A pilot study testing the effect of different levels of financial incentives on weight loss among overweight employees.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To test the ability of two levels of modest financial incentives to encourage weight loss among overweight employees.


This study used a randomized design with measurements at baseline, 3, and 6 months and two levels of financial incentives ($7 and $14 per percentage point of weight lost). Payments were structured so that all participants had equal ability to obtain the incentives during the study period.


At 3 months, participants with no financial incentive lost 2 pounds, those in the $7 group lost approximately 3 pounds, and those in the $14 group lost 4.7 pounds. Between baseline and 6 months, when the financial gains were equalized, weight losses were similar across groups.


This study revealed that modest financial incentives can be effective in motivating overweight employees to lose weight.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Finkelstein, EA; Linnan, LA; Tate, DF; Birken, BE

Published Date

  • September 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 981 - 989

PubMed ID

  • 17848854

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1536-5948

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1076-2752

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/jom.0b013e31813c6dcb


  • eng