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Marketing Medically Supervised Weight Loss Programs

It may come as no surprise to learn that the national adult obesity rate has increased by 26% since 2008. In 2020, 42% of American adults were obese, while 73% were overweight.

In many cases, the cause of excess weight is poor eating habits due to our lifestyle and culture. Excess weight often leads to other health issues such as sleep apnea, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, diabetes, and high blood pressure. 

These health issues increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, which are among the leading causes of death in North America, so it’s important for medical professionals to help their patients fight this scourge.

Marketing Medically Supervised Weight Loss

Market Size of the Weight Loss Services Industry in the US

The market size, measured by revenue, of the Weight Loss Services industry is $2.8bn in 2022. The growth rate for the Weight Loss Services industry in the US is estimated to increase 2.5% in 2022.

The target market for this industry has changed. There is no doubt that the Millennials are becoming an important group for the future of weight loss marketing. 

To ignore them is to ensure a slow but steady decline in business for diet companies that are still chasing aging Baby Boomers. 

Most Baby Boomers are now in their 60s and 70s, and will not be dieting at all. Millennials, whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69).

One way that physicians are meeting this health crisis and market need is to operate their own medically supervised weight loss programs. 

Why More Doctors Don’t Run Medically Supervised Weight Loss Programs

Even though excess weight is often the root cause of these issues, very few medical doctors and nurses offer weight loss programs in their practices. The reasons for not offering weight loss programs include:

  • a lack of training in nutrition;
  • a lack of marketing and business skills to run a profitable program;
  • no time or staff;
  • doctors are reluctant to tell their patients that they need to lose weight;
  • there is no course or workshop offered by traditional Medical Associations that teaches how to run a weight loss program as part of a medical practice;
  • setting up a weight loss program involves knowing about more than just weight loss protocols; it means understanding marketing, billing, insurance, meal plans, contracts, staffing and office setup;
  • hiring a consultant for setting up a weight loss program is expensive;
  • buying a weight loss franchise costs around $200,000 USD.

Why More Doctors Should Run Medically Supervised Weight Loss Programs

Despite all these factors, medical doctors and registered nurses are a natural fit for adding medically supervised weight loss programs to their practices because:

Obesity is a serious epidemic that needs to be addressed in a scientific manner - a medically supervised weight loss program is the best way to tackle them.

  • They usually have long-term relationships with their patients;
  • They already have a patient base, so they don’t need to spend a lot of time on marketing and branding;
  • They are qualified and able to address the health conditions related to obesity, namely high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, diabetes, high cholesterol, and hormone imbalances due to perimenopause and menopause;
  • They can prescribe drugs to help with weight loss, such as appetite suppressants; and
  • When treating weight loss, there has been a shift in emphasis from diet foods to counselling and behaviour modification. Nurses are well suited for weight loss counselling because they have training in nutrition and are empathic. According to patients, nurses are the most trusted profession.

Combatting Medical Weight Loss Misinformation

Common misconceptions about medically supervised weight loss programs are that:

  • They are geared toward people who have more severe weight loss requirements;
  • Treatments are intensive;
  • Treatments are invasive;
  • They are very expensive.

In fact, medically supervised weight loss programs are more effective than commercial and natural weight loss programs because doctors and nurses can access detailed information about a patient’s medical history along with their current health and lifestyle habits.

This information can then be applied to proven and sustainable weight loss strategies that are effective, efficient, and safe, as well as geared toward each individual patient. 

In addition, these programs can range from non-invasive approaches that require only special diets and exercise programs to invasive methods, i.e., surgery, depending on what the patient’s requirements are.

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What is the Best Way to Market a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program?

Medically supervised weight loss programs run by medical doctors and other health-care professionals have a unique selling point: they are proven to be more successful than natural and commercial weight loss programs. 

Any medical professional who plans to run such a program should highlight this fact – backed up with the data – in their marketing campaign. 

A successful marketing campaign for a medically supervised weight loss program should provide fact-based evidence that these programs are suitable for patients with a wide variety of weight loss requirements, not only for the morbidly obese. 

They should also address the common misconceptions, such as the belief that the programs are invasive. If people believe the worst, they won’t be interested in participating.

marketing data

Get Certified in Medical Weight Management

On-demand training with the IAPAM Learning Lab is the easiest way to start your medically-supervised weight loss program so you can start helping your patients today!

Be Specific in Your Targeting and Messaging

The most important strategy to implement when marketing a medically supervised weight loss program is to target a specific audience, namely, people who have tried commercial or natural weight loss programs and have not succeeded in losing weight. 

These patients are the ideal targets for a marketing campaign that contains the specific marketing content, messaging, and products to help them understand why a medically supervised weight loss program is the most effective way to lose excess weight.

Losing weight is very challenging. It involves changing long-held habits, behaviours and lifestyle as it relates food and exercise. Given that food plays such a large part in our culture and is intertwined with our social lives, it can also be very frustrating. 

A medically supervised weight loss program is a proven and effective way to lose excess weight and achieve greater health and wellness.   

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