Last week, World Obesity Day was observed and the resulting headlines around the release of new research were daunting – “Obesity among all US adults reaches all-time high,” “Childhood Obesity Has Risen 10 Times Worldwide” and “Obesity rates skyrocketing, and health experts say it’s time to change how we’re dealing with the problem.”
Vitality’s parent company, Discovery, also released its Vitality ObeCity Index 2017, offering the latest insights on the weight status (measured by Body Mass Index and waist circumference) and the food purchasing behaviors of nearly half a million Vitality members in South Africa. According to Dr. Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness, “Insights from the Vitality ObeCity Index 2017 allow us to better understand the amount of sugar and salt in the foods we are buying, as well as fruit and vegetable consumption.”
While the Discovery data focused on South African members, this is very much a global epidemic. According to figures from the World Obesity Federation, keeping current trends, 2.7 billion adults worldwide will suffer from being overweight and obese by 2025. Untreated, obesity is responsible for a significant proportion of non-communicable diseases including heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and many types of cancer.
Obesity has a strong correlation to chronic conditions like type two diabetes that reduce the quality of people’s lives, while driving up health costs. Here are just a few of the ways we’re working to support those with obesity at Vitality:
- Incentivize healthier food choices through Vitality HealthyFood®, an effort that rewards members to eat better and improve their health.
- Encourage and reward people to get moving through initiatives such as Vitality Active RewardsTM with Apple Watch. The program leverages the philosophy of the right technology, the right science, and incentives to sustain improvements in physical activity, and has generated a 40 percent increase in weekly physical activity for participating members.
- Make programs available for the whole family. Vitality members have access to HRAs for kids and can earn Vitality PointsTM for activities such as getting childhood immunizations and participating in team sports or family fitness events such as fun runs.
Given the economic impact on society due to obesity and poor health, it’s critical that all stakeholders work together toward a goal of a healthier nation and world. Vitality’s shared-value principles are what help drive our commitment to product ingenuity to promote healthier living.