One-Size Fits All Corporate Wellness Programs Don’t Get Results

There are no shortage of corporate wellness programs to choose from these days. All of them promise to help employees live healthy and lose weight. Americans are bombarded with information about wellness and weight-loss programs that carry promises of shedding pounds and preventing disease.

All the while our waistlines continue to expand. And, the results take a major toll on both our health and our national wallet.

A 2012 report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: F as in Fat, How Obesity Threatens America’s Future, found that if the rate of obesity continues on its current course, the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension and arthritis could increase 10 fold between 2010 and 2020—and double again by 2030.1

The cost of all this weight-induced illness is approximately 20% of all healthcare spending per year.

Finding The Magic Bullet

Approximately half of overweight or obese adults who are referred to a behavioral weight loss program (in accordance with the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations) fail to achieve a weight loss goal of 8-10% of their starting body weight. This represents the failure of a single approach applied broadly across a population.2

Yet, we know that intensive highly personalized lifestyle intervention and personalized wellness coaching for weight management that includes diet, exercise and behavior management is highly effective. The Look AHEAD trial, for example—the largest and longest randomized controlled trial of behavioral intervention for weight loss—found that half of the study’s participants with type 2 diabetes were able to maintain a 5% loss of body weight over an eight year period.3

But research also suggests that effective weight management programs need to be highly personalized if they’re to help participants reach their desired weight goals. A one-sized-fits-all approach to either individual or corporate wellness does not work.4 Ultimately, one-size fits one.

In fact, when the impact of standard care to address body weight and other measures among overweight and obese adults was compared with a personalized weight management program, studies have found that better results are achieved with a personalized program without adding additional cost.4

The Newtopia Difference

We’ve reviewed the science, and we know that a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss and better health does not work. That’s why Newtopia has developed hyper personalized interventions based on individuals’ genetic makeup and behavioral profile. This approach to corporate health and wellness provides employees with a unique path to health, coupled with live, personality-matched wellness coaching, and the latest in engagement science.

Ultimately, the best workplace wellness program is one employees can and want to stick to. That requires developing a plan that centers on their personality, motivation, readiness to change, needs and preferences. With personalized wellness coaching added to the mix, employees have a better chance of sticking to their goals and remaining motivated. We know our approach to corporate health works and have now published randomized control data to prove it.

Is your company employing a one-size-fits-all approach to workplace wellness and weight loss?

References

  1. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: F as in Fat, How Obesity Threatens America’s Future
    http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2011/07/f-as-in-fat.html
  2. US Preventative Task Force:
    http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/behavioral-counseling-research-and-evidence-based-practice-recommendations-us-preventive-services-task-force-perspectives
  3. Eight-year weight losses with an intensive lifestyle intervention: the look AHEAD study:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24307184
  4. Weight loss strategies for obese adults: personalized weight management program vs. standard care:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17062808

 

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