New IBM Created Computer Program: Dieting for Dollars

Companies are offering a different, fun way to reward healthy eating and food choices
Girl exercising with a healthy snack

Girl exercising with a healthy snack

The Weight Watchers Mobile app and Lose It app have something in common besides the obvious, “They help you lose weight.” Both of these apps offer programs with different twists on the approach to losing weight and making healthier food choices. And that’s what seems to be helping people stick to the programs and see results.

“Dieting for Dollars” was created by Michael Paolini an inventor at I.B.M. He wanted to create a more customizable app that awarded users for smart and healthy food choices. This computer program allows people to earn rewards like money, movie tickets, and FarmVille pets through the selection of their food. The healthier you eat, the more rewards you’ll receive.

The idea is not only to encourage better eating habits but also to use the power of social media to do it. “What they get from this is sometimes encouragement, sometimes suggestions, and sometimes a swift boot to the butt to help put them back on the right path,” said Mr. Paolini.

More companies are turning to programs like this that award or pay employees for losing weight and being more active. This might help to lower medical bills, but also companies could use this as leverage to assure progress.