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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Financial Incentives in Promoting Weight Loss Among Obese Individuals.

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00520611
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 24, 2007
Last Update Posted : June 11, 2015
Sponsor:
Collaborators:
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Pennsylvania

Brief Summary:

Obesity is a major cause of premature aging and the second leading cause of preventable mortality in the United States, accounting for approximately 110,000 deaths per year. Financial incentives have been effective in modifying a number of health behaviors but they have rarely been applied to weight loss, and to the best of our knowledge never to weight loss by low-SES obese veterans.

We propose testing two different approaches to using financial incentives to encourage weight loss. In the first, we build on previous work showing the effectiveness of 'deposit contracts', in which subjects are given the opportunity to put their own money at risk if they do not lose weight. In this incentive condition, subjects receive a direct payment conditional on daily weight loss, and an optional additional payment based on their own contributions to the deposit contract. We will match their contribution 1:1 to make the option of depositing their own money attractive to this predominantly low SES population. In the second approach we build on our own prior work using lotteries to promote drug adherence. In this incentive condition, participants are entered into a daily lottery, and receive any payoffs they earn from the lottery only if they stay on track with their weight-loss goal. Given their popularity in the general population, lotteries hold the promise of providing a cost-effective means of motivating weight loss and making efforts to lose weight more salient to obese patients.


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Obesity Behavioral: Financial Incentives Not Applicable

  Show Detailed Description

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 57 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Financial Incentives in Promoting Weight Loss Among Obese Individuals.
Study Start Date : June 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 2008
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2009

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Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Lottery
Participants are entered into daily lotteries to win $10 or $100 every day their weight is at or below daily targets.
Behavioral: Financial Incentives
Participants call in their weight on daily basis. Participants must report under their daily targets to qualify for entry into lottery. Call-in weights are verified at monthly weigh-ins.

Active Comparator: Deposit
Participants receive $3/day if they are at or below their daily weight goals, plus have opportunity to deposit up to $3/day of their own money, which is then matched 1:1 every day they are at or below their daily weight goals.
Behavioral: Financial Incentives
Participants call in their weight on daily basis. Participants must report under their daily targets to qualify to receive daily incentive. Call-in weights are verified at monthly weigh-ins.

No Intervention: Control
Participants would receive usual care from their providers and have monthly weigh ins.



Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Mean weight loss will be greater in both experimental groups compared to the control group by the end of 16 weeks [ Time Frame: 4 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Use the difference in weight loss measured at 16 weeks to project the long-term cost-effectiveness if weight loss is sustained [ Time Frame: 4 Months ]


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Ages Eligible for Study:   30 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • BMI between 30-40;
  • Age between 30-70;
  • At least moderately interested in losing weight (Self-reported 3,4, or 5 on 5 point scale)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Unstable medical conditions that would likely prevent the subject from completing the study;
  • Myocardial infarction within 6 months;
  • Uncontrolled hypertension, defined as BP>170 mm Hg systolic or BP>110 mm Hg diastolic;
  • Metastatic cancer;
  • Self-report of 6 or more alcoholic beverages per day;
  • Severe depression;
  • Active substance abuse;
  • Schizophrenia
  • Inability to read or severe cognitive deficits that would preclude ability to read consent form or fill out surveys.
  • Baseline participation in other weight loss programs.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00520611


Locations
United States, Pennsylvania
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pennsylvania
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Investigators
Principal Investigator: Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD Univesity of Pennsylvania
Study Director: George Loewenstein, PhD Carnegie Mellon University
Study Director: Leslie John, PhD cand. Carnegie Mellon University

Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: University of Pennsylvania
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00520611     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 00985
First Posted: August 24, 2007    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 11, 2015
Last Verified: January 2010

Keywords provided by University of Pennsylvania:
Obesity
Weight Loss
Financial Incentives
Lottery
Deposit

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Weight Loss
Body Weight Changes
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms