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Journal ArticleDOI

Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot Study and Baseline Survey Indicators of Success

26 Mar 2012-Journal of obesity and weight loss therapy (OMICS International)-Vol. 2012, Iss: 2, pp 1-7

TL;DR: The eight-week worksite nutrition and physical activity educational intervention for correctional employees resulted in clinically meaningful, short-term weight loss among employees in stressful workplaces.

AbstractStatement of problem: Correctional facilities are stressful, unhealthy and dangerous working environments, which increase the risk of chronic diseases and a shortened lifespan for employees, particularly corrections officers. The need exists for effective worksite interventions to lower chronic disease risk and improve health of correctional employees. Objective: The primary aim was to pilot test eight-week worksite nutrition and physical activity educational intervention for correctional employees and to determine baseline indicators of weight loss success. Methods: Twenty overweight/obese volunteer employees were recruited by convenience sampling. Educational material was tailored to baseline responses on diet and physical activity knowledge, preferences, and behaviors. Adiposity status was both self-rated by the study participants and measured by researchers. The primary indicator was change in adiposity with a goal of 3% loss in weight across the intervention. Results: The group averaged one-pound loss per week; eleven of 20 employees lost ≥3% of body weight. The number of overweight/obese employees with healthy waist circumferences increased from 3 to 8 post-intervention. At baseline, employees who reached the weight loss goal were most likely to: accurately assess their level of adiposity; have lower knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating; report greater preference for discretionary-energy foods but less preference for vegetables; and less confidence in changing their physical activity behaviors. Conclusions: The intervention resulted in clinically meaningful, short-term weight loss among employees in stressful workplaces. Simple baseline survey-assessment defined employees who reported room to change their dietary and physical activity patterns as well as an accurate realization of their level of excessive adiposity.

Topics: Weight loss (55%), Overweight (52%)

Summary (2 min read)

Introduction

  • Correctional officers must cope with a variety of stressors within and outside of their institutional roles [1].
  • Chandola et al. [5] reported an association between chronic work stress, elevated cortisol level, and coronary heart disease among a large cohort of civil servants.
  • Increased stress and related behavioral risks have been attributed to the overwhelming number of overweight and obese correctional officers [4], increasing risks for coronary heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes [4,16-18].
  • The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a worksite nutrition education program in achieving weight loss through healthy behaviors for overweight/obese employees in stressful workplaces (i.e., correctional employees).

Study design and recruitment

  • The study used an 8-week pre-post test design.
  • A convenience sample was recruited via flyers and registration forms distributed to all employees and posted for two-weeks in the officer’s mess.
  • Due to an established partnership with the State Department of Correction, and, as a stipulation of their partnership, the study enrollment was open to all employees at the selected correctional facility.
  • Four weeks prior to program initiation, the Program Facilitator (PF) coordinated a best approach to register participants with the warden at the correctional facility.
  • The cooperation of the warden and correctional facility administrators was critical for successful completion of the program including recruitment and implementation via the provision of: semi-private space to complete study forms and surveys and to conduct weekly educational sessions; private space for weigh-ins; and employee’s time and coverage for participation without compromise to job and facility security.

Participants and procedure

  • Convenience sampling was used to recruit volunteer participants who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria.
  • Attrition was attributed to employee transfer of work location.
  • At baseline and after obtaining informed consent, participants were asked to complete the surveys.
  • Participants completed a separate survey asking their level of liking/ disliking for foods and physical activity.

Intervention period

  • The team model was consistent with the small group nature of corrections work.
  • Weekly meetings were scheduled between the PF and each team to discuss and provide nutrition and weight loss information.
  • The general topic areas are shown in Table 2.
  • During educational sessions, the PF discussed issues regarding energy balance, portion size and calorie counting.

Data analysis

  • Changes in adiposity across the intervention were tested with paired t-tests.
  • Differences in baseline survey responses and associations with change in adiposity were tested for central tendency (independent t-test) and distribution with Chi Square Test of Association or the Fisher Exact Probability Test (two-tailed).

Results

  • Change in adiposity across the intervention and associations with perceived adiposity From pre to post intervention, there were significant losses in weight, BMI and waist circumference in both males and females (p<0.01).
  • Baseline nutrition survey responses and associations with intervention weight loss Testing, the more successful weight loss group fell into higher liking categories at baseline for sweets and alcoholic beverages (p<0.05) but tended to fall into lower liking group at baseline for vegetables (p=0.06).
  • Reported liking for physical activity did not differ significantly between those who were inactive versus active, suggesting other barriers to physical activity than level of liking (see below).
  • Individuals who lost >1 inch in waist circumference across the intervention had lower baseline confidence scores than did individuals who lost ≤1 inch (p<0.05).

