Weight Loss During the Pandemic: A Success Story

The pandemic had a significant impact on all of us in so many ways—physically, mentally, and emotionally. A report by the American Psychological Association warns that the impact of pandemic-related stressors could bring about a “second pandemic — one that would persist even after the physical threat of the virus has been addressed.” Obesity, especially, has been exacerbated by the pandemic. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that the overall average weight gained was 29 pounds.

For Newtopia participants, the story has been quite different.

While the reasons for weight gain—during a pandemic or not—are multifaceted, the way to lose the weight and restore one’s health doesn’t have to be complicated. Newtopia participants experienced this firsthand. We recently completed a retrospective study on how our participants fared during the pandemic. The study included individuals who were engaged with our program for at least 12 months beginning just prior to the pandemic in either January or February of 2020.

Most participants had at least two health conditions that put them at risk for metabolic syndrome. These included obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high triglycerides, or out-of-range cholesterol levels. For our study, however, we focused on weight change and only those participants with a body mass index of 28 or higher. The percentage of participants with a weight reduction of 4.3% or greater after 12 months was assessed. This threshold is associated with a meaningful reduction in healthcare costs. We also assessed average weight loss and BMI reduction. More than 1,000 participants met the criteria of our assessment. Of those, 52% were female with an average age of 46.5. The results were impressive.

The Newtopia difference

The participants who achieved positive results were no different from anyone else in terms of stressors experienced during the pandemic. What made them so successful? The answer is Newtopia’s personalized approach to improving health, well-being, resilience, and human performance. We tailor each participant’s Newtopia experience based on their unique health risks, genetics, medical history, motivation, social determinants of health, personal preferences, and goals.

On top of this personalization, Newtopia provides what our participants tell us is one of their favorite aspects of the program: Our Inspirators. Inspirators are professional health and well-being coaches who help guide and encourage participants along their journey. Each participant is matched to their Inspirator using a proprietary personality matching algorithm. We’ve been able to achieve a high level of success using this method as fewer than 1% of participants have ever requested a new match. Inspirators provide accountability, while long-term engagement is supported by digital tools such as connected devices and interactive apps.

When the pandemic began, Newtopia’s team of medical and clinical experts developed new content focusing on the challenges of the pandemic, social isolation, and a stay-at-home lifestyle. Coaching prioritization shifted to mental health and how to manage stress. There was also increased focus on how to prepare healthy meals at home, as well as recommendations for home-based exercises. We believe these timely modifications and interventions enabled Newtopia participants to stay engaged throughout the pandemic.

Conclusion

As we transition back to some sense of normalcy, many individuals are recognizing the various ways in which the pandemic affected their health. Whether it’s weight gain, depression, anxiety, or just poor habit choices, the sooner the issues are addressed, the less likely they are to turn into long-term health struggles. Employers can support their teams by offering a personalized health and well-being solution like Newtopia that prevents, reverses, and slows the progression of chronic disease while enriching the mental health, resilience, and human performance of employees. It’s a new approach that actually works—even during a pandemic.

Learn more about Newtopia’s Inspirators here.

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