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With millions of people thrust into isolation by the global pandemic, Americans have craved social support more than ever. But they may not know how to get it—or feel out of practice and a bit awkward as they tepidly move back into the world of “normalcy.” 

It’s true. Striking up a conversation with a stranger or reaching out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a couple of years can seem a little weird. After all, you’ve gotten used to Zoom calls, listening to true-crime podcasts, and other activities that don’t involve, well, actual in-person interaction. 

But we need social support for many reasons: It helps decrease stress, makes us feel heard when we’re going through a difficult time, and even helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. 

Social support—whether from friends, family, coworkers, or other sources, like an online community—is also important for weight-loss success. That was one of the fascinating findings that came out of a 2022 Found survey of 2,000 people conducted by the market research company OnePoll. Nearly 40% of those polled wished they had access to a supportive community of people trying to lose weight. 

And our survey uncovered other ways Americans need support, as well as insight into the most important factors when embarking on a weight-loss journey. 

Here’s what we found:

A like-minded community is a must

Weight loss is hard. And if you don’t feel like you have people behind you cheering you on, it can be even harder. When no one is eating or exercising like you—or not going through the shared weight-loss journey and its ups and downs—it’s easy to want to give up. 

An alarming one-in-three respondents (34%) told us that they’d given up on their weight-loss program because they didn’t have a support system. Having a community that supports you, holds you accountable, and helps you keep working toward your goals is crucial. As a result, you’re less likely to fall back into old habits and to keep going when you hit an inevitable plateau.

Employer-sponsored programs are essential

During the pandemic, many companies offered mental health resources and extracurricular activities like Zoom Happy Hours to help employees get through what was arguably one of the toughest times of their lives. These resources fostered closeness and a safe space for employees to speak up and say, “I’m actually not OK.”

Additionally, many chose to participate in company-sponsored therapy sessions and workouts over Zoom. It set a bar that continues today. In our poll, 77% of people said they’d be more likely to participate in a weight-loss program if their employer sponsored the program. 

And almost half said they’d be more apt to engage in an employer-sponsored weight loss program if they had help regarding nutrition, movement, emotional health, and sleep (45%), and a supportive community of like-minded individuals (44%).

Americans need support from a medical provider

Doctors have been an integral part of our existence since we were babies. We lean on them for everything from navigating a stomach bug to more serious issues like high blood pressure.

Weight loss is no different. Our survey found that 43% of people were more comfortable starting a new program if they had guidance from a healthcare provider on their weight-loss journey. And 44% said they would be open to taking medications if they’d been proven safe and effective by a trusted medical source, like the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). 

Respondents also told us that they want to see a medical provider and/or a weight care specialist to help them reach their goals. And that’s where Found comes in. We prescribe both FDA-approved branded anti-obesity medications as well as off-label generic drugs—when they’ve been determined safe by the treating physician. Rest assured, you’ll get the best, most comprehensive care for the weight loss journey you want to embark on.

About Found

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.

  • Liu, P. J., Rim, S., Min, L., & Min, K. E. (2022). The surprise of reaching out: Appreciated more than we think. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication.

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