A new study from Kaiser Permanente has found that patients who receive telephone-based support as they attempt to lose weight, find significant success as compared to patients who do not receive the same support. To find out if weight loss coaching provided through phone calls could prove effective, the researchers at Kaiser compared medical records of approximately 1,000 patients who did receive phone call support and coaching, to approximately 19,000 patients who did not.

On average, the participants who received the phone coaching lost 10 pounds each. One co-author of the study, Nancy Goler, MD said “we found that patients who participated in the coaching sessions lost clinically significant amounts of weight, which is so important because even a small amount of weight loss can help patients experience significant health benefits over time.” With obesity linked to multiple types of diseases including cancer and heart disease, as well as lower quality of life, depression, and early death, losing weight is a primary health goal for many people. However, making the appropriate nutritional, behavioral, and fitness changes can be challenging. Not only are the initial changes difficult, but maintaining the stamina to commit to these changes in the long term can be even more of a challenge. Virtual support like Virtual Health Partners offers, either over the phone or video chat, can make a significant impact in the success of patients.

Dr. Goler added, “our members appreciate the opportunity to receive lifestyle coaching on their own schedules by phone… Now we have strong evidence that coaching may be helping members to live healthier lives.” At Virtual Health Partners, we have also seen levels of success and patient satisfaction that are not typically found in patients who do not have the options for convenient, expert coaching available from their homes.