Beeminder Forum

Article about this new trend of weight-loss wagering and what a scam it is

(Thanks to @zedmango for the pointer!)

Here’s the article:

And here’s us trying to argue with the author on Twitter:

It’s a little frustrating but many of the points in the article are fine ones. I guess the fact that Beeminder doesn’t ever pay anyone anything for achieving their goals either neutralizes the author’s argument or will seem to them like just taking the scam to the extremest extreme possible. :slight_smile:

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A quick search over the article and I can’t find any mention of Beeminder.

Did they call you out specifically and remove you once you tweeted at them? Or just them talking about financial precommitment in general?

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No, there was never any mention of Beeminder, just a few of its competitors.

I agree that removing the possibility of profiting makes it less of a scam.

I still think there’s something a bit scammy about taking someone’s money if they can’t lose weight, since people should only beemind things they can control, and you can’t control your weight. And trying to control it can cause serious health problems.

As the article points out, the vast majority of people who lose weight gain it all back plus more - it’s just not possible to safely keep weight off. Weight loss is such a society-wide scam and it makes me sad to see something as great as Beeminder endorsing the myth that it’s possible. If I were the Queen of Beeminder I’d remove any weight-loss references.

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Meh, I have a personal friend who’s done it, and he’s definitely quite healthy. Simple vegan diet and exercise, nothing fancy.

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Zedmango is basically right here. Depending on the study, only something like 30% to less than 5% of people can keep weight off for more than a few months.

OTOH, there are so many people that sometimes you meet one, like me!

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Wouldn’t there be a distinction to be made between long-term lifestyle changes and “Imma gonna go on a diet for a month and then go back to what I was doing before?”

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This is interesting. I’m not sure I believe that it’s a myth and not possible BUT has anyone actually seen any examples on Beeminder of someone losing weight slowly and safely over a sustained period of time and then maintaining it? I’d love to see that if anyone has done so.

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@adamwolf is one example. :slight_smile:

Maybe at some point I will be a second, though my weight loss has not been dramatic, so possibly it will never really count.

(There’s probably others too, and I know @dreev beeminds his weight pretty strictly.)

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Would you be willing to share your weight loss graph if you are still maintaining it?

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I have written about my weight loss and the supporting goals around it a few different times on the forum. I’m not a medical doctor, and I’m not your medical doctor. What worked for me, worked for me, and it continues to work for me. This doesn’t mean it works for even one other person.

I don’t often keep the X-min set to the start of my weight loss with Beeminder, so take a look and I’ll be switching it back within a few days.

https://www.beeminder.com/adamwolf/weight_loss

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Yup. There’s a lot of prior work, including prescribed weight loss plans. It’s really quite demotivating the more I read. I’ve gotta use that delusional self-exceptional bias to get past it :slight_smile:

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Don’t worry, I’m not looking for medical advice! I was just suddenly intensely curious as to whether anybody has actually done it on Beeminder or whether it actually is a myth which did seem unlikely as an absolute fact but fairly likely statistically for a given person, ie myself. Unfortunately I got a “Glomar response” to that link but I’ll have a look at your other posts. Also let me be the first to wish you Merry Christmas from here at Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean!

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Hmm, that link gives me an error… ?

I thought it was public but I can’t change it today. I’ll take a look when I’m back online.

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I went in and marked it public. It should work now.

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That’s bloody brilliant, thank you for giving us a look!

Here’s @adam’s graph in its full glory, before he zooms it back in:

And here’s the zoomed-out version of mine:

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It’ll depend on the study of course, but unsurprisingly a holistic approach seems to be the most effective:

numerous studies… demonstrated only moderate success with various types of diet that focus on macronutrients: protein, fat or carbohydrates; but regardless of diet, without a lifestyle change, the weight comes back.

Conversely, several large and recent studies — such as the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study and the China Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study — found lower weight and lower incidence of diabetes among study participants many years after the study’s initial completion because the subjects were taught how to lose weight through lifestyle interventions.

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Started reading the article, stopped at the curious mention of a “weight wagering” movement. Googled the phrase, the first result is the article itself, the rest of the top results are PR of one of the mentioned apps. Something is fishy here :slight_smile:

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Well, here’s my chart. :slight_smile:

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