PEIA Helps Members Lose Thousands of Pounds with Online Weight Management Program Pilot, Announces Kickoff of Second Pilot


Charleston, W.Va. — Using Naturally Slim®, an innovative mindful eating program, the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) has helped more than 1,500 of its members lose weight by giving them the tools they need to improve their health and quality of life. And now, PEIA is announcing a second pilot program to help even more PEIA members learn mindful eating skills.

A whopping 38.1 percent of West Virginia’s adult population is obese—the highest percentage of any state in the nation. With healthcare costs and the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease skyrocketing nationwide, PEIA needed a simple, scalable, and cost-effective solution to support members in taking control of their health. Naturally Slim fit the bill.

“Naturally Slim is positively impacting the lives of many hard-working West Virginians,” said PEIA Director Ted Cheatham. “Today, I’m proud to announce that we’re expanding access to the program so that even more PEIA members can benefit. We value the health of our people, and we want to give them access to resources that will enhance their lives while helping PEIA better manage healthcare costs.”

Due to high member demand and encouraging results from the initial Naturally Slim pilot program, PEIA is expanding participation to include 1,000 more members.

“What drew us to Naturally Slim is that it’s a clinically proven, digital program that addresses one of the nation’s biggest healthcare obstacles: obesity-related chronic disease,” said Cheatham. “It’s an accessible, sustainable, and effective approach. Everyone can use it to better their health, and we’re looking forward to enrolling more members.”

Most diets are hard to stick with because they focus on restrictive practices like counting calories, tracking points, or eating specialty foods. Instead, the Naturally Slim program teaches participants sustainable mindful eating skills that help them change when and how they eat, not what they eat, so they can lose weight (and keep it off) while eating the foods they love.

The program also helps participants improve sleep, reduce stress, curb emotional eating, and turn physical activity into something they enjoy doing. And there are no time-consuming meetings or costly one-on-one coaching sessions to attend. Participants learn the Naturally Slim principles through online, video-based lessons they can access from any internet-connected device.

“The fact that anyone with a computer or smartphone can participate is critical. Our members have families to take care of and other commitments that can make it hard for them to focus on their own health. Naturally Slim makes it so they can complete the program whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them,” said Cheryl Jackson, PEIA Wellness Program Manager.

While users from all over the country view a similar online curriculum, PEIA members received a special surprise during week eight of Naturally Slim. Some of the week’s lessons were filmed on location at West Virginia’s scenic Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park and Sandstone Falls in the New River Gorge.

“We appreciate Naturally Slim’s commitment to West Virginia and their interest in using our beautiful state as a backdrop,” said Cheatham.

Following the success of a 50-member test run in late 2017, PEIA rolled out a 1,000-person pilot program in November 2018. They received nearly 3,000 applications in two days and quickly expanded the pilot to accept the 1,779 members who met the selection criteria. Together, those participants have lost thousands of pounds during the first five months of Naturally Slim.

In this second pilot phase, PEIA looks forward to helping even more members lose weight and improve their health. To learn more about Naturally Slim and to apply for the pilot expansion, interested PEIA members can go to www.naturallyslim.com/PEIA. The application opens on April 9, 2019, and the program begins on May 6, 2019.

Testimonials from previous participants:

“Naturally Slim taught me to listen to my body and only eat when I am truly hungry. It has taught me to be in control of my eating, and I'm enjoying my meals while losing weight. I have learned how to get the weight off and keep it off. I have made changes in my habits that I can sustain for the rest of my life.”

I feel more in control of my appetite. I also eat a lot slower than I used to. Therefore, I eat less. And I have found that I have two times a day when I am hungry. The first is about 11:00 am and the other is at dinner, which is 5-6 pm. I also drink a lot more water. I am becoming more aware of what I eat and how I eat. I highly recommend this program. I feel my goal weight is attainable if I follow these principles.”

I can breathe easier; I am not sweating any more. Prior to the start of this, walking one flight of stairs, I would be soaked and winded.”

I have been telling everyone about the program. I have had more success with Naturally Slim than anything else that I have tried. This is the first weight loss program that I have actually learned good eating habits. I am not starving, and I like that I am not focusing on food all the time with creating special menus. Also, this is the first time in my life that I do not feel guilty for leaving food on my plate. THANK YOU!”

Thank you, thank you, thank you...I want to do NS4Life...I don't ever want to go back to the way I was eating and living...living to eat. This program has been a breakthrough and blessing in my life...It taught me even more about myself, why I sabotage my eating, and how to live a positive life. Thank you again.”


Jan Powell or Amanda Downs
558-7850 ext. 52622 or ext. 52679
janice.l.powell@wv.gov or amanda.m.downs@wv.gov