If we start with an extreme example (for instance, if you can lose 50 lbs, the government will give you $1 million), it is easy to imagine that there is a situation in which incentives can be used to help the obese lose weight. For a large enough incentive, people will do many difficult things. On the other extreme (no incentives at all except for their own good health) we find that people are currently not doing a very good job of losing weight for no incentives. Obviously we can't afford to give $1 million to every obese person to lose weight. The real question is whether or not we can devise incentives that would be less costly than the current health care expenses of treating obesity.
Yes, I am sure if you paid people to loose weight, they would loose weight.
You would think looking good and feeling healthy would be enough, but it
is not apparently. They could also try to motivate people by loosing 30
pounds, and you get a free Xbox or PS4. I am sure they could think of
all kinds of things to get people to loose weight. Maybe a free trip to
I am sure if you paid people to loose weight, they would loose weight. You would think looking good and feeling healthy would be enough, but it is not apparently. They could also try to motivate people by loosing 30 pounds, and you get a free Xbox or PS4. I am sure they could think of all kinds of things to get people to loose weight. Maybe a free trip to the Bahamas.
Incentives are very good ways to convince people to do something. For example, a study found out that giving 2 pounds of lentils to anyone who got vaccines in a 3rd World County was cheaper, and more effective than the version, without incentives. People who are overweight would like to lose weight, and giving them something nice would make them even more determined to lose weight.
The incentive for not being obese already exists: to not be disgusting and unhealthy.
Therefore, it has already been proven that incentives don't work. What needs to happen is the whole "Everyone is beautiful the way they are" movement needs to stop. It is giving obese people a reason to be complacent about their obvious problem: obesity - and telling them it is not a problem after all.
I believe people overeat for a variety of reasons, but it is mostly down to people really liking the experience of eating, and for some reason, they lack impulse control over their eating. Offering incentives would not over-ride this impulse. There would also be an outcry from skinny people who feel they should also be given the same things that fat people are being given.
You can not bribe someone who needs a major life change. They have to change because they want to change. They have to change everything about themselves. They have to change their eating habits, and they need to get to the mental reason why they are overeating and overweight. Offering them an incentive would maybe make them lose 5 pounds, but can they really be offered a reward every time they lose a pound. It is unrealistic.