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Nutritionists and dieting experts have long the answer to how to people to weight. It seems overweight people are more interested in the size of their wallets than their waistlines. Researchers in the USA may have one answer – cash rewards and penalties. A year-long study of 100 weight watchers by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota a system of financial incentives and fines a significant impact on people's success in shedding kilos. The weight-conscious dieters $20 a month if they met their weight loss goals and had to a penalty if they didn't. Those by financial gain lost an average of 4.1kg, to just 1kg for those without the cash bonus.

The study 100 obese adults aged between 18 to 63, who were every month for a year. They were into four groups, some with a monetary focus, others with an emphasis on education and behaviour change. The $20 a month was enough for the financially-motivated dieters to the other groups. Mayo Clinic's Dr Donald Hensrud said: "Just to lose weight isn’t enough. Financial incentives can powerful." Head researcher Dr Steven Driver found the fear of money was stronger than the thought of a bonus. He said: "Fear of losing money to motivate people about two and a half times more than the prospect of the same amount of money."

 


 
 

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