Friday, August 17, 2007

Need cash? Lose weight!

You're probably going to think that I'm making this up. In the northern Italy town of Varallo, Mayor Gianluca Buonanno is offering cash rewards to its citizens not only to lose weight, but to keep it off as well. (Associated Press)
"We wanted to encourage people to lose weight, and we thought that both the money and the idea of joining a group could be stimulating," Buonanno said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Participants in the week-old Varallo initiative will be given $67 when they reach their ideal weight. If they don't gain any weight back after five months, they will receive $268.

If they maintain their ideal weight for a year, they will get $670 more. So far, 30 of the townsfolk have signed up, Buonanno said.
It's an intriguing idea, but will it work? People say that money is motivating. But, to maintain your ideal weight for one year for approximately $1000? Will the combination of less weight, increased health, and cold hard cash be the secret to success?


Scott said...

Very interesting. But I pity those poor folks having to walk past all that amazing Italian food and sip Slimfast with visions of a few bucks (and a healthier body) in their minds! The food in Italy is GOOD. I've lived there.

Pilgrim said...

Being a former heaveyweight myself and being in the unenviable position of having to motivate a large group I have to say it won't be sustainable. Motivators are different for everyone. Cash will spark and initial interest then fade away.

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like a great idea! I'd for sure be in. :)

Your Mother said...

If societal pressure and shame about weight don't work, why would cash?

If they follow these people's progress on TV or in the local paper, however, I think that will be what makes this work. The cash just brings them to the table. (Ha! "Table"!)

Hmm ... I'd lose my extra 15 pounds---and keep it off for a year---for $10K. Yep. $10K. But ... for being followed in the local paper along with 30 others ... I'd do it for free.

jbwritergirl said...

I guess I could do it if it involved getting all my calories from great french burgandy. Yeah...I could probably sustain myself on grapes if I absolutely had to.

PS: I'm back but have gone live. Come visit!

Rach said...

Sounds like a good incentive for developing an eating disorder... at least for me.