Discussion

  • The present pilot study evaluated 8-week worksite weight loss intervention for correctional employees, supplemented with nutrition and physical activity survey assessments that were used to tailor the messages and educational intervention as well as characteristics of employees who were most successful in losing weight.
  • The authors pilot study found value in utilizing weight (% weight loss) and waist circumference as both measures documented improvements in adiposity across the intervention in men and women.
  • Another noteworthy approachin their study was assessment of participant’s usual food intake via a reported food preferences in order to tailor nutritional messages that promote lower energy and more nutrient dense intakes.
  • Previous research has shown that employees, especially those most in need, are unlikely to partake in worksite weight loss interventions because they fail to address specific workplace constraints and barriers to achieving healthy lifestyles.
  • This is the first program, to their knowledge, that reported on and showed success of a tailored weight loss intervention for correctional employees based on participant responses to simple baseline surveys on nutrition and physical activity knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.

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University of Connecticut
OpenCommons@UConn
UCHC Articles - Research University of Connecticut Health Center Research
3-26-2012
Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees
in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot Study and Baseline
Survey Indicators of Success
Pouran D. Faghri
University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Dentistry
Valerie B. Du(y
University of Connecticut - Storrs
Nicole R. Benson
University of Connecticut - Storrs
Martin G. Cherniack
University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Dentistry
Follow this and additional works at: h9ps://opencommons.uconn.edu/uchcres_articles
Part of the Medicine and Health Sciences Commons
Recommended Citation
Faghri, Pouran D.; Du8y, Valerie B.; Benson, Nicole R.; and Cherniack, Martin G., "Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees
in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot Study and Baseline Survey Indicators of Success" (2012). UCHC Articles - Research. 101.
h9ps://opencommons.uconn.edu/uchcres_articles/101

Obesity & Weight loss Therapy
Faghri et al., J Obes Weig los Ther 2012, 2:2
http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2165-7904.1000121
Volume 2 • Issue 2 • 1000121
J Obes Weig los Ther
ISSN: 2165-7904 JOWT, an open access journal
Open Access
Research Article
Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees in Stressful
Workplaces: A Pilot Study and Baseline Survey Indicators of Success
Pouran D. Faghri
1
*, Valerie B. Duffy
2
, Nicole R. Benson
3
and Martin G. Cherniack
4
1
Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, USA
2
Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, USA
3
Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, USA
4
Occupational & Environmental Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, USA
Abstract
Statement of problem: Correctional facilities are stressful, unhealthy and dangerous working environments,
which increase the risk of chronic diseases and a shortened lifespan for employees, particularly corrections ofcers.
The need exists for effective worksite interventions to lower chronic disease risk and improve health of correctional
employees.
Objective: The primary aim was to pilot test eight-week worksite nutrition and physical activity educational
intervention for correctional employees and to determine baseline indicators of weight loss success.
Methods: Twenty overweight/obese volunteer employees were recruited by convenience sampling. Educational
material was tailored to baseline responses on diet and physical activity knowledge, preferences, and behaviors.
Adiposity status was both self-rated by the study participants and measured by researchers. The primary indicator was
change in adiposity with a goal of 3% loss in weight across the intervention.
Results: The group averaged one-pound loss per week; eleven of 20 employees lost ≥3% of body weight. The
number of overweight/obese employees with healthy waist circumferences increased from 3 to 8 post-intervention. At
baseline, employees who reached the weight loss goal were most likely to: accurately assess their level of adiposity;
have lower knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating; report greater preference for discretionary-energy foods but
less preference for vegetables; and less condence in changing their physical activity behaviors.
Conclusions: The intervention resulted in clinically meaningful, short-term weight loss among employees in
stressful workplaces. Simple baseline survey-assessment dened employees who reported room to change their
dietary and physical activity patterns as well as an accurate realization of their level of excessive adiposity.
*Corresponding author: Pouran D. Faghri, MD, MS, FACSM, Department of Allied
Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, 358 Manseld Road, U-2101, Storrs, CT
06269, USA, Tel: 860.486.0018; Fax: 860.486.5375; E-mail: pouran.faghri@uconn.edu
Received January 23, 2012; Accepted March 23, 2012; Published March 26,
2012
Citation: Faghri PD, Duffy VB, Benson NR, Cherniack MG (2012) Worksite Weight
Loss Intervention for Employees in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot Study and Baseline
Survey Indicators of Success. J Obes Weig los Ther 2:121. doi:10.4172/2165-
904.1000121
Copyright: © 2012 Faghri PD, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under
the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted
use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and
source are credited.
Keywords: Obesity; Worksite; Correctional ocers; Tailored
intervention
Introduction
Correctional ocers must cope with a variety of stressors within
and outside of their institutional roles [1]. Correctional institutions are
high-stress workplaces due to hierarchal organization, rotating work
shis, irregular meal schedules, and risks to personal safety during
violent emergencies [2-4]. Much of the research on the health of
workers in hazardous duty services (e.g., police ocers, civil servants,
and correctional ocers) has identied a relationship between the
work environment and stress [5-12]. For example, Chandola et al. [5]
reported an association between chronic work stress, elevated cortisol
level, and coronary heart disease among a large cohort of civil servants.
Increased stress and depression also can lead to dis inhibited and binge
eating [13], which increases risk of excessive adiposity.
Smoking, poor eating habits and inactivity also challenge the health
of correctional ocers. From our experience in northeastern United
States, correctional ocers exit the training academy physically t,
having passed the Cooper Institute Fitness Standards [14]. Yet, most
exceed recommended weight norms within 5 years on the job due to
lack of regular physical conditioning and unhealthy food environments
in correctional facilities [15]. Increased stress and related behavioral
risks have been attributed to the overwhelming number of overweight
and obese correctional ocers [4], increasing risks for coronary heart
disease, hypertension, and diabetes [4,16-18].
Health promotion and public health advocates have identied
the workplace as a promising setting for addressing excessive
adiposity and chronic disease risk [17]. Evidence from best practices
recommends that weight management interventions should include
health professional-facilitated education and tailored feedback, a
work environment that supports behavior changes, and employee
involvement in the intervention [19,20]. Success in weight loss
programs has been attributed to improvements in the participant’s
level of self-ecacy and condence in changing dietary and physical
activity behaviors [21] across relatively short 8-week [22] and longer
18-month [23] interventions. Traditional workplace health promotion
programs typically use “one size ts all” approaches, which may be
incongruent with the job conditions (demanding work schedule,
inexibility, and lack of control) and organizational hierarchy of
correctional institutions. Tailoring a weight loss intervention to
participant’s level of knowledge, self-ecacy and extant workplace
barriers, may empower correctional ocers toward achieving and
maintaining a healthy weight by counteracting the potential negative
inuences of work environment, job characteristics, and lifestyle [24].

