NEW YORK, PRNewswire–Weight Watchers International, Inc. has announced Weight Watchers for Diabetes, a new program that serves the unique needs of employees with type 2 diabetes by integrating personalized coaching from a certified diabetes educator into Weight Watchers’ approach to weight loss and management.
Orlando Health, one of Florida’s most comprehensive private, not-for-profit healthcare networks, has signed on as the first organization to offer Weight Watchers for Diabetes to its employees.
In participating areas, employers that contract with Weight Watchers Health Solutions for on-site Weight Watchers meetings and Weight Watchers digital tools with Monthly Pass will now be able to offer a weight management plan designed for their employees with type 2 diabetes.
Employees who participate in Weight Watchers for Diabetes join Weight Watchers meetings along with other employees and use Weight Watchers digital tools with Monthly Pass. In addition, they are paired with a dedicated CDE who also is a registered dietitian and specially-trained in the Weight Watchers approach. The member has unlimited access to the dedicated CDE, a certified health care professional who works directly with each individual to tailor the Weight Watchers plan to his or her specific needs.
Employees with type 2 diabetes who enroll not only benefit from support from Weight Watchers leaders, who have successfully lost weight on the program, but also the one-on-one guidance from Weight Watchers CDEs who are specially-trained to tailor the Weight Watchers plan for the unique needs of a person with type 2 diabetes.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control, losing 5 to 10 percent of body weight has been shown to produce health benefits, including improving blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars, which are important type 2 diabetes health indicators,” said Jan Veliko, RN, CDE, clinical director of the new Weight Watchers for Diabetes offering. “Our two-pronged approach helps employees with type 2 diabetes to lose weight, which can help them make real strides in improving their overall health.”
Weight loss can also improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes by decreasing blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.1
Once enrolled in Weight Watchers for Diabetes, members benefit from the services provided by Weight Watchers meetings and digital tools, as well as the following specialized services:
• unlimited one-on-one coaching from a dedicated CDE through ongoing support via phone or e-mail
• two scheduled on-boarding consultations with their CDE
• a personalized food plan that is tailored to their individual needs by their CDE
• guidance on important healthy lifestyle topics that are tailored for them, including advice on activity and exercise, blood sugar level goals, and the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar.
“As healthcare costs soar, employers are looking for innovative ways to improve the overall health of their employees, including those with costly chronic diseases, while reining in expenses. Weight Watchers for Diabetes can help them to deliver against that goal,” said Colin Watts, president of Weight Watchers Health Solutions.
U.S. businesses spend almost $69 billion in indirect diagnosed diabetes-related costs including absenteeism, presenteeism*, and reduced workforce participation due to disability and loss in productivity. People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures that are 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes. Additionally, people with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes or complications from the disease can incur direct health care costs two to eight times more than people with controlled diabetes.
Weight Watchers piloted its new diabetes offering in several locations around the country, including at a large employer client.
Organizations with 5,000 or more employees in participating areas who are interested in learning more about Weight Watchers for Diabetes can call 1-800-8-ATWORK or visit www.weightwatchers.com/Diabetes.
(*Presenteeism is defined as showing up for work while sick.)