Plump Brits get paid to lose weight: Is money the next big diet fad?


If that too-tight Armani dress hanging in your closet doesn't inspire you to lose a few pounds, how about that hot date you've got planned or that high school reunion that's coming up? If none of that motivates you, how about money? According to entrepreneur Winton Rossiter, cold, hard cash is the greatest incentive of all. The Harvard MBA has come up with a scheme that allows people to earn money by losing weight. Britain's National Health Service (NHS) is currently testing his program and plans to make it available to everyone in this fast-growing (around the middle) country in 2010.

Rossiter's program, called Weight Wins, requires dieters to pay a £45 ($72) membership fee plus £10 ($16) per month in dues. Participants then earn cash rewards based on the amount of weight they lose: commit to shedding 50 pounds over seven months, then keep it off for five months, and you'll earn £300 ($478). Lose 150 pounds over 21 months, keep it off for three months, and you'll pocket £1,000 ($1,594). "We live in an incentive-driven culture," says Rossiter, a former financial analyst. "We study hard so we can get good grades, we get good grades so we can get a good job, we go to work on rainy Monday mornings so we can get a salary. So why not apply this basic motivational tool for something that is positive for yourself, which is to get healthy and solve your weight problems?"