The HealthyWager weight loss bet is all about using money as motivation for people struggling to reach a healthy weight! We have seen firsthand that the HealthyWager makes a real difference -- people are way more motivated to hit their weight loss goals when there’s money on the line.
No, we are rooting for you. We know what you’re thinking: it costs HealthyWage money when you win -- yes, that’s true. But there’s much more to the story than that. HealthyWage is on a serious mission to change the world. Our founders have degrees in public health and economics. We’re trying to use innovation and academic research to find solutions to the world’s most vexing problems and we’re molding HealthyWager into a powerful weight loss tool (it’s already amazing, but we’re making it better and better). Considering how big the obesity problem is (see below), science has come up short on solutions. Our company’s long-term self-interest is best served by doing everything we can to help you succeed. We want to go down in history as the people who created tools that actually make a difference!
All of the leading health organizations refer to obesity as an epidemic in the US and internationally, and it’s the world’s biggest epidemic -- just see what the World Health Organisation (WHO), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have to say. Obesity affects every group of people, and the risks cannot be overstated. The related health risks are so significant and so frequently mentioned by health leaders that we have become desensitized to hearing about them. The obesity epidemic is a leading cause of preventable deaths in the US, second only to smoking, and claiming around 400,000 lives per year. About 70% of adults in the US are obese or overweight. Let that sink in -- most of our adult population is at serious risk, since being overweight magnifies the effects of other health conditions and makes them even more deadly. For example, the likelihood of death from Covid-19 increases with BMI. Obesity is a growing problem across the world, and sedentary lifestyles paired with easy access to highly caloric foods are now markers of a developed country. We are evolved to seek out these energy-rich foods to fuel ourselves, but we’re overloading on that fuel faster than we can expend it. It’s as if we have simply lost control of our ability to regulate ourselves and our appetites. The HealthyWager takes a different approach. We assume that people already have knowledge about what they are supposed to be doing; the problem is figuring out how to put that knowledge into practice considering the prevailing lifestyles in modern wealthy countries. HealthyWager provides structure, accountability and motivation that can help overcome these headwinds. We think solutions like HealthyWager might be the crucial missing elements in the battle against obesity.
The cofounders of HealthyWage originally came up with the idea for the HealthyWager weight loss bet based on inspiration from a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008. A group of professors at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania were exploring the revolutionary concept that financial incentives can have a serious impact on weight loss outcomes.
To test their theory, they devised a 16-week weight loss program that offered financial motivation to some of the participants. A group of participants was asked to fork over some of their own money at the beginning of the study. If they met their weight loss goals, they got their deposits back plus additional money. If they failed to meet their goals, they forfeited their deposits and got nothing. The participants in the financial incentive group lost almost four times as much weight as people in the control group and were more than four times more likely to achieve the 16-pound goal. The success of the study illustrates the “loss aversion” principle of behavioral economics, which suggests that people generally hate losing even more than they like gaining the equivalent of the potential loss. The researchers showed that harnessing this aversion can lead to dramatic results in a 16-week timeframe.
In 2013, the highly respected Mayo Clinic published another study about money and weight loss, this time observing participants over a longer period of time. This year-long study aimed to look at how financial incentives impacted long-term success for participants who wanted to lose weight. Some participants were given financial incentives and could either win or lose money depending on if they met their monthly goals. Other participants received no financial incentives to complete the same year-long program. An astonishing 62% of participants in the financial incentive group stuck to the year-long weight loss regimen, whereas only 26% of the other group stayed committed for the whole year. Plus, the participants who had financial incentives lost almost four times as much weight as the participants who did not. The takeaway from the study is that financial incentives can be used for sustained weight loss over a longer period of time.
So how does a HealthyWager weight loss bet increase your odds of meeting your goal? HealthyWager uses both the “carrot” and the “stick” to provide dual motivation for long-lasting success.
The Carrot: The studies taught us that financial rewards can help you stay committed to getting healthy. With HealthyWager, you can jumpstart healthy habits and win back more than you invested when you reach your goal. It’s a win-win!
The Stick: We also learned that loss aversion is a powerful motivator. When you make a weight loss bet, you have skin in the game and don’t want to lose your wager!
Since HealthyWager was created, tens of thousands of people have used it to help with their weight loss and have collectively won millions of dollars in prizes. That’s what HealthyWager is all about -- increasing the efficacy of your weight loss using financial incentives.
HealthyWager is a service of HealthyWage, a company that focuses on public health innovations and provides consumer and corporate weight management and fitness services. The HealthyWager weight loss bet is one of our most innovative solutions!