Will paying patients to lose weight be effective?

Like doctors, patients can be influenced by financial incentives.

A group of dieters were either paid $3 per day, plus incentives for meeting certain goals, or were eligible to compete in a cash lottery for $10 to $100 per day, if they lost weight.

Care to guess what happened?

To absolutely no one’s surprise, patients who were in the group offered more money lost more weight.

Paying patients to maintain good health is not a new concept, and has been tried in areas of chronic medication compliance and smoking cessation.

It is somewhat of a sad commentary that we have to resort to paying patients to do what’s best for themselves.


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