More U.S. companies are finding creative ways to create a culture where employees can explore options to live a healthier lifestyle. In St. Louis, MO, one company’s employees are finding success with an online weight loss program.
Kelsey King works at MTM, a non-emergency medical transportation company, and is one of those employees who wanted help transforming her health. The 29-year-old is the mother of an 18-month-old girl, and, like many moms, struggled with her weight since giving birth.
“When I was pregnant with her, I had gestational diabetes. So the doctor warned me that I could end up having diabetes outside of my pregnancy. Now she’s a toddler running around, and I find myself not having the energy to go chase her at the park, and that's not acceptable. I want to be better for her,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey jumped at the opportunity to try an online weight loss program called Real Appeal, offered to her and her fellow MTM employees at no additional cost to them as a medical benefit through their UnitedHealthcare insurance plan.
Real Appeal uses personal coaches and offers convenient tracking tools that motivate people to adopt healthier behaviors that can help reduce obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Kelsey lost 30 pounds in the first six months of the program. She wasn’t alone. In total, more than 100 MTM employees participating in Real Appeal have lost a collective 2,000 pounds in the first 18 months of the program.
“I'm a completely different person. I have so much more joy in my life again, you know. I found purpose again,” Kelsey said. “I want to teach my daughter that no matter who you are, you are beautiful and health is so important.”
The growing popularity among weight loss programs is especially seen during the fall when open enrollment kicks off and millions of Americans select or switch their health benefits for next year. UnitedHealthcare offers a variety of programs that incentivize employees to participate in wellness coaching, lower their cholesterol, lose weight, quit smoking, or even visit a gym.