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Research Areas


National Institute on Aging

A Randomized Trial of Financial Incentives for Maintenance of Weight Loss

Identifying effective strategies for treating obesity is both a clinical challenge and a public health priority. While a variety of approaches are successful in achieving initial weight loss, techniques for maintenance of initial weight loss have largely been unsuccessful. This randomized controlled trial will compare the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of lottery-based incentives, traditional direct payments, and daily feedback without incentives among patients who successfully lost at least 5 kg over 6 months during participation in Weight Watchers (Pre Phase). Incentives will be provided to some study participants for the following 6 months (Phase I), and subjects will be followed for 6 more months to examine effects following cessation of incentives (Phase II).