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Weight Loss Programs At Work Place
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Losing Weight At Work

Workplace Weight-Loss Programs

Weight-loss programs that operate from workplaces can be a particularly good way to help people who might otherwise not seek advice on losing weight, Scottish researchers said on Tuesday.

Employees Weight Loss Program

Wilma Leslie from the University of Glasgow and colleagues ran a work-place weight-loss program at a big Scottish oil refinery with about 2,500 employees. Via emails that employees could access on the internal system, the researchers recruited 122 men who had an average waist size of 102 centimeters and a body mass index (BMI) of around 30, none of whom had previously sought help losing weight.

BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and 30 or more indicates obesity.

Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Programs

The men were assigned to one of two weight-loss programs for 12 weeks, with face-to-face appointments every two weeks, followed by a 12-week weight maintenance program run through email contact. They were either assigned an individualized diet designed to reduce their daily intake by 600 calories, or a standard diet of 1,500 calories per day.

The men could attend their appointments during lunch-time or when their boss gave them a bit of time off - which made it easy for them to take part, Leslie told a meeting of the Association for the Study of Obesity, in London.

Weight Loss Results

During the first 12 weeks, 31 of the men dropped out of the program, for a variety of reasons. Of those who stuck with it, 9 percent lost 10 percent or more of their original weight, while 46 percent lost five to 10 percent. Just 10 percent lost no weight.

There was no significant difference between the different diet groups in weight loss, although the dropout rate was lower in the group given personalized diets. Over the following 12 weeks of "weight-maintenance," the men gained an average of 1.1 kilograms, although 62 percent kept off more than half of the weight they had lost.

Workplace Good For Weight Loss Programs

The workplace is a good arena for tackling overweight and obesity, Leslie said, particularly in the case of men who might otherwise not seek professional help.

"More companies should be encouraged along these lines," she told the meeting. "We got to a population who would otherwise not have sought out weight-loss assistance."

"I think the work site is a tremendous opportunity to do this," commented Dr. Jim Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado at Denver, in the U.S.

It also benefits the employer in terms of reduced sick days and healthcare costs, added Hill, who was not involved in the study. Obesity is linked to an increased risk of major diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.



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