How to Create Weight Loss Incentives


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View this webinar to learn how to create effective weight loss incentives that lead to positive outcomes. Penny Moore, Chief Rrevenue Officer at ShapeUp, and Lucas Coffeen, ShapeUp’s Product Manager, will talk through the best way to incent for healthy weight, including:

- What the research says about encouraging weight loss
- Why incentives are an important part of overall wellness programs
- Which behaviors to reward and which to avoid
- How to properly use incentives as a motivational tool

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How to Create Weight Loss Incentives

  1. 1. Copyright © 2013 ShapeUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary & Confidential shapeup.comHOW TO CREATE WEIGHTLOSS INCENTIVESJune 25, 2013
  2. 2. Penny MooreChief Growth Officerpmoore@shapeup.comLucas CoffeenProduct Managerlcoffeen@shapeup.comMeghan Oates-ZaleskyVP of Marketingmzalesky@shapeup.comToday’s Webinar Team
  3. 3. Agenda• The ever-changing landscape• Incentives research and theory• Incenting outcomes: how do we do it?• Incenting for weight loss• Beyond weight loss3
  4. 4. Creating a healthier world byleveraging social influence to engagepeople in healthy activities4
  5. 5. The Current Wellness Landscape• An increasingly sedentary workforce• ACA incentives rulings• HIPAA compliance requirements• Debate over legality of incentives• Ongoing conversation about what’s next in wellness incentives5
  6. 6. Current Incentive Trends17th Annual Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health, Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care, 2012
  7. 7. ShapeUp’s Research020406080100%Average ratingNot OfferingIncentivesOffering IncentivesType of IncentivesConsequencesBoth Rewards andConsequencesRewardsShapeUp FECS Survey, 2013
  8. 8. Uniting The Best Research From Multiple Realms8• Obesity and weight loss• Productivity and workplace healthdynamics• Social communities and health andwellness• Behavior changes and habits• Incentives and gamification
  9. 9. Daniel Pink’s Wisdom• Two kinds of motivators: extrinsic andintrinsic• Financial incentives are an extrinsicmotivator• Effective for simple, straightforward taskswith low cognitive load• “Take a health assessment and abiometric screening, get $500.”• Fails for tasks with high cognitive load• “Improve your cholesterol, bloodpressure, or blood glucose, get $500.”
  10. 10. The Power of Intrinsic Motivation10• Intrinsic motivation is extremely powerful• Ex: training for marathons, adopting avegan diet, lose weight for classreunion• Intrinsic motivation is comprised of threecomponents:• Autonomy• Mastery• Purpose** The most effective incentives will be linked to atleast one of these three components.**
  11. 11. Autonomy11• Research has show that people place ahigh value on self-direction.• What this means for incentives:• Reward behaviors that can be done in personalways• Design incentives so that they reward people ontheir own, individual timeline• Do not be prescriptive or draconian aboutoutcomes• Solution:• Real-time rewards• Reward small behaviors rather than largeoutcomes
  12. 12. Mastery• Studies suggest that people gain personalsatisfaction from mastering tasks andovercoming obstacles.• What this means for incentives:• Keep rewards focused on smaller tasks that can bemastered• Do not set the bar too high• Do not preempt feelings of defeat and failure byincenting behaviors that require certain levels ofphysical fitness or health• Solution:• Use incremental, behavioral rewards to reach alarger, overarching outcome12
  13. 13. Purpose• The scientists agree: People arepurpose-driven.• What this means for incentives:• Employees need to understand theimportance of an incented behavior• The “big picture” must be visible andcomprehensive• Show people what’s in it for them• Solution:• Rewards habits that add up to outcomes• Use incentives to prioritize the mosteffective behaviors for good health13
  14. 14. Key Takeaways• Our challenges:• Get employees to lose weight• Be inclusive of entire workforce• Use incentive money wisely• Key Takeaways• Appeal to intrinsic motivators• Focus on low cognitive load behaviors• Design incentives around:• Real time rewards• Small behaviors• Creating healthy habits that lead to thedesired outcome14
  17. 17. The Effect of Self-Weighing on Weight Loss17Steinberg, et al. (2013) “The efficacy of a daily self-weighing weight loss intervention using smart scales and email”, Obesity.
  18. 18. The Relationship18Self-WeighingEatingBehaviorsExerciseBehaviorsWeight LossSteinberg, Tate (2010) “Mechanisms linking daily self-weighing and weight loss in adults”, SBM Annual Meeting Presentation
