When you overeat and don’t exercise, you are gambling with your health. Now, you can quite literally gamble on your health, with the help of a dieting website.
It’s referred to as “bet dieting,” where participants lay a wager on a specific amount of pounds they want to lose. If they don’t make their goal, they lose their money. Presumably, if you win, the reward is your weight loss. All weight loss has to be verified by a referee.
The founders of the StickK bet dieting website claim an effective way to encourage people to lose weight is to get them to nominate a charity whose views they disagree with to receive money if they fail.
“We chose some highly contentious issues, for instance global warming, abortion and gay marriage,” says ordan Goldberg, co-founder of the StickK bet.
“The idea is you choose an organization whose views are contrary to your own as an added incentive to stay motivated to succeed.”
While the betting idea is inventive and people have seen success, some experts remain skeptical.
“The problem is once the incentive scheme has finished we don’t know if they carry on being successful after that,” says Professor Richard Ashcroft, of the Centre for the Study of Incentives in Health in the UK. “We don’t know if people manage to stay with the weight loss or exercise regime once the incentive is taken away.”