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Poor compliance? This might be why
Money does matter
When Barbara Hayden, RN, COHN-S, an occupational health nurse with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Main Interior Building Health Unit in Washington, DC, started a weight loss program in January 2009, she expected to see big results.
The group of 30 employees all had the same stated goal: To lose at least 30 pounds in 30 weeks. "We called it the '30/30 Club'" Hayden reports. "This was my first attempt at such a thing, and I was such a rookie!"
Hayden assumed that losing the weight would be reward enough. She expected that all that was needed was the moral support of weekly meetings and weigh-ins to motivate everyone.
"I was wrong! Half the group faded away after six weeks, and only two people permanently lost weight," she says. "I learned that there have to be stronger incentives to help people lose weight. Obesity is such a stubborn and multi-factorial problem."
Hayden says that if she tries this again, she will partner with a wellness coach, "and would definitely use some irresistible incentives. Without an incentive of any kind, I've found that weigh loss clubs do not work."
Talei Akahoshi, director of occupational health at Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta, GA, says, "What I have learned over the last several years is that money does matter. You get better results if incentives are tied to health plan benefits. Everyone wants to know what's in it for them."