Why we exist
The world spends trillions treating the outcomes of obesity, largely considering weight loss an aesthetic goal. From pills to surgery, our healthcare systems are buckling under the pressure of managing obesity-related conditions, while systemically underfunding weight loss treatments - the only true way to stop these diseases from ruining lives.
Ian and Napala met while working for a dietetics research company, and quickly realised that there was huge potential to help millions of people with weight loss programmes designed to address not only weight, but also the habits which affect their overall health and happiness—two crucial aspects which traditionally get lost when we talk about weight.
Co-Founder & COO
Dr Ian Braithwaite
Co-Founder & CEO
Dr Silja Voolma, Ph.D.
Applied Behavioural Scientist
Product Design Lead
Michael Stanton, PhD
Clinical Psychology, Stanford Harvard Medical School
Brand & Marketing,
Echo Pharmacy, McKesson
Echo Pharmacy, McKesson
Operations, Tier Mobility, Echo Pharmacy
Product, Tilak Healthcare, GameLoft
We’re a close-knit team that only started on this journey in late 2019, so our culture is evolving as we speak—and will be hugely impacted by every new team member who comes on board. Above all, we know that culture isn’t a slide deck, a set of words, a mantra, or a single person, so our best shot at summing it up is to give an example of something we do that’s different.
Those who go through the Habitual program learn about the importance of balancing their mental and physical health—but this concept isn’t limited to people on a weight loss journey. As a team, we each take up to an hour each day to do something that benefits our health and happiness (no admin or work allowed!)... a walk, a yoga class, practising a new language, reading a book, you name it.
Just as no single behaviour change tactic, diet, or exercise plan works for everyone on the Habitual program, we know that each of us requires something different for our mental and physical health, on any given day. So, we dedicate the time to find that balance.
When it comes to ways of working, we are informal and (we think) fun, as any good startup should be. We go for weekly team lunches (appreciate any good lunch spot suggestions in Shoreditch!) and often exercise together—even over Hangouts. But we equally hold ourselves to high expectations when it comes to output, as we know that creating the world’s best behaviour change program requires a winning combo of science with personality and empathy—so don’t be surprised to find Ian with his head down in scientific references, Napala compulsively checking every patient communication to ensure it sounds like ‘us’, or Nikki spending an hour on the phone with a patient, just to check in.
We are open to (and prefer) wild ideas. As an example, after nearly three weeks of structured naming exercises (sadly no ancient goddess of health had an available trademark), Napala's subconscious came up with ‘Habitual’ in a dream. We think it sums our core message up pretty well!