Money a boost for dieters Paying people to lose weight pays off, say University of Pennsylvania researchers. The results were even better if the dieters had to put up some cash. The study split almost 60 obese people into three groups. The first offered a one-in-five chance of winning US$3 and a one-in-100 chance of winning US$100 each day, plus a payout if they met monthly targets. The second had to put up US$0.01-US$3 a day of their own money, which they got back doubled if they met monthly targets. The control group got US$20 a month if they met their targets. After four months, the control group lost an average of 1.75kg; the lottery group lost almost 6kg; and the self-stakers lost almost 6.5kg. Once the money incentive was removed, most gained weight, WebMD reports. No slowdown for fitness industry With the US in recession, a key fitness trend for next year will be 'more bang for the buck', says the American Council on Exercise. It says so-called boot-camp classes will likely be the most popular. Technology-based workouts and plans for over-50s are also in the top 10 trends for next year, based on industry surveys. Other likely trends include cardiovascular dance classes (below), circuit and kettlebell training, fitness video games and basic workouts, WebMD reports. Nations lie about child vaccines A study has found 32 of 51 countries given US$290 million by the UN for child vaccination have overreported inoculation rates by at least 50 per cent. Between 1986 and 2006, only 7 million of a claimed 14 million children were immunised against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough under UN schemes. The worst offenders were Myanmar, Armenia, Somalia and Zimbabwe, which immunised no extra children, say the University of Washington researchers. Indonesia and North Korea were among states claiming to have immunised more than twice the actual numbers, AP reports. Old genes protect Amish A rare genetic abnormality believed to have been introduced to an insular Amish community in the mid-1700s appears to prevent heart disease and may pave the way for new drugs, say University of Maryland researchers. The mutation means about 5 per cent of Old Order Amish in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County have low levels of triglycerides, which can contribute to hardening and narrowing of the arteries. They also have high levels of so-called good cholesterol and low levels of bad, Reuters reports. Breast best for weight loss Breastfeeding may help mothers lose weight, according to a study of more than 25,000 Danish women. Those who breastfed exclusively for at least six months typically lost all weight gained during pregnancy. It found US women of childbearing age 'alarmingly heavy': 52 per cent are overweight and 29 per cent obese, WebMD reports.