Financial incentives can be a very effective tool in encouraging employees to lose weight at companies that offer their workers those types of programs, suggests a new study.
Joshua Price, a University of Texas, Arlington assistant professor of economics, teamed with Cornell University Professor John Cawley to perform a case study on an employer-sponsored program that offered financial incentives for weight loss.
The purpose of the study was to examine a real-world intervention for weight loss, Price said.
"We examined how effective different weight loss programs are to business," Price said.
"We discovered that the best results for weight loss were through a more regular payment of refundable participation fees. The payments seem to work as a reinforcement for people to continue to lose weight," he said.
Price and Cawley were given access to outcomes of 2,635 workers at one company. Under an agreement with the business, the researchers cannot reveal the company's name.
"Overall, we found modest weight loss in the program that offers financial incentives for weight loss," Price said.
The study is published online in The Journal of Health Economics.