Companies Are Paying Employees To Lose Weight

(Photo Credit: Nbcdfw)
(Photo Credit:  Nbcdfw)
(Photo Credit: Nbcdfw)

Let’s face it, money talks. So I guess it is not surprising that more and more businesses are adopting a new weight loss incentive that gives employees a monetary reward if they stick to their diet plan. One of the driving forces behind this type of scheme is to hopefully cut the amount companies spend on weight-related illnesses of their employees on the company healthcare scheme. According to gallup.com, workers in the USA who are obese or have other chronic health conditions cost more then $153 billion a year in lost productivity due to the employee being absent from work because of health issues. Therefore it is in the companies’ interest to ensure that their staff are sticking to a healthy weight, even if that means paying them.

A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic also found that weight loss study participants were more likely to stick to their diet program when they received financial incentives. The study, which was conducted by Steven Driver M.D (Internal Resident at Mayo Clinic), looked at a group of 100 healthy Mayo Clinic employees over a year. The group of participants were then separated into four groups, two groups were offered financial incentives, while two groups were not. All participants were set a goal of losing 4 pounds per month until they had reached their target weight (they were weighed once a month). Subjects in the financial incentives groups which met the target weight were paid $20, while those who had not lost their monthly 4 pounds had to pay $20 into the bonus pool.

At the end of the study period, participants from either incentive group were eligible to win the bonus pool by a lottery draw at the end of the year. Only 26% of the participants who were not receiving a financial incentive completed the study. The percentage was much higher for those who were receiving financial benefit and stood at 62%. “The take-home message is that sustained weight loss can be achieved by financial incentives,” Dr. Driver says. “The financial incentives can improve results, and improve compliance and adherence.” Dr Driver went on to say that researchers found that participants who had even paid penalty fees for not reaching their target weight, were still more likely to continue taking part in the study than those who did not receive any financial benefit whatsoever.

So what can we learn from this as individuals? You may not work in a company which has this sort of scheme but you can still use the same principles. How about setting yourself some financial benefit goals for losing weight. If you stick to your diet plan for a certain amount of time, you could treat yourself to a holiday or buy those new shoes that you have been looking at in the store window for weeks… What do you do to keep yourself motivated to lose weight? Share your thoughts.

Until next time,

Nadine

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Nadine ‘Diet Coach’ Douglas lost over 30 pounds after being overweight most of her adult life. She now runs a successful weight loss website which gives information about great resources which can help you lose weight and be healthy for long term success.

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(By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Nadine_A_Douglas]Nadine A Douglas)

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