Stacia Carroll, health promotion manager for Genesis Health System, says the Naturally Slim program targets obesity and what’s known as metabolic syndrome.
Carroll says, “We rolled it out to employees in 2009 and 57% of those individuals who were found to have metabolic syndrome no longer have the condition because of the healthy lifestyle techniques they learned through the Naturally Slim program.”
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that can lead to a 700% increase in serious conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s based on factors including waist measurement, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
“Naturally Slim is really the preferred skill-building curriculum that helps individuals lose that weight, get those risk factors back within normal limits so they don’t have metabolic syndrome,” she says.
Over the past decade, it’s estimated the program has saved Genesis and its employees more than $40-million through lower health care costs and lower insurance premiums.
Naturally Slim is delivered online and through a mobile app that’s available to workers as part of their employer-sponsored health insurance package. Carroll emphasizes, the program is not a diet.
“It’s not what you eat but when and how you eat,” Carroll says. “Through the course of a 10-week foundations program along with additional online support and encouragement for the whole year, it’s a year-long curriculum, individuals are trained, supported and encouraged to build those habits they’re going to need to be successful for life.”
Genesis is one of the largest employers in the Quad Cities with more than 4,800 employees, covering 12 counties in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.
Carroll says Genesis is working with a health innovation company in a “revenue-sharing partnership” to take the program directly to health care systems throughout the U.S.