Found members share their top three needs for a weight loss benefit: access to an obesity medicine specialist, access to medications, and a personalized treatment plan
AUSTIN, Texas, September 12, 2023–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Found, a medically-assisted weight loss program, today released its inaugural State of Weight Care Report from a survey representing 500 large employers with a minimum of 5,000 employees each and more than 350 active individual Found members. The 2023 report illuminates what employers and benefits decision-makers need to do to support employees on their healthcare journeys. The survey revealed that nearly all (96%) employers acknowledge weight management is important to preventive healthcare; however, they deviate about what types of programs or weight management benefits they should adopt to adequately manage concerns around clinical efficacy, rising costs, and access to a reliable medication supply.
The report found that nearly one-third of employers currently include weight loss medications in their benefits packages. Another 62% of employers have experienced a recent increase in spend for GLP-1 medications, a class of drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. Increased spend comes as demand for GLP-1s like Ozempic® and Wegovy® has skyrocketed over the past year, making discussions around access to medically assisted weight care commonplace and destigmatizing medically-assisted weight loss in the process.
Not everyone responds successfully to GLP-1 medications. In fact, up to 37% of the population may not reach clinically-significant weight loss with GLP1 alone. Prescribed weight loss medication should always be based on a person’s unique biology and be done in consultation with a medical provider who understands the latest clinical research in obesity medicine.
“Results from this year’s State of Weight Care Report indicate a culture shift, with increasing acknowledgment that obesity is a chronic disease, as opposed to a moral failing or solely the result of lifestyle choices. At the same time, it’s critically important to not confuse medications like GLP-1s short cuts or silver bullets in weight care,” said Sarah Jones Simmer, CEO, Found. “Especially amid an international GLP-1 shortage, these medications should be one option within a wide toolkit of medications and other complementary treatments, where prescription decisions are made based on clinical efficacy and appropriateness, not media-driven demand.”
Many of the employers surveyed indicated plans to incorporate anti-obesity medication or some form of weight management programming into their benefits in the next 12 months (26%), though hesitations remain about the clinical efficacy (35%), cost (29%), and weight bias and discrimination (17%). These concerns are compounded by a lack of cohesive clinical guidelines for obesity care, access to professional care specialists trained in obesity medicine, and the misinformed craze around GLP-1s.
Surveyed Found members revealed that access to anti-obesity medication is the most valuable weight care benefit their employers offer, with 67% of respondents ranking it number one compared to eight other benefit options. Overall, it’s also ranked the top must-have element of any weight management program when evaluating available programs in the market. Members also place a high value on having access to an obesity medicine specialist and receiving a personalized treatment plan. The rise of telemedicine and the influx of digital health offerings during the pandemic have increased access and affordability to weight care solutions, but within an increasingly saturated marketplace, organizations struggle to find the right weight care solution that will actually improve outcomes and decrease cost.
“Limited specialized knowledge in obesity medicine creates a range of suboptimal treatment protocols that result in poorer outcomes and higher costs,” said Dr. Rekha Kumar, Chief Medical Officer, Found. “Employers and benefit decision-makers looking to adopt solutions to help their workforce make clinically responsible decisions related to weight management should seek comprehensive programs combining lifestyle changes that build on science-backed behavioral change programming along with medication. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight care—it all depends on what the provider specializing in obesity deems the most clinically-appropriate for each person.”
Effectively balancing clinical efficacy and costs in weight management is achievable. Programs and solutions that take a more holistic approach, backed by professional care specialists trained in weight care, can yield positive health outcomes for employees and cost savings for employers.
The State of Weight Care Report was sourced from a OnePoll survey consisting of 500 large employers with more than 5,000 employees each, as well as a survey of more than 350 individual Found members. To learn more, download the full report here.
Found is an evidence-based weight care solution that combines the best of modern medicine with lasting behavior change, access to personalized coaching and a supportive community. Centered around clinical care, Found provides its members with a comprehensive weight loss program that delivers long term, sustainable results. Found designs personalized treatments around every factor that make people unique, including biology, medical history, existent lifestyle, goals and more. Found’s members are supported by a team that includes providers to prescribe effective medication, and the best of consumer technology to provide behavioral health interventions delivered through our app for guidance on nutrition, movement, sleep and emotional health. Found is among the largest medically-assisted weight loss clinics in the country, having served 200,000+ Americans to-date. For more information, visit www.joinfound.com.
OnePoll Survey Methodology:
This random double-opt-in survey of 500 American benefits decision makers at companies with more than 5,000 employees was commissioned by Found and conducted between August 2 and August 4, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).
Found member survey methodology:
The Found member survey was conducted among Found members who have been with the program for at least one month. Participants were asked to respond to questions in an online survey to share their weight care experience, their motivations for joining a weight loss program and what they found most valuable in their journey. 354 Found members responded (n=354).
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