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In the United States, 60 million adults are obese and 9 million children and teens ages 6 to 19 are overweight. Being too heavy increases the risk of health conditions and diseases. In this university podcast, Harvard business professor Leslie John reports on studies providing financial and social incentives to get people to lose weight. Using lotteries and monetary deposits as collateral, researchers got people to lose an average of 14 pounds over several months. Leslie John spoke at The Science of Getting People to Do Good, a Prosocial Briefing held at Stanford.
Leslie John is an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Her research centers on how consumers’ behavior and lives are influenced by their interaction with firms and with public policy. Her work has been published in a variety of academic journals and has received media attention from outlets such as The New York Times, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine. John holds a PhD in behavioral decision research from Carnegie Mellon University, where she also earned an MSc in psychology and behavioral decision research. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Waterloo.`