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A new kind of incentive -- what do you think?

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Old 05-23-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default A new kind of incentive -- what do you think?

I just saw this article and thought I would share it. What do you think? Would it work for you?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8063440.stm
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:25 AM   #2
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The nurse at the school where I taught did something similar a few years ago. Everyone paid $10 into the pot and whoever lost the most weight in six weeks won the money. We ended up not being able to do it again because there was a big stink over the winner (supposedly) cheating by wearing ankle weights at her initial weigh-in. (Yeah. These are grownups we're talking about!)

I didn't join because I didn't want the whole world knowing how much I weighed!
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:44 AM   #3
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My brothers and I do a family biggest loser. The first time we put $100 in each. If we lost 10% body weight in 3 months then we get $50 back, and the rest goes to the overall biggest loser. I only lost 5%, so I lost the whole $100 dollars....but it was definitely and incentive to lose, and if I hadnt had the competition and money at stake, I may not have even lost 12lbs. We started a new round, this time only putting $50 in So far so good!! I think the motivation works!!
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:45 AM   #4
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Saw it on the news this morning but I think it's as helpful as the (admittedly small) clip of tBL UK I saw yesterday, i.e. NOT.
When the emphasis is all on punishment for 'failure', it doesn't help the dieters self-esteem, which is probably fairly low already.
Plus, the constant emphasis on the highest amount lost every week ignores all healthy eating research.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:47 AM   #5
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dkneec19 - as you can see from the post times, I was writing at the same time as you, no disparagement to your family incentives!
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:09 PM   #6
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No amount of money seems to help me lose weight, not too sure why? Seems odd actually! My brother told me that when I got to my goal he'd take me to Mexico - this was quite a few years ago.. it hasn't happened yet! Although the money thing helps with exercise! My friend and I had a money jar, every time we'd skip our exercise we'd have to put in 5 bucks. At the end we exchanged money jars, the one she got from me was empty, and mine was a little too full... we used it for spending money on a weekend road trip!

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Old 05-23-2009, 02:38 PM   #7
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As tough as times are now...yes! Although I'm well on my way... a large sum of money would definitely be quite the incentive.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:24 PM   #8
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This isn't a new idea (even the anti-charity component). We discussed it in psychology classes when I was earning my bachelor's degree (between 1984 and 1987). It can be effective for some people, but for those whom it isn't, the consequences can be pretty heavy - not only the "guilt" of not having succeeded, but with the added burden of your money going to a charity that you morally oppose (in the 80's it was mainly racist groups that were the recipient of the anti-charity programs).

It sounded like a good idea (except the part about the money going to an anti-charity), so I made a deal with my mom. I handed her a large sum of money (I don't remember what it was, but it was not more than $100, but at the time, it represented a huge amount of my discretionary income), that she would get to keep if I didn't lose 20 lbs by a set deadline. I lost 19, and my mom got the money (even though it wasn't part of the deal, I was hurt that my mom didn't give me at least some of the money back).

What really was evil about the deal, is that it made both my mother and I view the weight loss I did acheive as failure (and I viewed some of her behavior in hind-sight as intentional sabotage - which may or may not have been the case). Ironically, the pitfalls of the experiment, were exactly as our psych professor predicted (and I had dismissed - like the potential for seeing success as failure, and possible conflict-of-interest and likelihood of resentments when a friend or family member is the recipient of the money (even the accusations of sabotage).

It definitely backfired on me, so I wouldn't try anything similar again.
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Old 05-23-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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No way would I participate, and for the reasons that Kaplods has stated so well.

It would be really easy to set an unrealistic goal and end up feeling not only like a failure, but also as though you had thrown your money away--or worse.

It also feeds into the overly simplistic viewpoint that "if you really want it enough you will get it," which tends to get reversed so that if someone isn't successful within whatever arbitrary parameters are used, then they must not "really" want it. We've had these discussions a lot on 3FC.

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Old 05-29-2009, 04:10 PM   #10
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my BIL did that with the guys in his office and he lost 50-some pounds and won the pool - $500 or so. looks like he's gained at least half of the weight he lost back though.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:53 PM   #11
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My husband told me he'd give me $10 for every pound I lost. (Obviously the man has NO IDEA how much I need to lose)

I haven't seen a dime.

Would it motivate me? Well, I don't like to lose, but I don't like the idea of others knowing what I weigh either, so I wouldn't be able to do it.
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:41 PM   #12
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I tried this web site. Some of you seem to have pretty strong views opposing it, but I thought it was neat. If I did it again, I wouldn't choose the anti-charity option though, just the charity option. I don't think there's anything wrong with a little monetary incentive. Why not?
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:43 PM   #13
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Plus, they don't mention in this article that there are many options on the site. You can choose to bet money or not, and if you do choose to bet then you choose the amount. You can choose to have a referee or not. You can choose if an email goes out to friends or not. Etc.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:48 PM   #14
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Wow that's really interesting. I've heard of lots of people doing a "biggest loser" type of competition where you have to put in money each week when you weigh in, and if you gain you have to put more in. the goal is to be the biggest loser and you get the pot of money in the end. i suppose this is fairly similiar, but the anti-charity idea is CRAZY haha. That is def a strange kind of motivation, but hey it be right up some people's alley :P
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:57 PM   #15
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hmm... well I never bet any money per se, but me and my good friend made a pact that whoever loses 20 pounds first will get a pair of shoes, courtesy of the other. We are keeping track. May the best woman win! XD
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