Giving obese people cash payments to shed pounds can lead to substantial weight loss, research out today suggests.
An NHS-backed scheme has paid out tens of thousands of pounds in “air miles for dieters”.
Now more people are being recruited to the programme, which pays a maximum of £3,000 for those with the most to lose.
Under the Weight Wins scheme, overweight people sign up for a slimming programme.
They earn cash payments for every pound they lose while dieting and then a 50% “bonus” if they manage to keep the weight off for several months.
Final rewards range from £80 to £3,000, depending upon the length of the plan and how much weight needs to be lost.
Data published today on 745 dieters found people lost more than a stone on average (7.2% of their body weight).
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: “There are any number of people with a master plan to help you lose weight but this scheme pays you back for sticking to it. Schemes that give you financial reward as well as long-term weight loss must be appealing on both counts.”