Has Dubai discovered the secret to inspiring people to lose weight?
Could it be.... GOLD?
|Photo courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com/creative/cohdra|
Turns out the Western culture has infiltrated everything. Including their waistline. Time reports that over half of Dubai's citizens are overweight.
The Dubai government designed an incentivized weight-loss challenge. Cut the weight out and get the pay out. IN GOLD! Roughly $41 per two pounds.
Here's why it will never work.
Money is an extrinsic reward. When the incentive ends. So does the motivation.
A guy from Meghan's work was paid $10 a pound to lose weight. He lost 100 lbs. and made a cool $1000.
He gained it all back....and then some. This 100 lb. roller coaster ride happened in two years. As soon as the money stopped, so did the behavior.
The same pattern held true in my life. I was offered money and rewards for good grades. Whether it was cold hard cash or visits to Chuck E. Cheese I was rewarded for performing well in school. When the incentives stopped my grades slipped.
To lose weight (for good) and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle a person needs a strong, personal intrinsic motivator.
You need a belief in the reason. It can't just be about bikini season. Or gold.
Sorry Dubai, I'm afraid your plan is doomed to fail.
Do you think Dubai's challenge would be more effective if participants had to pay the money back if they gained the weight back?
Leave a comment. Tell us what you think.