If you're one of the millions of Americans who, as we head into swimsuit season, is dieting to take off the extra weight over the past year, HealthyWage
will pay you for your efforts.
The company pays cash prizes to dieters in three separate "challenges."
Reduce your body mass index from above 30 to below 25 in one year, and you'll get $100. Or if you're confident you'll lose the weight, pay $300 up front and you'll get $1,000 for dropping the pounds. Or, instead, take the 10% challenge, where, for a $150 buy in, you'll earn $300 for losing 10% of your body weight in six months. Those who have dieting partners can band together in teams of five to compete for a $10,000 grand prize for the team that loses the greatest percentage of weight over three months.
The payouts are generated by participant fees, corporate sponsors that contact participants through the website and companies that offer HealthyWage as part of their employee wellness program.
As a bonus, you're likely to lose more weight if you have a financial incentive than if no money is involved, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
. (A caveat: the study didn't show that people were more likely to keep the weight off.)
Since the company's inception in 2009, people have earned almost $1 million by losing almost 2 million pounds, said HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry, who called his company a "fantastic way to earn a little extra cash while getting healthy."