  19. 19. Research on Frequency19Linde, et al. (2005) “Self-weighing in weight gainprevention and weight loss trials”, Ann Behav MedWelsh, et al. (2009) “Is Frequent Self-weighing Associated withPoorer Body Satisfaction? Findings from a Phone-basedWeight Loss Trial”, J Nutr Educ Behav.
  20. 20. The Incentive20• Self-weighing in adults can produce clinically significant weightloss.• Self-weighing requires a low cognitive load that appeals tointrinsic motivators• Personal, autonomous action• Simple and easy to master• Serves a greater purpose – healthy weight!• Self-weighing is the ideal incented behavior to reachweight loss out comes.The Incentive: Weigh Yourself Five Times A Week
  21. 21. Copyright © 2013 ShapeUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary & Confidential shapeup.comSHAPEUP’S INCENTIVEPHILOSOPHY
  22. 22. 4 Incentive Questions to Consider1. What is the desired outcome?2. What are low-cognitive load behaviors that contribute to thatoutcome?3. How can we use technology to reach the desired outcome?4. How can we appeal to people’s intrinsic motivators ofautonomy, mastery, and purpose?22
  23. 23. ShapeUp’s Incentive Philosophy• Incentives can prompt initial engagement• Incentives need to work in conjunction with social rewards• We leverage three proven behavioral economic concepts:Reward ProgressReward in Real-TimeReward Actions23
  24. 24. Tracking To Earn Rewards24
  25. 25. ShapeUp Incentive Examples25
  26. 26. Closing Remarks26
  27. 27. 27
  28. 28. APPENDIX
  29. 29. The Literature29Date Author Conclusions2010 Steinberg &TateDaily self-weighing is associated with greater weight loss. This effect is mediatedvia behaviors that produce caloric deficits. 6 month weight loss: greaterengagement in eating and exercise behaviors. 12 month weight loss: greaterengagement in eating behaviors. Daily self-weighing may be the more appropriatefrequency recommendation.2009 VanWormer, etalSelf-weighing may be a strategy to enhance behavioral weight-loss programs.Weekly self-weighing seems to be a reasonable, evidence-supportedrecommendation for successful weight loss, but more research is warranted todetermine the independent contribution of self-weighing to successful weight loss,as well as its potential risk of negative psychological impact.2009 Welsh, et al These findings support frequent self-weighing for weight control. There appears tobe little or no effect of self-weighing on body satisfaction. Future research shouldreplicate these findings across a larger, more diverse population of overweightadults.2008 VanWormer, etalBased on the consistency of the evidence reviewed, frequent self-weighing, at thevery least, seems to be a good predictor of moderate weight loss, less weightregain, or the avoidance of initial weight gain in adults. Other open questions to bepursued include the optimal dose of self-weighing, as well as the risks posed fornegative psychological consequences.2005 Linde, et al Results support the idea that daily weighing is valuable to individuals trying to loseweight or prevent weight gain. Daily self-weighing should be emphasized in clinicaland public health messages about weight control. Experimental studies on theeffects of weighing frequency in these contexts are recommended.
  30. 30. The Literature30Date Author ConclusionsTBD Steinberg, et al These results indicate that an intervention focusing on daily self-weighing canproduce clinically significant weight loss.2013 Kakuma, et al These findings raise the possibility that frequent self-weighing contributes tofavorable glycemic control independent of prospective weight loss. The studysuggests that daily self-weighing should be recommended for type 2 diabetespatients as a clinical health message about glycemic control.2012 Butryn, et al Consistent self-weighing may help individuals maintain their successful weight lossby allowing them to catch weight gains before they escalate and make behaviorchanges to prevent additional weight gain. While change in self-weighing frequencyis a marker for changes in other parameters of weight control, decreasing self-weighing fre-quency is also independently associated with greater weight gain.2012 Kloss, et al Results suggest that self-weighing is a fairly common behavior, but its relationshipwith body image is complex and gender-specific.2011 Oshima, et al A self-weighing twice per day plus daily target setting and feedback is moreeffective in promoting weight loss than once-daily self-measurement.2011 Vanwormer The collective findings suggest that over two years:...(2) self-weighing may be mostbeneficial for obese individuals who increase their self-weighing frequency overtime. More intense efforts on the primary prevention of weight gain that decreasesthe proportion of newly obese employees, perhaps via broad-based physical activityprograms and stronger emphases on frequent self-weighing, may be necessary toachieve long-term weight change and economic benefits for employers.