Redefining Sustainable Weight Management in the GLP-1 Era: A Spotlight on Behavior Change 


By Jeff Jacques, MD, chief medical officer at Personify Health

With obesity affecting 1 in 3 U.S. adults and a staggering $147 billion spent on obesity-related healthcare services annually, the situation can seem daunting. The impact of obesity extends beyond weight, triggering conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancers. In the battle against this pandemic, GLP-1 medications like Ozempic and Wegovy have earned their status as potential game-changers. But, like most things, they are not free of controversy. 

GLP-1 medications have shown promising results in catalyzing weight loss yet are often shadowed by issues like high costs and potential risks, such as rebound weight gain.  

At Personify Health, we view weight management as a personal, complex journey that goes beyond medication. While effective for some, we believe GLP-1 medications should be seen as an accelerator or kick-start to meaningful weight loss, not a standalone, long-term solution. After all, what about those who do not qualify for GLP-1 treatments? Where do they find their path to sustainable weight management? And is the individual taking a GLP-1 medication supported on their unique journey? 

We encourage stakeholders—employers, health plans, and providers—to view weight management holistically, focusing on behavior change and mental health support alongside medication, if applicable. A blend of these elements forms the foundation of a long-lasting solution that intercepts and addresses the core issues of obesity. 

As the Chief Medical Officer of Personify Health, I have spoken with various stakeholders on the $100-billion question. The potential of GLP-1 drugs is captivating—yet it can also be misleading. One thing is certain: there’s no magic pill for weight loss. The process entails confronting emotional and mental challenges tied to obesity and fostering behavior change to improve overall health. GLP-1 can instigate change but must be paired with a structured support system. 

For businesses questioning their approach, our recommendation is straightforward: 

We are here to help you develop a cost-effective chronic conditions and obesity benefits strategy 

Personify Health’s digital health, wellbeing, and navigation solutions, which have proven population health results in critical behavior change that results in biometric improvement for members and 3:1 value-on-investment for their employers (explained in this article) provides a map for how to effectively impact population health. VP Transform, a collection of digital therapeutics for condition prevention and management will soon to be part of Personify Health. These evidence-based solutions with proven effectiveness for prediabetes, weight management, and blood pressure, help employees embrace sustainable and steady lifestyle modifications that last long after the program is complete. Personify Health is your strategic partner. Reach out today to learn more.