PRELIMINARY COMMUNICATION Financial Incentive–Based Approaches for Weight Loss A Randomized Trial Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD Context Identifying effective obesity treatment is both a clinical challenge and a pub- Leslie K. John, MS lic health priority due to the health consequences of obesity. Andrea B. Troxel, ScD Objective To determine whether common decision errors identified by behavioral economists such as prospect theory, loss aversion, and regret could be used to design Laurie Norton, MA an effective weight loss intervention. Jennifer Fassbender, MS Design, Setting, and Participants Fifty-seven healthy participants aged 30-70 George Loewenstein, PhD years with a body mass index of 30-40 were randomized to 3 weight loss plans: monthly weigh-ins, a lottery incentive program, or a deposit contract that allowed for partici- pant matching, with a weight loss goal of 1 lb (0.45 kg) a week for 16 weeks. Par- ROM 1960 TO 2004, THE RATE OF ticipants were recruited May-August 2007 at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center in obesity in the United States in- Pennsylvania and were followed up through June 2008. creased from approximately Main Outcome Measures Weight loss after 16 weeks. F13% to 31%. In 2004, 71% of Results The incentive groups lost significantly more
JAMA – American Medical Association
Published: Dec 10, 2008
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