Rising rates of overweight and obesity are of serious concern in Canada. Until recently, discussion of policy options to promote healthier lifestyles has ignored the topic of direct financial incentives. The idea of paying people to lose weight or adopt healthier behaviours is now attracting study and debate. Some governments and companies are already experimenting with reward programs.
Available evidence indicates that financial incentives help promote short-term change, but there is a dearth of evidence on longer-term programs and outcomes. Targeted incentives for specific risk groups have shown more success. With creative design, targeted use and evaluation, financial incentives for weight loss and healthy behaviour may be a useful addition to the health policy toolkit. …read more