The study on long-term weight control conducted by Duke University Medical Center suggests that both personal contact and computer-based systems helped keep weight off.
Researchers asked overweight or obese people to eat less, make better food choices and become more active diet. About 60 percent of the participants reached the goal of losing 9 pounds in 20 weeks. After 30 months, 70 percent had maintained at least some weight loss. 37 percent maintained a weight loss of at least 5 percent of their body weight.
What's interesting to me is that, as expected, personal contact was the most effective method at helping people stick with lifestyle changes (77 percent did so). Computer-assisted support was next most effective (69 percent). Yet 67 percent of the "self-directed" group showed at least some weight loss over the period.
This suggests to me that wellness professionals have a whole set of tools that can support successful weight loss--from individual coaching to group support to online-support and even just providing educational materials.
Employees have different ways of communicating and reaching goals. So one size doesn't fit all. Make sure your wellness program offers plenty of options to help people live healthier lifestyles.