[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
Finally, science has something you can give people that really does help them lose weight: money. Rewarding dieters with a few hundred dollars is effective for promoting at least short-term weight loss. That’s according to a study in the December 10th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The researchers tried two approaches. In one, study subjects got paid if they lost 16 pounds in 16 weeks. In the other, participants invested their own money, which they lost if they didn’t make that same goal. A control group just tried to lose weight without any economic incentive. And the losers are:
Dieters who got paid for losing—53 percent of them met the target. Followed by those who risked their own money—47 percent of them lost the 16 pounds. And the regular old dieters, for whom losing weight was its own reward? Only 10.5 percent of them got to their goal. And that group averaged just a four-pound loss, compared with 14 pounds for the paid dieters.
So, what do you do with the money you win by losing weight? That’s easy: pizza!