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Briefs: Money not much of a weight-loss motivator

money not much of weight-loss motivator

Losing weight is so hard you cannot even pay people to do it. Researchers studied 2,407 overweight and obese people enrolled in weight-loss schemes at their jobs. Participants were divided into three groups. The first received $60 for keeping a 5 percent weight loss for a year. The second agreed to pay about $100; the money would be returned if they lost 5 percent of their weight, and they would get bonuses for losing more. The third, a control group, was offered only $20, a reward for staying in the program for a year. The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that money had very little effect. The group that was offered $60 lost an average of just 1.4 pounds, while the controls lost 1.8. Those who made the $100 deposit dropped an average of 1.9 pounds more than the controls, but, the authors write, people motivated enough to risk their own money would most likely have lost weight with any program.

Computer users landing in the ER

Forget carpal tunnel syndrome and eye strain. People are winding up in emergency rooms with cuts, bruises, sprains and fractures caused by computers and computer accessories, according to a study in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers estimate that in 2006 there were 9,279 emergency room visits for computer-related injuries, up from 1,267 in 1994. More than half of the injuries happened when people were moving their computers. "Children under 5 had the highest overall injury rate as well as the greatest injury rate increase of any group," said the study's senior author, Lara B. McKenzie, of the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "Computer cases have sharp edges, wires can be electrical or tripping hazards, and computer chairs are too big for young children, which provides opportunities for falls."

Drug-induced liver failure is rare

Last week, an FDA panel recommended decreasing the maximum recommended dose of acetaminophen over reports of liver damage. Some consumers may wonder if they should stop taking it altogether in favor of other types of over-the-counter pain relief. The answer: No. Far more people are harmed by regular use of aspirin and ibuprofen, which are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Each year, 15,000 to 20,000 Americans die from ulcers and internal bleeding linked to use of such drugs. There are only about 2,000 cases of acute liver failure; half of them are related to drug toxicity. Of drug-induced cases, 40 percent are due to acetaminophen, and half of those are a result of intentional overdose.

New York Times

Briefs: Money not much of a weight-loss motivator 07/08/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 6:43pm]
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