Anyone who has struggled with weight (and that’s many of us!) will tell you how challenging it can be. Let’s face it—there is a big difference between knowing what we should do and actually doing it. A recent study focused on how people respond to a health crisis, and it puts the struggle to lose weight in a new light.
After experiencing a health scare, the study found, smokers are three times more likely to kick the habit—which is great news. But if an individual is overweight or obese, facing a serious health event doesn’t normally translate into significant weight loss.
The reason? Researchers think it’s a lack of support. While smoking cessation programs are generally available and affordable, comprehensive weight-loss programs are often not covered by health plans.
“People really are open to changing their behaviors after a health event, and this could really be a window of opportunity,” said study author Patricia S. Keenan, assistant professor of health policy at Yale School of Medicine. “I’m not sure the health care system is capitalizing on it, in terms of giving people the support they need to make these changes as they go forward.”
For corporate wellness professionals, this study underscores the importance of giving employees the assistance they need to lose weight and be healthier. At WCS, we’ve seen first-hand how structured group activities like wellness challenges produce amazing results. For many people, the encouragement of their colleagues and their employer is just the motivation they need to reach their goals.