Kaiser Permanente testing personal shopper program to fight obesity

Healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente is trying a different approach when it comes to battling obesity.

Instead of doctor's office visits for nutritional consultations, KP is testing what they call the "KP Personal Shopper" program for a select group of patients in Atlanta, reports the Atlanta Business Journal.

In the program, participants will have access to a nutrition expert while they go grocery shopping - someone who can help them make better food decisions, increase their nutritional knowledge and help them create a better diet plan.

The patients will learn how to pick the right foods for disease management and prevention, as well as determine which foods are best for their particular health concerns or conditions. To test the effectiveness of the program, another set of patients will receive the same nutritional counseling during office visits.

The study is set to begin in May, and Kaiser hopes that the Personal Shopper program will result in better health outcomes.

"The investigators hypothesize that, compared to office-based visits, the KP Personal Shopper visits will result in higher member diet quality scores, better nutritional knowledge scores, higher self-efficacy and confidence around food purchasing decisions, and more favorable perception of the visit by both dietician and member," Kaiser Permanente said in a statement.

The results of the experimental patient group will be compared to the results from the patients who had office visits. Helping patients read food labels, track food intake and understand how to create healthy recipes are the desired outcomes of the pilot study.

Source: Atlanta Business Journal

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