App pays you to eat healthy foods and work out

PORTLAND, Ore. -- There is an app that pays you to eat healthy foods and go to the gym. The downside? It makes you pay if you do not fulfill your goals.

KATU asked for volunteers to try out this app, called Pact. Sara Serna of Southwest Portland agreed to try it.

"I was really excited," said Serna.

Serna said she pledged to go to the gym and eat several servings of fruits and vegetables.

She said she made about 30 cents for each gym visit, checking in by phone or using another app to track her run by GPS.

She had more trouble with the second part of her pledge: eating several servings of fruits and vegetables each week and documenting the food on the app.

"Life happens and you forget about the requirements," said Serna.

Serna said she has to take a picture of her serving of fruit or vegetables and upload it to the app.

"They prefer that it's selfies, so your face is visible behind the salad bowl," said Serna.

She said other Pact members then voted on her picture to determine whether or not it would count toward her pledge.

"I took a picture of my banana in the peel and it was immediately voted down by the users and didn't qualify," said Serna.

That meant she did not receive the money, between 10 and 20 cents per serving.

"So, later in the day, I got to work. I peeled it. I took a bite out of it and then photographed it," said Serna.

She then received the votes of approval.

She said, as a member of the Pact community, she was able to vote as well.

"Some people tried to be sneaky. Maybe they got a Chipotle burrito with meat and rice and beans and, like, a little bit of pico de gallo on there," said Serna. "That doesnt really count in my mind, so that would be a thumbs down for me."

Serna said she earned $1.60 for two weeks of pledges, but on the third week, the problems began.

She said she ate the seven servings of fruits and veggies she pledged, but forgot to document them on Pact.

The cost to her? $5 for each of the three servings she missed that week.

"That was $15, real dollars, that came out of my PayPal account," said Serna.

Sara said she pledged again and hopes to make some money back.

She uploaded a picture of the peppers and tomatoes she and her three-year-old daughter were eating for a snack and received approval from the Pact community, plus a small reward.

"Probably fifteen or twenty cents," said Serna, "And really good feelings about my diet."