Why Peer-to-Peer Health Coaching Can Curb Obesity

2012-09-26T14:42:16+00:00September 26th, 2012|Weight Loss, Weight Management|

Peer health coaches can be key to weight loss success, study finds.

Kati Marlow has this to say about her initial experience with Isagenix and how her friends and Isagenix coaches, Andreja and Bob Scanland helped changed it, “When I started the program, I quit. But I was never given up on and when I went back on the program I had 100 percent of their support to get back on track—been on the program for a year now and have never looked back.”

Kati has now lost around 50 pounds*, going from a size 18 to size 12, and is maintaining her success. How did Andreja and Bob help Kati get back on track and be successful? Although they are not health professionals, as Kati told us, it was simply the act of always being available to offer support and answer any questions while staying in close touch that helped her turn her health around.

“We have meetings with Bob and Andreja monthly, or there are phone meetings. They make themselves available in any shape or form—text messages, phone calls, and on Facebook,” Kati says. “Our whole team is so supportive of each other, it is amazing. We have learned the support from Andreja. She is a remarkable example of being there for her team.”

Peer-to-peer coaching worked for Andreja, Bob, and Kati and it can work for others. A recent study showed that peer-to-peer coaching is just as effective as or better than coaching by expert health professionals.

The 24-week study randomized 44 obese participants to receive coaching from one of three health coaches—an expert professional, a peer, or a mentor that had previous success in losing weight. The coaches met with their subjects a total of 12 times in group settings while email correspondence was used to track progress and offer support during the weeks the groups did not meet.

The coaching techniques differed for each type of health coach. Expert health professionals provided credible advice backed by years of experience and education. The peer coaches were simply people in the same weight loss group who provided support and encouraged behaviors that could help reach weight loss goals. The peer coaches served as positive, inspirational role models who had already reached their goal of weight loss and drew on their own experience and methods in coaching others.

At the end of the study, all groups lost weight, but of most interest was that the people coached by their peers had lost just as much weight as those coached by the actual health professionals. This provides a light of hope for those struggling with their weight and unable to access services such as guidance from costly experts.

The study provides more reason for why Isagenix systems work so well at helping people reach a healthy weight—health coaching from peers, which is ingrained in our Isagenix culture.

Isagenix products are more than tried-and-true, scientifically supported products that assist in losing weight. The company provides an excellent system of support from peers, who provide each other with the encouragement, guidance, motivation, and the accountability needed to tackle weight loss. Remarkably, this all can happen without weekly face-to-face meetings—the Isagenix sense of help and community happens across city, state, and even country lines via phone calls, email, and social media.

So, keep up the good work, IsaFamily! Keep sharing your goals, your tips, your support, and your encouragement. With the science-backed products that have been clinically tested, and the health coaching that inspires, our Associates like Andrea and Bob will do their part in helping to stem the obesity tide that threatens the world—one person and peer health coach at a time.

*The weight-loss testimonials presented apply only to the individual described, cannot be guaranteed, and should not be considered typical. A 2008 university study showed a statistically significant weight loss of 3.2kg during the 9-Day Nutritional Cleansing Program.

Reference: Leahey TM, Wing RR. A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study Testing Three Types of Health Coaches for Obesity Treatment: Professional, Peer, and Mentor. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2012. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.179