Dieting For Dollars

People will lose weight for money, even a little money.

That's the finding of a North Carolina study that offers one
more option for employers trying to cut health care costs.

The research published in the September issue of the Journal of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that cash incentives
can be a success even when the payout is as little as $7 for
dropping just a few pounds in three months.

Researchers also say cash rewards provide a company with a
guaranteed return, as opposed to setting up onsite fitness centers
or improving offerings in the company cafeteria.

Participants in the study didn't get any help on how to lose
weight. Employees who received the most incentives lost the most
weight, an average of nearly 5 pounds after three months. Those
people were in the $14 group. Those offered no incentives lost 2
pounds, and those in the $7 group lost about 3 pounds.