LIFESTYLE

Weight-Loss Study Pays People To Shed Pounds (PICTURES)

11/03/2013 10:36 GMT | Updated 11/03/2013 10:39 GMT

Forget willpower, freezing ice baths or the 5:2 diet, the key to weight-loss could be cold, hard cash.

According to a recent American study, financial incentives can help produce great results when it comes to achieving long-term weight-loss goals.

The Mayo Clinic in California offered to pay $20 per month to volunteers who lost an agreed amount of weight each month.

Participants involved in the year-long test were expected to lose 4 pounds by each weigh-in, until they reached their target weight.

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Researchers found that 62% of those paid a reward for weight-loss achieved their goals, in comparison to just 26% of the ‘non-incentive’ group.

This equated to a mean weight loss of 9.08 pounds, compared with 2.34.

Lead author Steven Driver said in a statement: “The take-home message is that sustained weight loss can be achieved by financial incentives.

"The financial incentives can improve results, and improve compliance and adherence."

Researchers found that even participants in the incentive group who paid penalties when they didn’t reach their monthly targets were more likely to continue their participation in the study than those in the non-incentive groups.