed that the group who was offered $14 was five times more likely to lose weight and giving financial incentive to their employees to lose weight was a good investment for companies.
In my opinion, companies should also think of a way to reward their employees who are already healthy so that everyone can get their share of the cake. In addition, more emphasis and perhaps more reward should be given to those who manage to maintain their ‘healthy’ weight instead to those who manage to lose the most weight.
Although the result is nothing to write home about, this research has evidently showed that people are more excited when you say “Pals, boss is going to pay us $14 to lose weight” compared to “You will face a serious heart disease risk and cancer if you maintain your unhealthy lifestyle."
I guess the prospect of becoming $100 richer is indeed more lucrative than becoming healthy!
The research overview can be viewed here.
Labels: diet issues