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Combining Environmental and Individual Weight Management Interventions in a Work Setting: Results From the Dow Chemical Study

DeJoy, David M. PhD; Parker, Kristin M. PhD; Padilla, Heather M. MS, RD, LD; Wilson, Mark G. HSD; Roemer, Enid C. PhD; Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 3 - p 245–252
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31820c9023
Original Articles: CME Available for this Article at ACOEM.org

Objective: To evaluate the comparative effectiveness of environmental weight loss interventions alone versus in combination with an individual intervention.

Methods: A quasi-experimental design compared outcomes for two levels of environmental interventions and for participants who did or did not simultaneously self-select into an individually focused weight loss intervention (YW8). Analysis of covariance and logistic regression techniques were used to examine risk outcomes.

Results: Employees who participated in YW8 were no more successful at losing weight than those exposed to only the environmental interventions. Approximately, 13.5% of each group lost at least 5% of their body weight; overall changes in mean body weight and body mass index were negligible in both groups.

Conclusions: Simple worksite environmental modifications may help with weight maintenance, but are not likely to result in substantial weight reductions even when combined with low-intensity individual interventions.

From the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior (Drs DeJoy, Parker, and Wilson, and Ms Padilla), College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga; Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (Drs Roemer and Goetzel), Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Washington, DC; and Consulting and Applied Research (Dr Goetzel), Thomson Reuters, Washington, DC.

Address correspondence to: Heather M. Padilla, MS, RD, LD, 216 Ramsey Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (hmbowen@uga.edu).

Funding for this study was provided by the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI, grant R01 HL79546). However, its contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NHLBI.

Heather Padilla and coauthors David M. DeJoy, Kristin M. Parker, Mark G. Wilson, Enid C. Roemer, and Ron Z. Goetzel have no financial interest related to this research, which was supported by the National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine