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HMSA Member News > Member NewsSpring 2007 IS Magazine

Need Help to Lose Weight?

There’s still time to join the HMSA/Weight Watchers Hawaii program.

By Myra Williams, Vice President, Health Services Division, HMSA

In November, the first HMSA members to join the HMSA/Weight Watchers Hawaii program finished their 16th meeting. Excitement was high -- not only for them, but for us at HMSA, because we really want members to succeed at achieving a healthy body weight. Since then, many more have gone on to successfully lose weight under our new program.

People who sustain their weight loss enjoy far lower risks for chronic diseases than they did before they lost weight. And according to Weight Watchers Hawaii General Manager Kelly Giles, members who complete 16 meetings are more likely to continue managing their weight.

We chose Weight Watchers as our partner because the company has 40 years of success. Its plan is based on science and sound nutrition, and includes strategies to maintain weight loss. That's important to us, because there are no health benefits to yo-yo dieting.

Before we offered the HMSA/Weight Watchers Hawaii program to HMSA members, we conducted a pilot program. More than 700 pilot participants collectively lost more than 6,200 pounds. Individual average weight loss was 12 pounds. Additionally, their feedback was very positive.

Jennifer Kamiko, an HMSA pilot member who continued attending Weight Watchers beyond the pilot, lost 85 pounds in a year. And she's maintained her loss for a year. For Kamiko, weight management has become a lifestyle habit. That's the goal. She now works with Weight Watchers to inspire others.

As an added benefit, her husband, David, has lost more than 100 pounds. He doesn't attend Weight Watchers, but has benefited from his wife's new eating style. We love that. We'll send you to Weight Watchers Hawaii and your whole family will eat better! In addition, trying the program with a family member or friend can enhance your weight loss and theirs, because you'll support one another.

HMSA members have swelled the ranks of the Weight Watchers Hawaii membership. "Before the HMSA program, we averaged 1,200 to 1,800 members per week," Giles says. "Since the HMSA program started, attendance hasn't dropped below 2,000 members each week." He says retention has also improved. Apparently, HMSA members have the ability to stay the course. We knew you could do it!

And more members report that their doctors recommended the HMSA/Weight Watchers Hawaii program to them. They were directed to a place where they can get the tools and support needed to lose weight, Giles says. Kudos to our providers.

The HMSA/Weight Watchers Hawaii program may not be for everyone. But it won't cost you anything to find out. We'll pay for your registration and first three meetings. If you think it won't help you lose weight, no problem. If you do, you continue on your own at our discounted rate and, after you've attended 13 meetings, you can attend your next three meetings on us.

In fact, some employers have begun picking up the tab for the 10 discounted meetings for their employees who are committed to losing weight. They know that healthy employees are more productive and tend to use fewer costly health care services. In today's competitive environment, healthy employees prove to be among a company's best assets.

To learn how HMSA/Weight Watchers Hawaii works, please visit their web page on You can also call Weight Watchers Hawaii directly at 487-3373 on O'ahu, or 1 (800) 651-6000 from the Neighbor Islands.

Island Scene Online is not intended to replace the advice of health care professionals. Please consult your physician for your personal needs and before making any changes in your lifestyle.
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