Can we talk about the fact that Americans spend an estimated $33 billion on weight loss products each year? Yet, obesity rates in the U.S. have tripled since the early 1960s. However it’s packaged, the advice is often eat less and move more. But if it were that simple, wouldn’t the rate of obesity be going down? In other words–this isn’t working.
“The weight loss industry isn’t helping people, despite being a multi-billion dollar business. It promotes a deep-seated feeling of self-failure when the fact is that obesity is a multifactorial disease—not just a reflection of someone’s willpower,” says Sarah Jones Simmer, Found’s Chief Executive Officer.
It’s clear now—thanks to a growing body of research—that weight has more to do with biology than self-discipline. In fact, up to 70 percent of obesity may be determined by genetics. The American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease that requires medical treatment a decade ago, as have other health organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the American Obesity Society.
“Found is the first medically-guided weight care solution that addresses the underlying biological factors of weight health. The traditional approach to obesity ignores other factors beyond food and movement—like hormones, sleep, stress, and socioeconomic factors that also play into weight. Found is different in that we offer clinical treatment, often including prescription medication when appropriate; behavior change guidance; and a supportive community hosted in an app to treat obesity with a full-picture approach,” says Jones Simmer.
For decades, the weight loss industry has blamed excess pounds on a lack of willpower. Because of this, we see the industry offering the same approach for anyone looking to lose weight without considering their unique biology. “Since some people have found temporary success in weight loss programs, it’s turned into a one-size-fits-all approach,” says Jones Simmer. “But everyone’s root cause of obesity is different. And not only are most primary care physicians ill-equipped to treat excess weight, but many patients are also afraid to talk about their weight because of how they’re often treated,” Jones Simmer continues. “There’s a bias that people with excess weight or who are dealing with obesity lack self-discipline and conviction. And that’s far from the truth.“
People with obesity are stigmatized as having failed their diets when the reality is their diets have failed them. If it’s uncomfortable discussing your weight with your healthcare provider because you feel judged, it doesn’t lead you to the support or solution you need. Another barrier for people with obesity is that insurance may not cover the cost of weight care. It comes back to that antiquated assumption that excess weight is the patient’s fault—so health insurers can easily deny coverage. Here’s where Found comes in.
So how do we make a change for the better? “We know now that weight is rooted in our biology, and I think it’s time we shift the lens and really see obesity as a chronic condition,” explains Jones Simmer. “Our goal is to help break the stigma. And we’re able to give access to high-quality care with providers trained in obesity medicine. We’re hoping that primary care physicians will be able to lean on Found to offer their patients specialty care in obesity and offer a wide range of pharmaceutical options that allow us to personalize treatment for each member.” The average Found member loses 10 percent of their body weight during their first 12 months on the program.
Joining Found is easy. New members get a consultation with a care provider specializing in obesity medicine. They will meet with you to personalize a treatment plan based on your health, needs, and goals. If you’re eligible for medications, generic prescriptions filled through Found's preferred pharmacy partners are covered by your Found membership fee and conveniently shipped to your door. Costs for brand-name GLP-1 medications, if prescribed, are not included; but Found works to help members get GLP-1 medications covered by insurance. Members also get access to Found’s in-app lifestyle change program and community for support. Get started by taking our quick personal health quiz today.
Found is among the largest medically-supported weight care clinics in the country, serving more than 200,000 members to date. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz.