Who Qualifies for the Weight Management Program?

The UNC Weight Management Program is open to all qualified participants.

General criteria:

  • Greater than 18 years of age
  • Body Mass Index/BMI of 30 or greater. Click here to calculate your BMI.
    • OR BMI of 25 or greater AND a diagnosis of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome and/or weight-related liver disease
  • Willingness to commit to the full program (6 month minimum)

What is included?

  • Participants are expected to meet with their counselor on a regular basis for 6 to 12 months, depending on goals and progress.
  • Participants first attend an initial 90-minute group orientation appointment; subsequent follow-up visits are 60-minute group and/or 30-minute individual appointments.
  • Participants who attend appointments 2 times a month for at least the first 6 months are more likely to reach their goals.

When can I come in?

Appointment times vary:

  • Group counseling occurs on Thursdays from 4-5pm, 2 times a month
  • Individual appointments are currently available on Monday mornings, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday afternoons.

What is the cost? Is it covered by insurance?

This program is associated with two, one-time fees.

  • Orientation Copay: Your first visit will be a 90-minute group orientation session during which we lay the foundation of our program, discuss healthy plate guidelines and goal setting. This visit will be associated with a one-time copay (the same amount as a primary care visit co-pay).
  • Enrollment Fee: After your second visit, you will receive a one-time bill for $125* through MyChart and/or the mail. You will have 125 days (roughly 4 months) to pay the fee in full. If you cannot pay this fee within the 125 days, please call 984-974-0210 and ask to speak with a financial counselor at any time before the 125 days to set up a payment plan. Please note that a minimum payment of $25 will be required on the first day of the payment plan.

*If you were referred by the UNC AFib Transitions Clinic your enrollment fee will be subsidized by a grant. Patients can expect to pay a co-pay for the initial orientation appointment (typical PCP co-pay).

*If you are UNC Health Care employee (sorry not UNCPN or Rex Health Care at this time), your enrollment fee will be subsidized by your employer or a grant. UNCH Employees can expect to pay a co-pay for the initial orientation appointment (typical PCP co-pay).

The two fees above should cover the majority of your cost for the program. With most insurances this is a free or low-cost service. Please speak with our financial counselors to verify your coverage and out-of-pocket costs prior to receiving service. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

All patients are welcome regardless of health insurance status or type of insurance.

For Referring Providers

Instructions for referral to the UNC Weight Management Program at Family Medicine using EPIC:

  • In the orders and medications panel search for “Obesity”
  • Click on the “database” tab
  • Alternatively you could search for “REF166”

If you are a non-UNC provider and/or have questions, please call the UNC Weight Management Program at 984-974-6519.

We aim to provide services based on the following guiding principles

Sustainability: The health plans and programs that work best focus on sustained long-term change. It is important to celebrate progress, eat foods that taste good, and participate in activities that make us feel strong – in body and mind. The Weight Management Program focuses on identifying skills and strategies for dealing with all kinds of challenges that may arise, empowering clients to maintain the changes they have made long after they graduate from our program.

Maintaining 5-10% Weight Loss: Losing 5-10% of your starting weight is associated with health benefits including improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides. It is also a realistic, achievable goal with sustained changes in diet and physical activity. Program participants can and do often lose more than 10%, but we encourage starting with a goal of 5-10% for the above reasons.

Actions > Weight: Actions are ultimately more important than the number on the scale. You can improve your health by taking healthy actions consistently, no matter how much you weigh. Hard work may not immediately show up on a scale in the way we would like it to, but it still counts. The Weight Management Program emphasizes setting goals, both short-term and long-term, that are measurable without using a scale. Examples include: energy level, mood, clothing size, hours of sleep, steps per day or activities per week, or servings of vegetables or fruit per day.

Self-Love: It is a natural human tendency to be hard on ourselves, especially with so many messages about body image and weight loss in the media and our community. Our bodies allow us to do all of the things we do on a daily basis and it is important to honor the hard work we are doing in taking care of our physical and mental health.