What’s One Thing That Can Motivate Overweight People to Finally Lose Weight? The Answer May Surprise You

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moneyBy Krystle Crossman

Money can buy you many things, but it cannot buy you happiness…not directly anyway. Money can buy you things that make you happy, but having material things is not true happiness. Feeling great about how you look and loving yourself is. In this instance, money can buy happiness for overweight people, in a sense.

A new study from the Mayo Clinic shows that overweight people are more motivated to lose weight if there is money at stake. In this economy many people are not as financially fit as they would like to be, along with not being as physically fit as they wish they could be. But put some financial incentive down and people would be more motivated to work at getting that weight off. It seems like people are more afraid to be broke than they are of the prospect that they could die if they don’t get healthy.

The study looked at 100 employees at the Mayo Clinic who were overweight. Half of them received weight counseling, a three-month gym membership, and monthly weigh-ins. The other half were given the same as the first group, but they were also offered financial compensation. If they lost four pounds in a month, they would be given $20. If they failed and did not lose the four pounds, they had to pay $20.

One year after the study, the group that was compensated lost an average of 9 pounds each, while the group that was not compensated lost 2 pounds on average. It brings up the question of where people’s priorities lie. Good health and life should be a much bigger motivator for someone to lose weight than money. You would think that the prospect of dropping dead at 40 because of a heart attack would be scarier than not having a little money but it seems that is not so.

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