Smartphone-driven lifestyle works against dieters, survey finds
Adults trying to lose weight need a new approach that’s compatible with how dieters live today, according to results from a new national survey released earlier this week.
Specifically, most healthcare professionals and a majority of U.S. dieters say losing weight is harder today than it was for previous generations because of the busy, modern lifestyle of Americans (77% of primary care physicians or PCPs, 81% of pharmacists, 62% U.S. adults). In fact, approximately seven in 10 healthcare professionals say it’s harder for Americans today to lose weight compared to just 10 years ago (69% of PCPs, 73% of pharmacists), and the vast majority believe Americans need to take a new approach to weight loss that fits with today’s modern lifestyle (89% of PCPs, 95% of pharmacists).
“These findings highlight that while the way we live has changed dramatically over the past 10-20 years, our approach to weight-loss has not evolved sufficiently to address those changes,” Frank Greenway, medical director and professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, said. “The results underscore that we need to take a step back and evaluate what weight-loss strategies can best set people up for success given the demands of their daily lives.”
Results from the survey suggest that today’s “on-demand,” screen-focused way of life is making Americans increasingly inactive. For example, the vast majority of healthcare professionals and U.S. dieters say screen time (i.e., everyday use of mobile, tablet and computer screens) keeps Americans from moving around today as much as we did in years past (95% of PCPs, 97% of pharmacists, 88% of U.S. adults), and that on-demand services such as meal delivery, ride sharing, streaming TV, online shopping, etc. are having the same effect (82% of PCPs, 84% of pharmacists, 80% of U.S. adults).
Survey findings also show that healthcare professionals are worried about a trend toward eating habits driven by lack of time, with most being concerned that Americans not taking the time to plan healthy meals will negatively impact their weight (98% of PCPs, 97% of pharmacists) and their family’s weight (97% of PCPs, 97% of pharmacists).
Approximately four in 10 U.S. adults are currently trying to lose weight (41%). Yet, perhaps in part because of the increased challenges associated with doing so, only about three in 10 of them are confident that they’ll be able to achieve their current weight-loss goals (29%). This may be because, for the majority, it is not their first attempt — approximately six in 10 say they are frustrated by repeated efforts to lose weight (59%), and, typically, they have attempted to lose weight five times in the past five years.
Similarly, healthcare professionals say only a small percentage of their patients are able to lose weight and keep it off. On average, PCPs say only 12% of their patients are able to do so, and pharmacists say that only 14.1% of the patients they counsel are able to lose weight. They also say that dieting can have unwanted consequences, and can even lead to weight gain. For example, 77% of PCPs and 84% of pharmacists say that after going through a period of extremely reduced calorie intake, a person’s body will prepare for the next “starvation” period and the person may gain weight in response, and 62% of PCPs and 72% of pharmacists say that drastically reducing the number of calories a person gets will slow down the body’s weight-loss process.
“Most of the people I counsel come to me after several failed attempts to sustainably lose weight—and often after a diet, they gain back more weight than they initially lost, and they often give up after ‘cheating’ on the diet,” said Brooke Schoonenberg, a provider at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, La. “For many, the time required for meal planning isn’t compatible with the demands of their careers and/or parenting. And, even when time is found, they can fall back into usual habits because the diet didn’t help them adopt changes that they could sustain over the long-term.”
Not only do healthcare professionals say that Americans need a new approach to weight loss, but they also point to several things that can help set people up for success. The No. 1 factor they cite for successful weight loss given today’s busy, modern lifestyle is having a plan/method (89% of PCPs, 87% of pharmacists), that includes being sustainable (79% of PCPs, 69% of pharmacists), not being time consuming (56% of PCPs, 55% of pharmacists), not requiring sudden/major shifts to a person’s daily routine (54% of PCPs, 53% of pharmacists), and working quickly and safely (42% of PCPs, 36% of pharmacists).
Furthermore, healthcare professionals and U.S. dieters agree that advice and support from a healthcare professional are important in order to successfully lose weight (93% of PCPs, 96% of pharmacists, 66% of U.S. adults). However, eight in 10 healthcare professionals (85% of PCPs, 84% of pharmacists) wish they had more weight-loss options to offer their patients who are overweight (i.e., not yet obese), and the majority say that having a weight-loss product/aid that fits into one’s lifestyle without unpleasant side effects would make it easier for their patients to lose weight (63% of PCPs, 60% of pharmacists).
Today, only 32% of U.S. dieters who are currently trying or have ever tried to lose weight say that they discussed or developed a specific weight-loss plan with a healthcare professional. But, the vast majority of healthcare professionals think it is important to intervene and discuss weight loss/management with overweight patients before they become obese (96% of PCPs, 91% of pharmacists).
