Money Motivates Weight Loss, Study Finds

Want someone to slim down? Pay them.

A new study finds that overweight employees paid to slim down were more successful at their efforts than employees who were not, USA Today reports.

"Lots of companies are experimenting with rewarding people for weight loss, and this study provides evidence that paying people to lose weight works," Eric Finkelstein, a health economist with RTI International, located in Research Triangle Park, N.C., told the daily newspaper.

Click here to read the USA Today story

Finkelstein and researchers from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill studied more than 200 overweight or obese employees in North Carolina.

A third of the participants received no financial reward for their weight loss after three months; another third were given $7 for every 1 percent drop in their body weight; the final third were given $14 for every 1 percent decrease. The participants did not follow a specific diet and fitness program.

Participants in the $14 group were than five times more likely to lose 5 percent of their body weight, according to the findings, printed in September's Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.