Piloting a behavior-based health intervention

What works for people living with metabolic syndrome.


An intervention to help people with metabolic syndrome was preparing for a national launch, including the release of a book. While the program performed well in early, high-touch tests, the authors sought to scale the program to meet the needs of a larger audience.


Metabolic syndrome may soon overtake smoking as the leading risk factor for heart disease. It impacts 30% of Americans, and is also linked to an increased risk of type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature mortality.


We designed and managed a 12-week pilot to identify how the program could better meet the needs of multiple behavior-based segments.

We recruited 120 participants, formed an online support group, and conducted A/B testing around messaging, content, and motivation. Through weekly cohort analysis, participant testimonials, and behavioral research, we identified 4 behavior-based segments with common traits and triggers for change. The subsequent recommendations informed the book launch and shaped how the plan was customized for the least engaged. After book release, we adapted the content for wider digital distribution.

The pilot results equipped the authors with human-centric insights to tailor the program’s content and cadence, and informed the overarching business plan. The book secured Amazon’s #1 best-seller list in its category, and earned media coverage from The New York Times, New York Post, and ABC.