August 25, 2011 11:41 ET

Bride-to-Be Loses More Than 100 Pounds in 9-Months, Gains Big Money Through Innovative Weight-Loss Contest That's Paid Winners Over $100,000 Year-to-Date

Dieting for Dollars: Proven Effective Health Incentive Paradigm Motivates Engaged Woman to Successfully Shed 106 Pounds, and Win $1,600, in Preparation for Her September 2011 Nuptials; HealthyWage Only Company in the Nation Paying Americans to Lose Weight via Diet/Fitness Regimen of Choice Through Fun Competitions and Other Lucrative Cash Reward-Based Programs

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 25, 2011) - After just 9-months of effort, 39 year old bride-to-be Jana Weeks is more than 100 pounds lighter -- and her bank account is $1,600 heavier to show for it. Weeks is among thousands of Americans from coast to coast who have shed more than 42,000 collective pounds, winning more than $100,000 collective dollars year-to-date through innovative "Matchups" -- 3-month long weight-loss contests that award top-performing individual and corporate teams with a total of $18,000 in cash prizes -- that are being executed across nation by HealthyWage™ (, the only company in the U.S. offering Americans the opportunity to make money losing weight as a complement to any diet and/or fitness regimen they choose to follow (Weight Watchers®, Jenny Craig®, Nutrisystem®, Atkins®, or any other formal or informal diet/fitness program). HealthyWage is founded on research that proves cash rewards triple effectiveness of weight loss programs -- a finding that has come to bear with the success of its own "money motivation" model duly inspiring its program participants to achieve and maintain diet, fitness, health and wellness goals -- and earn substantial amounts of cold, hard cash in kind.

Participants in HealthyWage Matchup contests have realized notable results, with median weight loss of 4.7% and more than 40% of participants losing over 5% of their body weight -- a clinically significant amount associated with improved health and lowered health care costs. In addition to those participating at the individual level, large U.S. employers joining in HealthyWage Matchup contests -- including CDW, Mesirow Financial, New York & Company, Huntsman, General Electric, Noble Energy, Healthfirst, and many large hospitals, school districts and municipal governments -- have experienced similar success with their respective employee groups shedding approximately 5% of their body weight in HealthyWage Matchup initiatives.

Even amid the extensive amount of collective weight loss among individual and corporate Matchup participants, Weeks' astounding success losing more than 100 pounds on the unique program exceeded even the company's high expectations. HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry notes, "Monetary incentives serve to enhance the effectiveness of, and complement, weight-loss programs of any and all sorts, especially when paid out quickly like our Matchup contests. In fact, financial health incentives are a growing trend, with more than 50% of self-insured employers in the U.S now offering some type of financial inducement as part of their healthcare program. Jana Weeks' tremendous amount of weight loss on our program is overt validation and proof-positive that cash is an extremely powerful motivation tool even for those facing daunting, lifestyle-based health challenges."

Weeks explains, "The thought of winning the money for my wedding and not letting my teammates down was constantly on my mind. Through 'unofficial' weigh-ins, my teammates held me accountable each week... I have enjoyed participating in the contest. It gave me accountability that I didn't have before and with my competitive nature, it got me to where I needed to go." Learn more about Weeks' success story here

How it Works
Competing in teams of 5 against family, friends, and co-workers for added encouragement, bragging rights and huge cash prizes, Matchup initiatives leverage the company's social network methodology proven to help motivate and sustain weight-loss. Matchup teams compete for the greatest percentage of weight lost over a 3-month period. To help ensure a healthy approach, HealthyWage allows a maximum 1.5% body weight loss per person, per week. Each participant pays a $60 registration fee (equating to $20 per month) and weighs in at the beginning and end of the contest at a local health clubs working in partnership with HealthyWage. The winning teams will receive a total of $18,000 in cash prizes ($10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, and $3,000 for third).

Weeks, along with all participants in HealthyWage Matchup challenges, also qualifies for $100 cash if she remains at a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 25 12-months after starting the challenge. HealthyWage offers this as a cash "maintenance" incentive so that all participants in its team challenges have the opportunity to earn a financial prize if they achieve a healthy weight. The combination of a huge cash reward and a maintenance cash incentive has been effective in garnering strong program participation and facilitating long-term weight loss among contestants.

In addition to its Matchup competitions, HealthyWage also offers its pioneering "BMI Challenge" program that pays $1,000 to those who invest $300 to participate and move from an obese BMI classification (greater than 30) to a normal BMI (less than 25) over a year's time, while following a few rules and checking in on a weekly basis. For those who prefer to participate in the BMI Challenge for free, without any up-front investment, HealthyWage offers the option to earn $100 for achieving these same term-based BMI goals. To date, more than 20% of individuals who committed their own money have won the cash prize and achieved a healthy weight through HealthyWage's pioneering BMI Challenge.

"While our company pays all Americans $100 to lose weight as a standard part of our flagship 'BMI Challenge' program where participation fees may not apply, we've found that the free $100 cash incentive is more effective at motivating weight loss when coupled with a contest like our Matchups, which build excitement and peer support in working toward weight-loss goals," Roddenberry says.

HealthyWage is at the forefront of the health incentives trend -- efforts the company hopes will counter costly alternatives overweight and obese individuals will face up ahead. This includes the recent health care bill Affordable Care Act (Section 2705) stipulating that, starting in 2014, employers can use measures such as BMI to adjust health insurance premiums based on outcome-based wellness incentives by up to 30% -- up from the current 20% level. In addition, Arizona recently proposed charging obese residents on Medicaid $50 as a financial penalty for being overweight. The proposition is currently under review, with similar consideration being given in other states.

Individuals do not have to be affiliated with a corporation to participate in HealthyWage contests. Those interested in learning more about HealthyWage and its various cash incentive-based weight loss programs may do so online at

About HealthyWage™
Health and wellness purveyor HealthyWage provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to address our nation's obesity epidemic and improve America's collective health. The company was founded in response to academic research that proves even small cash rewards triple the effectiveness of weight-loss programs; that people are more effective at losing weight when their own money is at risk; and that social networks play a large role in the spread of obesity, and will likely play a large role in reversing obesity. Learn more online at

Note to Editors: High-resolution art, interview with Jana Weeks and/or a HealthyWage spokesperson available by request.

Contact Information

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    Merilee Kern
    Kern Communications
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