Press release -
Vitality’s new HealthyWeight programme shows promising results
Johannesburg, 10 May 2023 – The Vitality HealthyWeight programme has the main goal of supporting Vitality members who face greater health risks from being overweight or obese. In only two months, the programme has seen more than 1,000 Vitality members join and actively engage with it.
The results, at this early stage, look promising with weight loss and management among early joiners showing remarkable progress. On average, members lost 3.6kg since the launch of HealthyWeight.
“This programme is a landmark for Vitality,” says Dinesh Govender, Discovery Vitality CEO, “because globally, people are struggling with excess weight gain, and it is a leading indication of poor health outcomes.”
With the HealthyWeight programme, he explains that Vitality is supporting its members to take the steps that protect them from increased risk of illness related to weight. The World Health Organization estimates that 39% of adults are overweight, and 13% are obese. Carrying excess weight can lessen almost every aspect of a person’s health, including increasing the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
This correlates with Discovery data, showing Vitality members who are overweight or obese experience significant increases in healthcare claims. The risk of these comorbidities increases as members move further out of the healthy‑weight range.
“Vitality HealthyWeight is a personalised digital weight-management programme that gives our members access to their very own dietitian, at the most affordable rates – starting from R250,” says Govender. “After registering for the programme, it offers from grocery shopping lists, cooking and meal preparation tips to details around the psychology of eating behaviours. Members get encouragement and support five days a week to help them on their way to achieve their weight goals.
Discovery Vitality is a behaviour-change platform that guides and incentivises people towards positive health, driving and financial behaviour. Engaged Vitality members are more physically active, buy healthier food and live longer lives than those who are not engaged. The Vitality HealthyWeight programme leverages and complements this successful model and provides an all-inclusive support from a nutritional, psychological and fitness perspective.
“We’ve also built incentives into the programme, because we know that this works to nudge people towards good health choices,” Govender adds. Members on the programme will get 1,000 Vitality points after their four-week check-in.
“We want to see the best possible health outcomes for our members using the programme and assist them to create positive behaviour change for the long term. It is not about fad diets and unhealthy methods for quick weight loss. Our goal is to have Vitality HealthyWeight enable sustainable, healthy weight loss to reduce the long-term risk for lifestyle-related illnesses,” he says.
Cost of the Vitality HealthyWeight programme
Vitality has subsidised Vitality HealthyWeight for all members according to their risk profile – in other words, it removes price as a barrier to help people become as healthy as possible. The higher the member’s risk, the lower the fees to take part in the programme. This is an incentive to create lasting behaviour change for good health choices into the future.
The cost of similar programmes can be up to R1,250 for a month. Vitality HealthyWeight fees start at just R250 for on-demand daily support (five days a week from 08:00 to 19:00) from a registered dietitian who also provides meal plans and shopping lists. Since the programme’s launch, members have awarded the programme an average rating of 9.7 out of 10.
Additionally, the HealthyWeight programme exists alongside Discovery Health programmes that provide certain benefits for members with chronic conditions. Read more about these at www.discovery.co.za. Govender adds that it’s important for members with chronic conditions or on condition management programmes to contact their doctor before making changes to their diet or fitness routine.
Earlier this year, Discovery Vitality shared the results of a national study comparing Vitality members’ collective weight across South African cities. The results rank cities from the healthiest to the least healthy. Read more about the study.
“We do research such as the ObeCity Index to create awareness of health issues around weight and to develop programmes that give our members the most support to manage their health. Combined with added benefits like the Vitality HealthyFood and gym benefits, our members get further cost savings and support to get healthier and #LiveLifeWithVitality,” says Govender.
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, banking, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, active in 40 markets, impacting 40 million lives. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets including AIA (Asia), Ping An (China), Generali (Europe), Sumitomo (Japan), John Hancock (US), Manulife (Canada) and Vitality Life & Health (UK, wholly owned). Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY. Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA
About Discovery Vitality
Vitality is the largest global platform for behaviour change, underpinning the insurance products of leading insurers worldwide, impacting 30 million lives in 40 markets. The Vitality model, established by Discovery Limited in South Africa, has been incentivising behaviour change amongst its clients for over 25 years. Vitality creates shared value by combining behavioural economics, clinical science, and financial incentives to encourage and reward members for taking steps to improve their health. The model began with a focus on health and wellness and has expanded to include short-term insurance, investments, and financial wellness. For more information, please visit the Vitality website or email the Discovery Media Relations team. Follow us on Twitter @Vitality_SA