No pious jackasses sit around pondering “Should Christians Take Insulin?” No insufferably holier-than-thou idiots pretend it would be deeply spiritual if they said, “Rattlesnake anti-venom can help, but it can also hinder our reliance on Christ.” Or “An emergency appendectomy may sometimes be beneficial, but only if we’re careful not to allow it to overshadow our true savior.”
Obesity Panacea debunks the latest “Paying people to lose weight is the ticket!” study, noting that the weight was regained during the 3-month follow-up:
Over the course of the 4 month intervention individuals in the incentive groups earned an average of approximately $300, in contrast to $0 awarded to those in the control group. Interestingly, the average weight loss achieved by those receiving a financial incentive was significantly greater as compared to that of the control group (13-14lbs vs. 4 lbs, respectively). Furthermore, only 10% of individuals in the control group versus approximately 50% of those in the incentive groups achieved the target weight-loss of 16lbs.
However, during a subsequent 3-month follow-up, study participants gained back much of the lost weight after the cessation of the financial incentives – a finding which is common to most, if not all, weight-loss intervention studies.
[I]ts a cute and gimmicky approach to providing incentive for weight loss, and the idea makes for great headlines (as recently illustrated). I’m sure financial incentives can work for some, but this is no obesity panacea.
At ASDAH’s HAES Blog, Fall Ferguson has an interesting question about the opportunity cost of society’s obsession with weight & thinness:
[W]hat do we forego as a society when we allocate precious social, economic, cognitive, emotional, and physiological resources toward pursuing and maintaining our weight-based paradigm of health?
Some of the damages discussed are to public health, proper health care for many thin and fat people, productivity, fun, creativity, self-esteem, and happiness. I know many who’ve found that abandoning weight loss efforts provided more time and energy for LIFE, such as school and work. (In our current culture, it can also mean accepting difference.) But it’s worth thinking about: What could be accomplished if we weren’t wasting so much effort on weight?