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Workplace-Based Participatory Approach to Weight Loss for Correctional Employees

Ferraro, Lindsay RD; Faghri, Pouran D. MD, MS, FACSM; Henning, Robert PhD; Cherniack, Martin MD, MPHthe Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace Team

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 2 - p 147–155
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182717cd4
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a participatory approach using an employee design team for a 12-week weight-loss program with an 8-week follow-up.

Methods: Twenty-four employees with mean [standard error (SE)] for weight 233.24 lb [8.16], body mass index 33.29 kg/cm2 [0.82], and age 42.7 years [1.5] participated in the study, among whom 75% were men and 25% women.

Results: Significant reductions in weight, body mass index, and waist circumference (among men) were observed before and after intervention (P < 0.05). About 73% and 68% of the variation in weight change (P < 0.01) and waist circumference (P < 0.01), respectively, were explained by Nutrition Knowledge and Exercise Confidence scores after controlling for gender and age.

Conclusions: A participatory program with employee involvement resulted in positive outcomes. Increasing participants' knowledge and providing skills to manage their weight seem to change their attitudes, resulting in better outcomes.

From the Departments of Allied Health Sciences (Ms Ferraro and Dr Faghri), Psychology (Dr Henning), and Medicine (Dr Cherniack), University of Connecticut, Stores, Conn.

Address correspondence to: Pouran D. Faghri, MD, Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, 358 Mansfield Rd, Storrs, CT 06268 (Pouran.faghri@uconn.edu).

This publication was supported by Grant Number 1 U19 OH008857 (The Center for the Promotion of Health in New England Workplaces (CPH-NEW) a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Total Workers Health Center of Excellence. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH.

The authors declare that they have no financial or commercial interests including consultation, investments, stock equity, ownership, stock options, patent licensing arrangement, or payment for conducting or publicizing the study.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine