NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Joshua Price

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Working Papers

May 2009Outcomes in a Program that Offers Financial Rewards for Weight Loss
with John Cawley: w14987
Obesity rates in the U.S. have doubled since 1980. Given the medical, social, and financial costs of obesity, a large percentage of Americans are attempting to lose weight at any given time but the vast majority of weight loss attempts fail. Researchers continue to search for safe and effective methods of weight loss, and this paper examines one promising method - offering financial rewards for weight loss. This paper studies data on 2,407 employees in 17 worksites who participated in a year-long worksite health promotion program that offered financial rewards for weight loss. The intervention varied by employer, in some cases offering steady quarterly rewards for weight loss and in other cases requiring participants to post a bond that would be refunded at year's end conditional on ach...

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