Rep. Bob Ballinger a big loser — 112 pounds — and big winner of cash for effort | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 13, 2017

Rep. Bob Ballinger a big loser — 112 pounds — and big winner of cash for effort

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 11:34 AM

BEFORE AND AFTER: Rep. Bob Ballinger.
  • BEFORE AND AFTER: Rep. Bob Ballinger.
The House of Representatives has distributed a news release about Rep. Bob Ballinger's major weight loss, an effort that won his family a $10,000 cash prize through a weight-loss wagering website.

The release:

In an effort to help more Arkansans begin a healthy lifestyle, Rep. Bob Ballinger (District 97) is sharing his story of weight loss success.

Rep. Ballinger has lost 112 pounds since July of 2016.

Once over 360 pounds, pre-diabetic and suffering from high blood pressure, Ballinger’s health was quickly deteriorating. “I have 7 kids and want to be around for a while. I knew I needed to do something.”

As a source of motivation, Rep. Ballinger’s brother invited him to participate in a $10,000 Team Challenge through HealthyWage.com. The website provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to address obesity.

Alongside his brother, sister-in-law, wife, and mother, Ballinger competed against other teams in a contest to lose the most weight and win the top prize of $10,000. Within 12 weeks, Ballinger lost 60 pounds and helped his family win 1st place.

Rep. Ballinger then participated in a second $10,000 challenge with HealthyWage and lost an additional 51 pounds. In the second challenge Rep. Ballinger teamed up with friends including Rep. Jim Dotson (District 93). The team averaged a 16.59% weight loss and tied with two competing teams for 1st place.

“This provided the incentive and accountability I needed to be successful. In the end, it came down to diet and exercise. I know the struggle that 30% of Arkansans face when it comes to obesity. Whether it’s an online contest or just having a friend that can encourage you, I hope Arkansans who are struggling to live a healthier lifestyle find the motivation they need to take the first step.”
I congratulated Ballinger, 43, of Hindsville, earlier on his success. I observed, based on my own experience, that the really hard part lies ahead. Keeping off lost weight.

The Healthywage website indicates participants pay $70 to  enter  three-month weight-loss contests. Rules here. There are varying wagers and contests available for different weight-loss goals. Huffington Post, in an article several years ago, notes that the company makes money from amounts wagered by unsuccessful dieters, but also from sponsors of advertising and other sources.

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