September 21, 2012
In 10 weeks, 330 Baylor University employees and spouses lost a total of 3,414 pounds - an average of 10.3 pounds per person.
They comprised a pilot group that "test drove" Baylor's newest health benefit program - Naturally Slim.
"It was a smashing success," said Richard Amos, director of compensation and benefits in Human Resources. "According to our vendor, who is an independent party from Naturally Slim, Baylor's success exceeded what they have experienced with their other clients, in terms of participation and program completion levels. As a result, we had a higher percentage of people that achieved very favorable results."
Naturally Slim promotes healthy behavior changes, including teaching participants how to identify and understand personal eating habits, recognize the difference between true hunger and psychological hunger, understand how hydration habits influence hunger and practice ways to minimize fat storage.
Amos said the program focuses specifically on "metabolic syndrome" - a collection of risk factors that dramatically increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, depression, stroke, cancer and a number of other medical conditions.
According to the pre-program screening, 82 participants suffered from metabolic syndrome. Post-program screening revealed that 57 percent of those participants reversed that trend. Results indicated:
16 percent reversed their waist circumference risk
43 percent reversed their triglycerides risk
10 percent reversed HDL risk
54 percent reversed their blood pressure risk
32 percent reversed their risk of diabetes
Surveys also showed that participants experienced a wide range of benefits, including: higher self-esteem, lower blood pressure, greater control of their lives and the elimination of unhealthy eating habits.
Full-time employees who successfully completed the pilot program received a $200 incentive.
"I am grateful to Baylor University for investing in my health with the Naturally Slim program," said Janet Melancon, client relationship manager in Human Resources. "In 10 weeks, I lost 17 pounds and six inches from my waist. The new habits I have developed were easier to maintain than I thought they would be. I've made a total lifestyle change and I'm healthier than I've ever been. Thank you, Baylor!"
A second class began in August and another class will be offered in the spring.
Baylor offers a number of health and wellness programs to faculty and staff, including Weight Watchers and Oso Fit, which includes Bearobics, Bear Cycle, Zumba, boxing, pilates, yoga, Bearathon training, and more.
Visit the HR website, www.baylor.edu/hr, for more information on all the wellness programs available to faculty