Solution for the obesity crisis

Two months before the end of the school semester, my 11-year-old grandson was apparently struggling (I thought), with D grades in every subject. No amount of inspiration or coercion seemed to work. So, I did the unthinkable: I bribed him. He would get $10 for every A and B on his final report card. Well, I was shocked (and much poorer) when he ended up with all A's and B's. He was very happy, since he wanted a new video game. I asked him how he did it. "Oh, it was simple," he replied, "I turned in all my homework." Little did I know that bribery may solve the obesity problem, as well. According to Eric Finklestein, a health economist with RTI International, a non-profit research company in Research Triangle Park, N.C., money motivates people to slim down, reports USA today. Finklestein teamed up with researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to recruit more than 200 overweight or obese employees in North Carolina. Participants were not given a structured diet or fitness program, and a third got no financial reward for weight loss after three months. But a third was told they would receive $7 for every 1 percent drop in body weight, and a third was promised $14 for every 1 percent decrease. Three months later, those who got nothing lost an average of two pounds. Those in the $7 group lost three pounds, and the group promised $14 lost five pounds each. According to Finklestein the price of obesity at a company with 1,000 employees is about $285,000 a year in increased medical costs and absenteeism, which leads to higher health care premiums. Will employees get on board if they are bribed to lose weight? I don't know, but I've been eyeing the most perfect designer dress -- just in case. Source: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Financial Incentives on Weight Loss USA Today Money motivates people to slim down

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  • Different strokes for different folks.

    Clearly, $10 per A or B worked for your grandson, just as the promise of $14 for every percent body weight loss worked for some members of the North Carolina research study.

    Poor results, however, have driven health care insurance companies to stop monetary incentives for insured members who lose weight and successfully sustain their weight loss. A rather counter-productive move, considering the greater expense these companies face down the road from the medical effects of carrying excess weight.

    Data shows, in real life, financial incentives (for no matter what), even when substantial, appear to motivate only a fraction of the population, and even then, only for a short while. For some, fear (of the consequences) works as a better incentive. For others, nothing matters.

    In general though, it seems that poor choices are made simply because of lack of knowledge and understanding. The motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle and eating habits is generally ingrained in a person. Adopters, however, are created – mostly with education or upbringing.

    The times are such – that Americans in general regard weight loss and weight management as expensive propositions. Naturally, since many do not know how to select and prepare foods that do not add to their weight woes. The educated ones, however, know that good foods that are also good-for-you are plentiful, affordable, and easily incorporated even in the busiest of lives.

    The situation presents a great opportunity to food processors to offer consumers with an array of processed products that are tasty, convenient, easily available, affordable, and most of all, which can help satisfy their hunger pangs and need for tasty food without empty an excess calories.

    And the added bonus for all involved – is that such foods can help the bottom lines of both, companies and consumers.

    Dr. Au Fait

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  • Complications are either directly caused by obesity or indirectly related through mechanisms sharing a common cause such as a poor diet or a sedentary lifestyle. The strength of the link between obesity and specific conditions varies. One of the strongest is the link with type 2 diabetes. Excess body fat underlies 64% of cases of diabetes in men and 77% of cases in women.jordan kicks.

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