HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) -  With bathing suit season underway and to help more seriously overweight and obese Houstonians get healthy and fit using a novel, proven effective motivation paradigm, HealthyWage™ (www.HealthyWage.com), an online network that pays members who improve their health, today announced registration is now underway for its "Houston Matchup" competition -- a city-wide weight-loss contest that will reward top-performing teams with a total of $18,000 in cash prizes. Registration is now open to all Houston residents, and the contest commences with Houston-wide weigh-ins on May 13, 2011.

"'The Houston Matchup' brings the city together in a collective effort to achieve weight-loss and health goals through a fun and lucrative contest," said HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry. "Competing in teams of 5 against family, friends, and co-workers for added encouragement, bragging rights and big cash prizes, this initiative leverages our social network model proven to help motivate and sustain weight-loss. Academic research shows that obesity has spread through social networks and will likely reverse through social networks. Houston resident and Chevron employee 'Sharon,' who recently won $1,000 from HealthyWage for her 64 pound weight-loss accomplishment, is proof positive this approach works." (View Sharon's success story here: http://tinyurl.com/hwss1)

"With nearly one-quarter of all Texas adults reported to be obese and far more classified as overweight, coupled with Texas's estimated annual medical cost of obesity ringing in at nearly $5.5 billion, we hope this initiative will provide an extra dose of motivation to effect positive change for the region," Roddenberry notes.

Throughout "The Houston Matchup" teams of 5 will compete for the greatest percentage of weight lost from May 13 through August 12, 2011. Each participant pays a $60 registration fee and weighs in at the beginning and end of the contest at a local health club. The winning teams will receive a total of $18,000 in cash prizes ($10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, and $3,000 for third). In addition, participants qualify for $100 cash if they start with a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30 and achieve a BMI below 25 after 1-year.

In addition to those participating at an individual level, large employers will also join in "The Houston Matchup" in a "Company vs. Company" or "School vs. School" division where they compete against other organizations throughout the state in an attempt to have their employees lose the most weight. Dozens of local companies are participating in the contest including Pride International, Wison Floating Systems, and Tesco Corporation.

"Participants in previous financial compensation-based HealthyWage team contests have lost on average 5% of their body weight," Roddenberry concludes. "While our company pays all Houston 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."

Those interested in learning more and registering for "The Houston Matchup" may do so online at http://www.healthywage.com/houston-matchup.

About HealthyWage™
Health and wellness purveyor HealthyWage provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to address our nation's obesity epidemic and improve America's collective health. The company was founded in response to academic research that proves even small cash rewards triple the effectiveness of weight-loss programs; that people are more effective at losing weight when their own money is at risk; and that social networks play a large role in the spread of obesity, and will likely play a large role in reversing obesity. Learn more online at www.HealthyWage.com.

Note to Editors: Individual and corporate contestants, health club participants (weigh-in locations), a HealthyWage company executive and/or a Houston-area $1,000 HealthyWage winner available for interview.

Contact Information:

Merilee Kern
Kern Communications