Companies Offer Cash To Employees To Lose Weight
Companies are betting that cash incentives will make employees want to lose weight and get healthier in other ways, The Associated Press reports. A third of companies in the U.S. offer such incentives. "Take OhioHealth, a hospital chain whose workforce is mostly overweight. The company last year embarked on a program that paid employees to wear pedometers and get paid for walking. The more they walk, the more they win - up to $500 a year. Anecdotal success stories are everywhere. Half of the 9,000 employees at the chain's five main hospitals signed up, more than $377,000 in rewards have already been paid out, and many workers tell of weight loss and a sudden need for slimmer clothes." Some are skeptical of the incentives, however, as "[o]nly about 15 to 20 U.S. studies have tried to evaluate the effect of financial incentives on weight loss. Most of those studies were small and didn't look at whether such measures worked beyond a few months. None could make conclusions about how much money it takes to make a lasting difference for most people." Smaller studies have reported some success in the programs, however (Stobbe, 6/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.