Does Money Cause Weight Loss? Local Doc Weighs In

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DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Can’t lose weight? How about a financial reward? A new Mayo Clinic study showed obese workers given a $20 a month incentive lost four times more weight than those with no financial rewards.


The study followed 100 workers who got $20 if they lost — and they had to pay if they didn’t.

Providence Hospital Weight Loss Dr. Gary Katz says he’s not surprised by the short-term results, saying it’s human nature to work within a reward system. But he doesn’t think such a small amount of money would work in the long run.

“Long-term dieting for a vast majority of people is just not sustainable,” Katz said. “They fall off their plans, their motivation goes, they don’t see results on their own … Motivation is a very difficult thing.”

Financial incentives programs in England to encourage weight loss and quitting smoking have been discontinued.

“It’s very hard for someone to stop their style of living,” Katz said. “That soda or that one cookie at dinner.”

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