Study shows that paying cash to obese people doubles their rate of fat loss
One study found that obese people get paid to lose weight, which doubles their rate of fat loss.
Researchers asked 668 morbidly obese adults in New York City and Los Angeles to lose 10 pounds (or 4.5 kg) in six months.
They found that the two-thirds offered financial rewards of up to $750 met the goal, but for those only offered weight-loss aid devices, half as many lost the weight.
dr Melanie Jay, a MD at NYU Langone, said her study provides “conclusive evidence” that cash incentives could help ease America’s bulging waist.
It is estimated that four out of ten American adults are obese. Maps from last week showed that West Virginia, Arkansas and Kentucky were the most obese states in America.
The study showed that participants in the cash incentive groups lost their goal of 10 pounds (4.5 kg) within six months, but those in the other group only achieved half of their goal
This graph shows weight loss in kilograms per month during the study. It shows that the group was not offered cash incentives (black line), cash incentives linked to behavior change compliance (orange), and cash incentives linked to overall weight loss (blue).
In the study, published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers recruited 668 people between November 2017 and May 2021.
The participants weighed an average of 218 pounds (lbs) (98.8 kg) at the start of the study and had a BMI of almost 38 – placing them in the morbidly obese range.
They were all from low-income households with annual incomes of less than $40,000, with more than eight in 10 being women between the ages of 18 and 70. The majority were of Hispanic background.
What were the different financial strategies?
The researchers randomized morbidly obese adults into three different groups.
All groups were offered weight loss training, WW Freestyle (formerly Weight Watchers) membership, scales and a FitBit to assist.
But only two have been offered financial incentives to get them to meet their goal of losing 5 percent of their weight, or about 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in six months.
Cash related to behavior change:
- $150 the first month only for signing up and attending half of the weekly weight management sessions;
- $60 per month from months two through six for attending at least half of the weekly weight management sessions;
- $30 per month in the study to fill out their food diary at least five days per week and to record their body weight at least three days per week;
- $20 per month 75 minutes of physical activity per week for the first three months and 150 minutes of physical activity per week for the following three months.
Cash related to weight loss. All percentages are compared to baseline weight:
- $50 the first month for loss of 1.5 to 2.5 percent or weight, or $100 for the loss of more than 2.5 percent;
- $50 per month for loss of 2.5 to 5 percent of body weight or $100 a month for losing more than five percent of your weight in months two through three;
- $100 a month for loss of 2.5 to 5 percent of body weight or $150 for losing more than five percent in months four through six;
They were divided into three groups, each tasked with losing about five percent of their body weight – or 10 pounds (4.5 kg) – over six months.
All participants were enrolled in a weekly local weight management program and received a one-year membership in the commercial WW Freestyle weight loss program.
They also received a digital scale, a food diary, and a FitBit tracking device to monitor their progress.
All participants were recommended to attend at least two WW freestyle classes per month, weigh themselves three times per week, keep a food journal five days per week, and accumulate 75 minutes of physical activity per week. For months four through six, the activity goal was raised to 150 minutes per week.
Researchers verified this by reviewing recordings, FitBit data, and attendance records.
One group was not offered any financial incentives to participate in the program.
But two other groups were offered financial incentives that allowed them to earn up to $750 during the study period.
In one group — called the outcomes-based group — participants were offered cash based on how often they attended classes, exercised and kept up with the food journal.
Each received $150 for signing up and taking half of their weight management classes in their first month.
They were also paid $60 per month for attending at least half of the weekly program sessions during months two through six, $30 per month for using the food journal five days a week, and being weighed in three times a week, and $20 per month offered for completing physical activity goals.
In the other group — dubbed the “targeted” group — participants’ cash incentives were tied to how much weight they lost.
In the first month, they were offered $50 if they lost 1.5 to 2.5 percent of their body weight from baseline, or $100 if they lost more than 2.5 percent.
In months two through three, they were offered $50 if they lost 2.5 to 5 percent of their body weight and $100 if they lost more than 5 percent.
And in months four through six, they were paid $100 for a weight loss of 2.5 to 5 percent and $150 for more than 5 percent.
All weight loss percentages were compared to the weight at the start of the program.
Money was paid out to participants once goals were met to ensure it was associated with rewards.
The results showed that those who were offered cash lost twice as much weight on average as those who were not offered cash incentives.
Those in the targeted group made $440 during the study period, while those in the outcome group lost $303.
People in the outcomes-based group lost the most after six months, averaging 10.6 pounds (4.8 kg).
But those in the targeted group lost almost as much, averaging 4.5kg.
Those in the group with no financial incentives lost 4.9 pounds (2.2 kg) during the study period.
dr Jay said, “Our study provides strong evidence that offering incentives, particularly cash rewards, even if it’s only for six months, helps people of limited resources struggling with obesity to lose weight.
“However, any kind of incentive to lose weight can work, even if it’s just offering the tools to do it.”
The participants were also followed up for an additional six months to determine if the weight loss was sustained.
Of the cash groups, only the targeted ones continued to lose weight and shave an additional 2 pounds (0.9 kg).
The outcomes-based group maintained their weight loss, and those who did not receive the financial incentive lost an additional 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg).
About 61 participants broke or stopped attending appointments within the first six months for the goal-based group, compared to 51 in the incentive group and 54 in the non-cash incentive group.
dr Jay said, “Beyond encouragement and education, new tools are needed to help some people struggling with obesity.”
“There is no single solution to America’s mounting weight problem. Our national approach must encompass multiple approaches, including incentives tailored to the diverse needs of groups most affected by obesity-related diseases and diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/paying-obese-people-cash-to-lose-weight-doubles-their-rate-of-fat-loss-study-shows/ Study shows that paying cash to obese people doubles their rate of fat loss