LONDON, April 29 (UPI) -- A British program that "bribed" people to lose weight was successful, with participants dropping an average 8.8 pounds and getting about $360, researchers said.
A study of 400 people who took part in a controversial "pounds for pounds" initiative by the National Health Service said almost half of them lost more than 5 percent of their body weight, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
The year-long program was set up by NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent with the help of a private company called Weight Wins. Many of the participants were NHS workers who were put on weight-loss plans of varying lengths and then weighed at the end of them.
Those taking part received weight loss guidance and advice and received payments for meeting weight loss goals.
Academic researchers analyzing the result said the program works as well as other weight-loss programs and could be extended nationwide.
"The successful recruitment to this program suggests that a financial incentives weight-loss program may be acceptable to the general public and to NHS employees, and to both men and women," Clare Renton of the University of Sheffield said.