Weight Loss Program Offers Cash Payments for Pounds Lost

Weight loss programs often require tremendous discipline to deliver real results. Now, a British company is taking a different approach, offering participants a cash payout for every pound they lose.

Weight loss programs are big business in the U.S., and consumers spend millions of dollars each year in hopes of trimming the fat. Now, an innovative program out of England is offering to give participants here in the States cold, hard cash for every pound they lose.

The program is called “Pounds for Pounds” and it’s being offered by Slimming World, the largest weight loss organization in the UK. After 40 years of success across the pond, it recently began opening groups in the United States.

“We know our system works. We’ve helped more than 5 million people in Great Britain over the years and we’re so confident that Americans will achieve the same results, we’re putting our money where our mouth is. When we say, ‘It pays to lose weight,’ we really mean it,” says Slimming World consultant Yvonne Sanders.

Similar to other weight loss programs, members attend weekly meetings, where they weigh in, share stories of their struggles and success, and get tips on eating right. Participants are not required to take any kind of pills or purchase pre-made meals — in fact, no food is “off limits” under Slimming World’s program. Instead, participants are encouraged to fill up on healthy portions of pasta, produce, lean meat, and potatoes, while exercising sound judgment about junk food and sugary treats.

With the Pounds-for-Pounds promotion, participants earn one British pound for each pound of excess weight they lose. They can also claim their reward in U.S. currency (about $1.50). Although the dieting-for-dollars program will cost Slimming World a pretty penny, early adopters are reportedly thrilled with the results, and the company is banking on their positive testimonials.

Scientific research also backs up the notion of using money as a motivator for weight loss. A 2009 University of Pennsylvania study found that people who were dieting for dollars lost an average of 13 pounds over 16 weeks, while those without any financial incentives had only lost 4 pounds.

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