Game of Stones Study - Men Lose More Weight When Paid Cash

A study by the University of Stirling found that men may be more likely to lose weight with a cash...

A study by the University of Stirling found that men may be more likely to lose weight with a cash reward incentive and daily motivational text messages.   

The imaginatively titled Game of Stones (not to be confused with the Discovery Channel's TV show about gem mining) was designed specifically for male participants, as men are less likely to access weight loss support than women.   

Five hundred and eighty-five male participants in Scotland, England and Wales were randomly assigned to one of three groups. The first group received daily text messages and the chance to earn £400 through weight loss if they achieved their weight loss target after 12 months. The second group received just text messages. The third group received nothing.

The average age of participants was 51.   

The men in group one, which had financial incentives and daily text messages, lost on average 5% of their body weight. The second group recieving only text messages lost 3%, while group three lost 1%.    

Many participants also had additional issues impacting their ability to lose weight. For example, 39% lived in low socioeconomic areas. 29% had a disability. 40% had long-term chronic conditions, and 25% had a mental health condition. What's interesting, too, is that 73% of the participants also completed the 12-month follow-up.   

A nationwide program could be a low-cost means of addressing rising obesity in men. £400 per participant is a drop in the ocean compared to the reported '£6.5 billion' spent by the NHS annually on obesity-related health issues.  

What's interesting about this study is that it was male-specific. 

Dieting and weight loss interventions have traditionally been targeted at women, largely due to the intense social pressures on women to achieve specific beauty standards. While this is very unfair to women, it does make them far more likely to engage with weight loss support than men. Women are also far more likely to discuss dieting or weight loss with their friends. 

Men are less likely to act on weight management for social reasons but are more compelled when there's a fear or warning element to the change. Research suggests men are less likely to engage with weight-loss services unless they've received a medical diagnosis or referral. One study found that men felt weight lose iniatives were 'feminised spaces' and that they felt 'self-conscious' accessing accessing them.

According to the UK Government, 67% of men are either overweight or obese, but only between 10 and 30% of participants in weight-loss programs are men. It suggests that tackling obesity may be need to address gender differences to help those in need of support before medical intervention is necessary. This is why the Game of Stones study is important because it was designed for men by men. 

You can find out more about the Game of Stones Study here.

Exercise can also help as part of a weight loss regime. We've designed and developed an electricity-generating stationary bike to help support your fitness journey. And we're opening the next round of pre-orders very soon. Register your details to find out when the electricity-generating RE:GEN is available




Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.


Solutions for every setting