There are so many research articles on health and the behavior that drives us to make unhealthy choices despite consequences. One article published in Endocrine Today and written by a highly regarded Nobel Prize winning researcher studies how behavior and economics play a role in health choices. Tryggvi Thorgeirsson, MD, MPH shares how our thoughts are broken down into fast thinking and slow thinking processes. We do so many things automatically which utilizes and develops the fast thinking processes more. This includes for many of us our health choices; the way we eat, manage stress, and think about exercise. Dr. Thorgeirsson shares research on how financial incentives (money prizes), exercising in fun environments, and group rewards have proven to be effective incentives for short term healthy lifestyle management. According to the doctor, this will utilize our already highly developed fast thinking process and help us to make healthier choices based on the rewards.

Opinion (not that you asked for it lol)

While I agree with Dr. Thorgeirsson on many of his points, it is my experience that most healthy lifestyle plans often end or become inconsistent when there are financial incentives. Many of us who have lived in unhealthy ways for many years know how complicated and difficult the behaviors are to overcome. But one thing is clear, we are driven by external cues because of our fast thinking that create the unhealthy behaviors we engage in. Food, shiny stuff, praise or acceptance from others, and other external controls help us to manage our internal moods, sense of self, and happiness. But according to research, it is a false bottom that eventually will dissipate when the shine wears off, the cruise is over, the money is spent, and the food is eaten.

Treatment Options

If you struggle with making impulsive decisions that lead to poor health choices, there are good treatments available. Dr. Thorgeirsson hit the nail on the head when he shared with us how fast and slow thinking processes work. Research shows that learning how to slow the thinking processes down, having boundary based food plans, and supportive exercise programs all are helpful for staying on a long term healthy lifestyle plan. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), meditation, and other mindfulness based therapies have proven effective in helping people slow down impulsive thinking. Whether its’ food, drugs, alcohol, sex, spending, or anything else, it is wise to have a plan and to think through the health choice. Please get help if you need it. I did and it works.

Please Pretty Please

Our health is so important to every aspect of our lives. Finances, relationships, and our personal happiness are just some of the things that will be impacted negatively with an unhealthy lifestyle. Please address your health choices and begin as soon as possible to help yourself live healthier and happier. If we can help email



Financial Incentives as Reward For Your Health Choices?

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