Last Updated: September 12, 2018

There’s a lot to love about headlines like Researchers Affirm Long-Term Value of Health Coaching and Study Shows Health Coaches Effective in Helping People Lose Weight, Live Healthier Lives. After all, you got into health coaching to make a living by making a difference. And while the number of people dealing with chronic illnesses and obesity in the world is staggering, it’s reassuring to know that what we’re doing for people’s health is moving the numbers in the right direction.

In this week’s post, we’ll review the latest news, studies and research-based articles that show the growing impact health coaching has on everything from weight loss to recovery from heart attacks.

The Answer to the Obesity Epidemic

Researchers from Miriam Hospital’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center conducted a randomized controlled pilot study to determine the effectiveness of working with a health coach for weight loss. Under the guidance of a health coach, participants in the study lost more than 9 percent of their total body weight, which is huge considering weight loss reduces the risk of obesity-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Positive Outcomes One Year Later

The American Academy of Family Physicians recently published a study on the long-lasting effects of health coaching for patients with chronic diseases. They noted that not only did they see improved outcomes in patients with cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension one year later, but it also helped offset the heavy workload placed on primary care doctors and providers who were previously managing their patients’ chronic diseases.

A Little Heart Goes a Long Way

Doctors at Duke University Medical Center knew that heart patients who did cardiac rehab at the hospital typically made strides during their time in the rehab environment, however, they noticed that patients’ improvement stalled once they returned home. In this small 12-week pilot study, researchers found that virtual oversight from health coaches and the use of fitness trackers kept cardiac patients from reverting back to their unhealthy lifestyles. In fact, the test group not only kept up with their rehab and healthy habits, they continued to increase their fitness levels.

Reducing Trillions in Health Care Costs

A new study reveals that 86% of the United States’ $2.7 trillion annual health care costs are for expenses relating to chronic and mental health conditions. According to Research Director John LaRose, these costs can be significantly reduced through health coaching, specifically at a corporate level. The article also mentions that insurance companies are hiring health coaches to implement disease prevention programs with a special emphasis on diabetes and weight management, smoking cessation, and stress management.

Losing Weight, Winning the Battle With Diabetes

Obesity and weight-related conditions like diabetes are trending upward, with obesity rates at nearly 40% of the U.S. population—that’s 93.3 million of us. But thanks to the Diabetes Prevention Program, which uses virtually delivered programs featuring online health coaches and group-oriented support for behavior change, that number is declining. In this large-scale trial of older adults, participants lost 8% of their body weight after 6 months, and 7.5% after 12 months, exceeding the benchmark set by the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program.

A Healthier Route for Truck Drivers

In a study published by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers looked at the cardiovascular risks of 57 truck drivers who participated in a 12-week health coaching intervention. Through a variety of lifestyle changes, they observed that participants showcased better fasting blood glucose levels, a smaller waist circumference, and a reduced risk for cardiovascular events and diabetes.

Health Coaches Are Moving the Needle on Wellness

Health and wellness coaching can impact everything from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and hypertension. In this review, 219 articles, including 150 data-based articles, revealed that health and wellness coaching for lifestyle behavior change is a promising intervention for chronic diseases in health care, employee wellness, and local communities.

Good News in Review…

If you’re working as a health coach or are considering enrolling in a program like the Primal Health Coach Institute, there’s good news. Not only are health coaching opportunities on the rise, the difference we’re making is substantial. If you missed the summaries above, check out these articles:

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