Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Can financial incentives increase the effectiveness of weight loss programs?

As an economist, I would say “of course”!  Increasing the price (the reward for weight loss) generally leads to an increase in supply (of efforts to lose weight).  However, there is evidence that in some cases, adding a financial incentive can actually reduce effort.  For instance, Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini (2000) found that adding […]

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Fighting Obesity by Popping Pills?

Drug-makers have had little success gaining FDA-approval for diet pills.  According to The Economist: “It has been 13 years since the FDA approved a prescription diet pill. That drug, Roche’s Xenical, has notorious gastrointestinal side-effects. The FDA rejected Vivus’s Qnexa in 2010 over concerns for the safety of pregnant women and the quickening of patients’ […]

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