NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 31, 2011) - With more than one-quarter of all New York adults reported to be obese and far more classified as overweight, coupled with New York's estimated annual medical cost of obesity ringing in at nearly $3.5 billion, wellness initiatives that will impact the region at large are long overdue. To help NYC residents get healthy and fit using a unique, proven effective motivation paradigm, HealthyWage™ (, an online network that pays members who improve their health, today announced registration is now underway for its "NYC 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 NYC residents, and the 3-month contest commences with NYC-wide weigh-ins on June 15, 2011.

"'The NYC Matchup' brings the region together in a collective effort to achieve weight-loss and health goals through a fun and lucrative competition," said HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry. "Competing in teams of 5 against family, friends, and co-workers for added encouragement, bragging rights and huge 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. We hope this initiative will provide an extra dose of motivation to effect positive change for the New York region."

Throughout "The NYC Matchup" teams of 5 will compete for the greatest percentage of weight lost from June 15 through September 14, 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 NYC Matchup" in a "Company vs. Company" division where they compete against other organizations throughout the area in an attempt to have their employees lose the most weight. Participating local companies include Healthfirst, Huntington Hospital, New Jersey Institute of Technology, IEEE; New York & Company, Long Island Power, Oce, Pitney Bowes, Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke's Hospital, and Roosevelt Hospital.

"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 NYC 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 NYC Matchup" may do so online at

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

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

Contact Information:

Merilee Kern
Kern Communications