Reporting Susan Koeppen
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – You’ve heard of bowling for dollars, but what about dieting for dollars?
A new weight loss program is offering big cash rewards if you can shed some pounds.
It’s weight loss with a twist where you gamble on yourself.
KDKA-TV’s Susan Koeppen met up with five co-workers who decided to give the weight loss gamble a try.
They call themselves the “skinny-dippers.”
“We are excited, it’s awesome, it’s a great incentive,” the group said.
The fab five are in a competition with teams across the country. If you lose the most weight, your team wins $10,000.
“I think working as a team is the best part because we can check on each other. We are enjoying it and hoping to bring home that $10,000,” Julia Burkhart said.
Lose weight, gain money is the brainchild of HealthyWage CEO David Roddenberry. His company’s concept is simple in that gambling on losing weight works.
“You’re putting up some money to win money. It’s making weight loss fun, more achievable and more successful,” Roddenberry said.
The company offers three different programs:
The BMI challenge: Wager $300 to win $1,000 if you lower your BMI from obese to normal in one year.
The 10 percent challenge: Wager: $100 to win $200 if you lose 10 percent of your body weight in six months.
Then, there’s the team challenge.
That’s what the “skinny-dippers” are doing. They gamble $60 dollars each and their team has three months to lose the most weight to win $10,000.
Amy Goodman, a team member, said thinking about the money helps.
“The $10,000 is a real good motivation,” Goodman said.
The team started back in November of 2011, and three months later they were lighter, healthier, but unfortunately not $10,000 richer.
“We didn’t win the money, but we certainly lost the weight,” Nancy Mallinder said.
They lost a combined 93 pounds, shed seven percent of their body weight and they came in 23rd out of 205 teams.
“We feel really good. I mean it’s a pretty big accomplishment. We wanted to be one, but 23 I think is pretty good,” Burkhart said.
The “skinny-dippers” aren’t ready to give up either. They’re already gambling again. They have until April 20, 2012, to lose the weight.
HealthyWage said it handed out $500,000 in winnings to participants in 2011.
For more information visit the HealthyWage website here.