Fighting Obesity with Digital Health: How Digital Wellness is Making a Difference
Published on February 27, 2023
Today is World Obesity Day - a day dedicated to raising awareness about the global epidemic of obesity and promoting solutions for a healthier world. This year's theme is "Let’s talk about obesity" which highlights the need for a collective effort to address the complex causes and consequences of obesity.
As we mark this important day, it's crucial to recognise the significant impact of obesity on individuals, families, and society as a whole. From increased risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, to decreased quality of life, the toll of obesity is immense.
At the same time, there is hope. With the right tools, resources, and support, individuals can take steps to prevent and manage obesity. That's where we come in. As a community, we can provide education, advocacy, and empowerment to promote healthy lifestyles and combat the obesity epidemic.
As our founder and CEO Scott Penn notes, “While not as obvious as Covid-19, the obesity epidemic has been ending lives prematurely for far longer.”
At Digital Wellness, our purpose-driven work is our motivation and devotion. The health of our world is our North Star, and it means we show up every day excited to help nurture our members.
“We care about our members, our team and the health of the population around us… Our care for the world around us is exhibited in what we deliver every day – health solutions that are designed to aid in the prevention of the many crippling chronic diseases that plague our world. “ – Scott Penn, CEO, Founder, Digital Wellness
It’s one thing knowing what to do and an altogether different thing getting it done. At Digital Wellness, we know that science is just the start. Getting the science into action is the real challenge. And that’s where we come in. Uniquely combining world-leading, wellbeing science with proven, data-driven behaviour change.
With 16 years in the health and wellness industry, we’re proud to say our Digital Health Platform has positively impacted 3 million lives - boosting energy levels by 63% and helping people across the globe lose over 650,000 kilos, with an average of 5.3% body weight loss per member.
Mayo Clinic Diet: Sustainable Weight Management Program
One of the cornerstones of our Digital Health Platform is our global brand, Mayo Clinic Diet, a long-term weight management program designed by a team of weight loss experts at Mayo Clinic. The program is built around the idea of adopting healthy new habits and breaking unhealthy old ones to achieve sustainable, long-term weight loss.
By making simple and pleasurable changes, members can achieve a healthy weight that they can maintain for the rest of their life. It’s no wonder that the Mayo Clinic Diet has been featured in 10 out of 11 "Best Diets" categories by U.S News & World Report 2023. We’re humbled to have helped thousands of members, like Donna Boerger who lost 100 lbs* and lowered her health risks while gaining confidence.
“This diet is not a fad. You’ve had enough of those and know the result. This is a program that helps you make simple, healthy, pleasurable changes that will result in a weight you can maintain for the rest of your life.” – Donald S. Hensrud MD, MS, MPH
CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet: Tackling Obesity Pandemic in Australia
Digital Wellness is committed to staying at the forefront of weight loss research and innovation, collaborating with leading scientific institutions like the CSIRO to publish research papers and constantly improving our programs.
As part of our dedication to helping Australians achieve and maintain a healthy weight, in partnership with the CSIRO, we have put the science into action with our 12 Week CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Online Program.
This self-directed program is at the forefront of tackling the obesity pandemic in Australia. With a focus on high protein, low-GI food choices and powerful online tools, it delivers significant weight loss, and improvements in health and has a strong emphasis on behaviour to achieve sustainable long-term weight loss.
In 2019, through one of the world's largest weight loss studies by the CSIRO, found that the most successful members lost an average of 21% of their body weight through using the digital behaviour change tools.^
The research also showed that for the average member, they could expect to lose an average of 5.3% of their starting weight (if they completed the 12 Week Program). A body percentage weight loss that is clinically significant to improving a member's overall health. ^
By combining our extensive knowledge and experience, we're honoured to have helped thousands of Australians overcome the obesity pandemic already and contribute to the success of the National Obesity Strategy.
Total Wellbeing Lifestyle Plan: A Patient-Centric Chronic Disease Management Program
It’s no secret that chronic diseases such as diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are major health issues in Australia and can be directly linked to the obesity pandemic. These diseases place a significant burden on individuals, families, and communities, and contribute to the rising cost of healthcare in the country. Through our CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Online Member Survey, Understanding the health impacts of the program, we found that 65% of members of respondents listed their concerns about health as their number one motivation for joining the program*. We also found that members with chronic diseases such as; high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint pain and type 2 / prediabetes saw significant health improvements on completion of the program.
We are fortunate enough to live in a time where digital technology has revolutionised the way healthcare providers and insurers approach chronic disease management.
A CDMP can now be delivered through a digital platform that provides 24/7 access to tools, education, behaviour change models, and telehealth sessions with qualified allied health professionals.
This has led us to develop the Total Wellbeing Lifestyle Plan, a patient-centric designed Chronic Disease Management Program (CDMP). It combines our Digital Health Platform’s maximum health outcomes capabilities with the latest health science from the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and digital telehealth coaching to provide a personalised patient management system.
Delivered through our health fund partnerships with leading insurers such as HBF, CBHS, Westfund, Police Health, and Teachers Health, our aim is to make chronic disease management and health prevention programs accessible, and affordable for all Australians.
“With the data available through a digitally enabled wellness plan, health funds can help their members avoid chronic diseases, and help those members who do have these conditions to manage them better. And that’s the part that’s really exciting” - Pennie McCoy Head of Health Programs, Digital Wellness.
By empowering patients with the knowledge and tools they need to manage their chronic diseases, we're helping to reduce the burden on the healthcare system and save money for the nation.
Members who have used such plans have experienced measurable reductions in chronic conditions, with a 7-9% blood pressure improvement, an 8% cholesterol improvement, a 41% reduction in pressure on joints, and a 13% blood glucose improvement. With better health comes fewer claims, lower numbers of hospitalisations, and faster recoveries. This results in reduced costs for health funds, lower premiums, and sound investments in their future sustainability.
Work with us
It’s safe to say, the Digital Wellness team is passionate about empowering the wellness revolution and helping individuals achieve their health goals. We believe that a digitally enabled weight management programs are an effective solution to tackling the obesity pandemic and reducing the burden of chronic diseases.
As we've seen from the National Obesity Strategy, the issue of obesity is a complex problem that requires a multi-faceted approach. We are proud to be part of the solution and have helped countless individuals on their journey to better health. By providing access to personalised coaching, self-monitoring tools, education pieces, and telehealth sessions, we are making it easier for people to manage their health and avoid chronic diseases.
But there is still much work to be done, and we can't do it alone. We call on health funds, insurers, employers, and individuals to work with us to create a healthier future. By joining forces, we can make a real impact on the lives of millions of people and reduce the burden of chronic diseases on our healthcare system.
So, let's continue to support the National Obesity Strategy and work together to empower the wellness revolution. Together, we can make a difference and create a healthier, happier, and more sustainable future for all.
Proudly partnering with leading Australian health funds to offer their members the benefits of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet
*Hendrie & Williams. CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Online Member Survey. Understanding the health impacts of the program. CSIRO 2019.
^ Hendrie, GA., Baird DL., Williams G. Evaluation of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Online: Highlights report. Understanding the reach, effectiveness and predictors of weight loss using 5 years of member data. CSIRO 2020.