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.

 

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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.

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“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.

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