New U program will pay overweight students to lose weight

by Branden Largent

A new University of Minnesota weight-loss program, called Lose 2 Win, will be giving away prizes up to $3,000 to University students who lose weight and maintain the weight in the program.

The program sent emails to undergraduate students, with the exception of seniors, directing them to take a survey to determine if they are eligible, said Janet Thomas, a University Department of Medicine associate professor. She said they are looking for 150 students who are looking to lose weight.

Students participating in Lose 2 Win will have eight weeks of group nutrition sessions, gifts for attending the weekly sessions and gift cards

If students manage to lose 5 percent of their body weight by the December weigh-in will be entered in a drawing to receive gift cards worth $1,000, Thomas said.

Students who manage to maintain their weight-loss through February will be eligible to win $2,000 and will be eligible to win $3,000 if they maintain their weight-loss through the end of March.

The program is hoping to see 60 of the students lose the 5 percent "so if you look at the numbers, the chances of winning are pretty good," Thomas said.

The program is giving looking to see if giving overweight students financial incentives will "not only lose weight, but to keep the weight off for longer," Thomas said.

Thomas said students who are interested should check their email for the Lose 2 Win and take the online survey to see if they are eligible for the program by 8 a.m. on Friday.  If the students qualify, they will be advised to attend a weigh-in session by 4 p.m. on Friday

All students who participate in the initial weigh-in will receive $50 gift cards.