The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll in October/November 2017 on behalf of Swiss Life Science Group Zaluvida, the makers of I-Remove, and included nearly 1,000 healthcare professionals (458 PCPs and 503 pharmacists), and more than 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and over.
Vitamin Packs names VP operations
Vitamin Packs on Wednesday named Brad Schlicht vice president operations. Schlicht brings nearly 15 years of experience to Vitamin Packs as a seasoned operations expert, with success growing startup companies from initial concepts to thriving businesses.
Schlicht will oversee procurement for all vitamins and supplements with third-party manufacturers, manage inventory, oversee systems implementation and maintain Vitamin Pack’s packaging equipment.
“I had the pleasure of working with Brad at a previous startup – Organic To Go – where he grew the company’s logistics and operations from a primitive startup to running multiple delivery hubs across several states,” Jason Brown, CEO, Vitamin Packs, said. “I was impressed with his ability to deliver high-quality results then and am excited to welcome him to the Vitamin Packs team now. As we are poised to grow quickly in the coming months, we look forward to utilizing Brad’s deep experience in the direct-to-consumer industry to take us to the next level.”
Schlicht joins the vitamin company team from Essentia Water, an ionized alkaline water brand. Schlicht started his career in logistics and operations at Organic To Go, where he worked as the director of logistics to grow the business.
Six finalists named for Ascensia Diabetes Challenge
Ascensia Diabetes Care has revealed the six entries that will progress to the finalist stage of the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, a global innovation competition that is seeking digital solutions to support type 2 diabetes management.
The six finalists were selected from 116 submissions that were received and were chosen by a panel consisting of external experts and members of the Ascensia Medical, R&D and Commercial teams. The selected companies will now present their solutions at the finalist event in April to determine the winner, which will subsequently be announced at the American Diabetes Association 78th Scientific Sessions in June.
“We’ve received entries from entrepreneurs and start-ups around the world who are at the forefront of healthcare innovation. We have been delighted by the quality and variety of the submissions we have received, which offer digital solutions that could revolutionize a number of aspects of type 2 diabetes management,” Michael Kloss, CEO Ascensia Diabetes Care, said. “We are now looking forward to the finalist event and hearing more about these truly innovative ideas.”
With type 2 diabetes currently accounting for around 90% of the estimated 425 million people with diabetes globally1, new innovative ways to manage this condition are urgently required to meet the substantial and growing burden to the individuals and our healthcare systems. Through the challenge, Ascensia is looking to support the companies and entrepreneurs developing the next leap forward in digital solutions that could facilitate better type 2 diabetes management and improve the lives of people with diabetes.
This global challenge attracted a high calibre of submissions from across North America, Asia and Europe, representing some of the latest technology and innovative thinking entering the field of type 2 diabetes management.
The following finalists were selected:
- Foodient by Whisk: An artificial intelligence powered Digital Dietician that connects people to the world’s leading grocery retailers. It is being developed to help type 2 diabetes patients easily find food they love and is nutritionally tailored, so that they can make sustainable behaviour change;
- GlycoLeap by Holmusk: A digital health program that is a simpler way to lose weight and lower A1c. It combines expert human coaching with mobile technology to empower people with type 2 diabetes live a healthier life. GlycoLeap is powered by a scalable, engaging and effective technology platform for data-driven, personalised health coaching;
- QStream: A team-based mobile game developed at Harvard Medical School that can prompt meaningful behavior change in people with type 2 diabetes. QStream is proven to generate significant and sustained improvements in blood glucose control among patients who use it;
- My Diabetes Coach by Macadamian: A voice first diabetes management platform that uses Amazon’s Alexa to help those with type 2 diabetes better manage their care. The data captured through an integrated wearable device, a mobile phone, and dialogue with the patient provides a personal and empathetic virtual coaching experience that is enabled through artificial intelligence;
- Path Feel by Walk with Path: An active feedback insole that provides vibrational, or haptic, feedback to the user during walking. This can aid people with diabetic neuropathy in being able to feel the ground and achieve balance. Path Feel is a connected digital solution and integrates data from the insole, which can be used to personalise and enhance care; and
- xbird: Medical artificial intelligence software that analyzes micro-movements, collected by smartphones and wearables worn by people with diabetes, and cross references them with historical blood glucose data in order to predict and detect potential hypo- and hyperglycaemic events. The solution creates actionable insights for both doctors and patients.
The six finalists will all receive a €10,000 cash prize (the equivalent to approximately $12,200 in U.S currency) to support the further development of their ideas. Following the finalist event, prizes for the winners and runners-up will be awarded from the total prize fund of almost $250,000 with the opportunity to partner with Ascensia Diabetes Care.