Would cash motivate you to skip dessert?  Could you step away from the buffet, and step onto the treadmill if there were a cash incentive?

To help Michigonians kick start their New Year’s diet and fitness resolutions, HealthyWage™,  an online network that pays members who improve their health, announced “The Michigan Matchup” - a state-wide weight-loss contest that will reward top-performing teams with a total of $18,000 in cash prizes.  Currently over 90 health clubs throughout Michigan including Flint's Powerhouse Gym, are supporting contestants and serving as weigh-in locations. Registration for the contest is open now through January 8 for all Michigan residents.

All participants qualify for $100 cash if they start with a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30, and reduce their BMI to below 25 after one year.

The Michigan Matchup is open only to Michigan residents.  Teams of five will strive to achieve the greatest percentage of weight loss, competing for a $10,000 first-place prize.  Large employers are also eligible to compete in a "Company vs. Company" division, where each business' employees attempt to lose the most weight.  So far, no Flint-area employers have committed to compete.

In 2010, Web MD ranked Flint #5 on its list of "The Ten Most-Obese Metro Areas in the U.S.".

HealtyWage co-founder David Roddenberry adds, "While our company pays all Michigan residents $100 to lose weight as a standard part of our program, we've found that the free $100 cash incentive is more effective at motivating weight loss when coupled with a contest to build excitement and peer support in working toward weight-loss goals."

If you're interested in learning more or would like to register, go to www.michiganmatchup.com.