QUICK LINKS
MY ACCOUNT
Cash Pending:
Cash Available:
Payment Requested:
Payment Processed:
Lifetime Cash Back:

Earn money for losing weight, Ponzi scheme or brilliant idea?

First page
1 of 6
suezyque
1/22/13 9:54 AM
This was posted in Hot Deals, but I feel it's a topic worth discussion here in Finance.

You have to put up some of your own money for the chance to double it (or more) by losing weight. It sounds like a twist on a Ponzi scheme. I can see this being fraught with disaster.

Healthy Wage
WikiPost
1/22/13 9:54 AM
I'm the original poster of this deal on FW.

This was my original post in Hot Deals -- http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1252592/

It would have been efficient (not to mention courteous) to link to my post at the start of this thread, so Finance forum participants would have known some of the facts before speculating on the speculation.

Unfortunately, this thread here in Finance was founded on a misunderstanding and/or a misreading of my post -- you do NOT have to put up your own money to make money from this deal.

It says that clearly in my original thread: "And there's the "BMI Challenge" which is free to enter and pays $100 if you get your body mass down from obese to healthy in 12 months."

-Nantucketsunrise
chantspel
1/22/13 10:06 AM
Looking at their FAQ, it seems they might have some government funding.

FAQ said:

This seems too good to be true---where does the reward money come from?
HealthyWage is financially supported by insurers, health systems and hospitals, food companies, and the government. Government and corporate leaders know that incentives work and are a cost effective solution (paying incentives costs less than paying for health care for an obese population)



If that is the case, it might be legitimate.
mikemagik
1/22/13 10:08 AM
This one sounds very scam-y. Even if its not, it seems unsustainable. Since you have to wait 6 months to a year to cash out, who knows if it will still be around to pay you. Definitely Ponzi-esque.

There's another version out there though that seemed more reasonable. I can't find it right now, but it looked sustainable, at least. The idea was you put in some amount, and did the weight loss challenge. In the end, everyone who succeeded (by whatever measure) would split the winnings from those who failed. In the worst case, everyone cheats and you just get your money back.

EDIT: On second look, there are a lot of news articles about it, so it seems at least legit. Guess it's the sort of thing that can finance itself with outside funding even without a business model.
turtlebug
1/22/13 10:13 AM
It does offer $100 (without having to put up any money of your own) if a person starts with a 30+ BMI and get under a 25 BMI within 12 months. For some people, a financial incentive makes them more motivated (like paying for grades).




What is HealthyWage?
HealthyWage provides heath incentive programs that make weight loss fun and successful. The company was founded in response to academic research that proves that 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.

How does HealthyWage work?
We offer three programs that pay you to lose weight: The Matchup, the 10% Challenge, and the BMI Challenge. You can participate in one, two or all three programs at the same time.

How does the Matchup work? The Matchup is a three-month weight loss challenge in which teams of five compete to win $18,000 in cash prizes (first prize is $10,000; second place is $5,000; third place is $3,000). The winning team is the one that loses the greatest percentage of weight during the contest. Teams are forming now!

How does the 10% Challenge work?
The 10% Challenge allows you to bet on your weight loss and double your money for losing 10% of your weight in six months. At registration, you pay $150. We pay you $300 six months later if you have lost 10% of your weight. You have both your starting and ending weight verified and you self-report your weight on the website once per week. Take the 10% Challenge!

How does the BMI Challenge work?
You get paid to lose weight over the course of one year. Our free program pays you $100 if you start obese (BMI above 30) and get to a healthy weight (BMI below 25) after 12-months. If you want to win more money (up to $1,000), you put up some of your own money. Take the BMI Challenge!

This seems too good to be true---where does the reward money come from?
HealthyWage is financially supported by insurers, health systems and hospitals, food companies, and the government. Government and corporate leaders know that incentives work and are a cost effective solution (paying incentives costs less than paying for health care for an obese population).


Do I need to have my weight verified?
Yes---twice: once at the beginning, and once at the end of your challenge(s).

Where do I get my weight verified?
You can get your weight verified at your health club, doctor or Weight Watchers meeting. If you do not belong to a health club or Weight Watchers, itís easy to arrange a visit at one of our health club partners. The weigh-ins are free and do not require that you become a member of the club.
MaynardKeynes
1/22/13 10:27 AM
I bet this is legit. They seem to have outside funding and I bet a bunch of people fail or will fail their challenges. If $150 seems like a lot to lose, think about all the people who purchase gym memberships who never use them after the first month or so.
germanpope
1/22/13 10:28 AM
I wouldn't assume ponzi scheme. But they should be transparent with their financial plan. What is their total exposure? What funding source is available to cover an unexpected response? Who specifically is paying for this? Is their insurance company underwriting this thing?

They should provide these answers. Saying you are on NBC tells us nothing. That is the network that has had people just make shit up for ratings.
stanolshefski
1/22/13 10:31 AM
MaynardKeynes said:   

I bet this is legit. They seem to have outside funding and I bet a bunch of people fail or will fail their challenges. If $150 seems like a lot to lose, think about all the people who purchase gym memberships who never use them after the first month or so.



...And many of them signed three-years contracts.
mattun
1/22/13 10:52 AM
Office Pool Biggest Loser contests work well too. I bulk up and lose 25 pounds a couple times a year for the free cash off a 2nd to 5th place finish. Nobody seems to mind since I run the excel sheet tracking the week-to-week changes. The yo-yo weight loss will probably kill me however.
Caryite
1/22/13 11:20 AM
I looked into it before I joined within the past month and find it an easy and motivating way to burning off some holiday pounds to the tune of 10% over 6 months. As noted above, they're gettting most of their money from online advertising and companies in the business of weight loss. I read on one link that only 40% who sign up actually achieve their goal. I found that lower than expected, but then again, not everyone may know what they're doing before joining and may not be able to stick with what works for them.

Anyone can PM me who plans to join for a reference # from a fellow FW'er.
First page
1 of 6
Please select a reason for your RED vote:







You may be contacted via Private Message during the investigation of this issue.
Loading...