Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Lose the Weight or Lose the Money: Contracts Gain Favor

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Lose the Weight or Lose the Money: Contracts Gain Favor

Article excerpt

AT NAPCRG 2014

NEW YORK -- The more you stand to lose, the deeper your commitment to losing, particularly when it's your wallet and not your word that's at stake.

People who contractually committed online to lose a certain amount of weight or else fork over a predetermined amount of cash to a friend, a favorite charity, or even a hated charity were, on average, successful at losing 5.2% of their body weight, according to preliminary data presented at the annual meeting of the North American Primary Care Research Group.

In a retrospective analysis of 5,024 self-selected participants in an online contractual weight loss site, 70% of whom were women whose average age was 39 years, the ones who pledged to let their money go to an "anticharity" if they didn't meet their weight loss goals lost nearly 8% of their body weight.

Those who pledged to give to a favorite charity lost just under 7%, and those who promised to pay a friend if they didn't succeed lost 6.3% of their body weight. Those whose commitment did not involve any cash lost 3.4% of their body weight.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"If you are for gun control, your anticharity would be the National Rifle Association," Dr. …

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