Don’t you just hate it when somebody gripes and moans about a problem, yet offers no solution to solve that problem? Me, too. 

big belly of a fat man and measuring tape isolated on whiteThat’s why I followed up with a local program working on aforementioned gripe.

A little back-up story: I was perusing our downtown library awhile back and noticed a large kiosk that read, “Get Paid to Lose Weight!” (or something along that vein). When I checked it out, the kiosk consisted of a private booth with a computerized scale. I thought, What a brilliant idea. Maybe the rest of the country will catch on to this.

Months later, I just so happened to run into a couple of women wearing t-shirts bearing the program’s name. One of them, Jillian Tongate, Marketing Manager at Weigh and Win, was kind enough to sit down with me to answer a few questions.

303 Magazine: Tell me how Weigh and Win came about.

Jillian: Overweight and obesity rates are rising at alarming rates in Colorado and across the country, which is why Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit health plan, partnered with a wellness technology company, incentaHEALTH, to provide Coloradoans {sic} with access to an effective weight management and prevention program. The program began in March 2011 with four kiosks and has quickly expanded to 48 kiosks and over 39,000 participants to date.

Carletta Alber, Weigh and Win success story Phot courtesy of Weigh and Win

Carletta Alber, Weigh and Win success story
Photo courtesy of Weigh and Win

Who is eligible?

Weigh and Win is free to all Coloradans 18 and older. Participants who begin the program with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or greater receive quarterly cash rewards according to the percentage of weight loss. If you are at a healthy weight you can still participate in the program and are eligible to win monthly prizes just for participating.

Does it cost anything?

The program is 100% free to anyone who is interested in living a healthier lifestyle AND we pay you as you achieve a healthier weight.

How often does Weigh and Win pay out?

Weigh and Win pays out cash rewards on a quarterly basis based on your percentage of weight improvement. For example, a 5 percent weight loss would result in a $15 reward, all the way up to a $150 reward for a 30 percent weight loss. Rewards are also provided for maintaining weight loss over each quarter and all participants, regardless of weight, are eligible to win monthly prizes just for participating.

Who funds the program?

Weigh and Win is funded predominately by Kaiser Permanente through their Community Benefit division, in addition to community partners and stakeholders such as local retailers, city municipalities and recreation centers.

What are the average success rates?

The average weight improvement for successful Weigh and Win participants after one year in the program is 17 pounds or an eight percent weight loss. For someone who is overweight or obese, a five to seven percent weight loss can delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Well, there you have it. If you know someone who needs that last extra nudge, maybe Weigh and Win is your answer to entice them to move toward a healthier, more active lifestyle.  How could anyone say ‘no’ to financial reward for their hard work?

Here’s a little ammunition to bolster your case:

  • at time of publishing, over 100,000 pounds have been lost by Weigh and Win participants
  • 38,500 new enrollments
  • 48 kiosks state-wide, including 11 traveling kiosks that are being shared among partners in communities such as Denver, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Loveland, Pueblo, Routt County, Durango, and Walsenburg.

We’ve got a big mountain to climb, but with support from companies like Kaiser Permanente and incentaHEALTH and programs like Weigh and Win, I believe Colorado stands a chance at taking a stand against obesity.

PT-color-headshot-I3Jodilyn Stuart is the Health & Sports Senior Staff Writer for 303 Magazine, owner of ModaBody Fitness, and has been a professional fitness geek since 1997. If you have questions, feel free to email at: [email protected]