Texas Offers State Employees Access to Real Appeal, a Proven Personalized Weight-Loss Program from UnitedHealthcare

  • Real Appeal’s interactive, “positive-message” approach has
    secured high enrollment and success rates, with more than one-third of
    participants achieving meaningful weight loss
  • Texas is one of the first states to make Real Appeal available
    at no cost to state employees, retirees and their dependents through
    their UnitedHealthcare plan
  • Texas anticipates Real Appeal will deliver significant health
    benefits and taxpayer savings

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The State of Texas is taking bold steps to tackle obesity and diabetes
to improve the health of its workforce by offering an innovative,
weight-loss program called Real Appeal to current and former state

Real Appeal is offered at no additional cost to the state or its
employees through HealthSelect of Texas®, the health benefit plan
administered by UnitedHealthcare.

The Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) has made the program
available to its nearly 410,000 state employees, retirees and their
covered family members, and expects Real Appeal to deliver meaningful
results and savings for both participants and taxpayers.

Real Appeal is a personalized, interactive, online weight-loss program
that uses personal coaches and a Hollywood cast to help motivate
participants to get active and healthy, and lose weight. Designed to
help solve America’s obesity and diabetes epidemic, Real Appeal is a
weight-loss program that gives people tools and resources to help them
succeed in their weight-loss journey. To see Real Appeal in action,
click here.

“We have the opportunity to make a real impact on the obesity and
diabetes epidemic that is taking a significant toll on the health and
financial resources of the state workforce, and at the same time,
deliver savings to taxpayers and participants in the state health plan,”
said Porter Wilson, executive director of ERS. “By partnering with
UnitedHealthcare to offer Real Appeal, we are helping our employees and
their families slim down and get healthier.”

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are on the rise in Texas. Nearly 32 percent
of adult Texans are obese, and nearly one in 10 have been diagnosed with
diabetes, according to America’s Health Rankings. Diabetes costs the
state an estimated $18.5 million a year, according to a recent Texas
Health and Human Services Commission report.

“UnitedHealthcare is partnering with ERS of Texas to find new ways to
meet state employees’ health care needs and help them stay on the path
to better health,” said Tom Quirk, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Texas. “We
are pleased to work with ERS to make Real Appeal available to Health
Select participants at no additional cost.”

Real Appeal’s positive message of life-changing weight loss and better
health is driving high enrollment, participation and weight loss rates
among its enrollees nationwide. More than 100,000 participants have
registered in Real Appeal since launching last year. Of those who
completed the program, 82 percent lost weight; the average number of
pounds lost per person is 10, and 38 percent have had clinically
relevant weight loss (5 percent or more), putting them on a path to
reduce their risk for weight-related health conditions such as heart
disease and diabetes. Real Appeal is unique in that it takes a fresh and
innovative approach to success where traditional wellness and
disease-management programs have failed.

How Real Appeal Works
Appeal provides numerous tools and resources people need to succeed,
including technology to deliver real human interaction, education and
engagement. The program offers an interactive weekly online television
series and group discussion, followed up with live personal coaching.
Coaches are available on-demand for one-on-one consultation and support,
making it convenient and easy to participate.

Real Appeal’s weekly Internet show is based on evidence-based,
scientific research combined with award-winning writers and on-screen
talent. In addition to the live coaching sessions, the interactive
program includes digital tools for mobile devices and web-based access,
and a weight-loss kit with exercise DVDs, interactive scale, pedometer,
blender, calorie and weight-loss trackers, fitness guides, literature
and more.

The approach supports individuals taking small steps and celebrating
“wins” along the way, week-by-week over a full year, that add up to big
results that are sustainable in the long run and can prevent
weight-related health conditions – such as diabetes and cardiovascular
disease – down the line.

Texas is among the first states to offer Real Appeal to its employees
through their health plan. Other large customers include UnitedHealth
Group, 1-800 Flowers, the State of Colorado, the School District of Palm
Beach County in Florida and others.

About UnitedHealthcare
is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by
simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and
wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care
providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit
programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees
and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and
contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care
professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide.
UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:
UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more
information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com
or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

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Dustin Clark, 214-438-8251