Citation: Faghri PD, Duffy VB, Benson NR, Cherniack MG (2012) Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot
Study and Baseline Survey Indicators of Success. J Obes Weig los Ther 2:121. doi:10.4172/2165-904.1000121
Page 2 of 7
Volume 2 • Issue 2 • 1000121
J Obes Weig los Ther
ISSN: 2165-7904 JOWT, an open access journal
e purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the eectiveness
of a worksite nutrition education program in achieving weight loss
through healthy behaviors for overweight/obese employees in stressful
workplaces (i.e., correctional employees). e intervention was tailored
to the employee’s baseline survey responses on nutrition knowledge,
exercise behaviors, condence in changing behaviors, and preference
for foods and exercise. e ability for these baseline responses to
explain dierences in those who were successful in weight loss (goal of
≥3% of baseline body weight) across the intervention was tested.
Materials and Methods
Study design and recruitment
e study used an 8-week pre-post test design. A convenience
sample was recruited via yers and registration forms distributed to
all employees and posted for two-weeks in the ocer’s mess. Due to
an established partnership with the State Department of Correction,
and, as a stipulation of our partnership, the study enrollment was
open to all employees at the selected correctional facility. Four weeks
prior to program initiation, the Program Facilitator (PF) coordinated
a best approach to register participants with the warden at the
correctional facility. e cooperation of the warden and correctional
facility administrators was critical for successful completion of the
program including recruitment and implementation via the provision
of: semi-private space to complete study forms and surveys and to
conduct weekly educational sessions; private space for weigh-ins; and
employee’s time and coverage for participation without compromise to
job and facility security.
Participants and procedure
Convenience sampling was used to recruit volunteer participants
who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria were:
being an employee of the correctional facility, a body mass index (BMI)
of ≥25, no restriction in physical activity as indicated by the Physical
Activity Readiness Questionnaire [25] and a commitment to the 8-week
intervention and evaluation. Twenty-seven employees volunteered
for the program, and aer baseline measurements, 20 participants
continued for the entirety of the intervention. Attrition was attributed
to employee transfer of work location.All of the participants signed
an informed consent approved by the University Institutional Review
Board prior to participation. At baseline and aer obtaining informed
consent, participants were asked to complete the surveys. Adiposity
measures were completed at pre and post-intervention.
e PF measured the participant’s body weight using the same
digital weight scale, which was calibrated regularly. BMI was calculated
from the baseline weight and self-reported height (wt/ht
2
). Using a
non-stretchable tape measure, waist circumference was measured
around the smallest area below the rib cage and at the level of the top
of the hip. Hip circumference was measured around the widest area of
the hips. Perceived body size was estimated from the Stunkard Figure
Rating Scale [26]. Participants identied their body size using the
scale’s body type pictograms to assess self-awareness of adiposity and
discrepancy between measured and self-reported adiposity. Previous
work in a worksite wellness program suggeststhat individuals are more
willing to list a weight category than to report their actual weight [27].
Table 1 shows the characteristics of the participants. e study
sample was slightly older than the overall facility employees (average
age 42.5 years) and the average age for females (51.6 years) exceeded
that for males (43.3 years, p<0.05). According to the pre-intervention
BMI, 7 participants (35%) were overweight (25-29), 6 (30%) had class
I obesity (30-34.9), 5 (25%) had class II obesity (35-39.9) and 2 (10%)
had class III or extreme obesity (≥40) [28]. e males at baseline had
signicantly higher BMIs than did the females (p=0.01), and were
skewed toward being obese. Higher risk waist circumferences were
seen for all of the males (>40 inches) and for 6 of the 9 women (<35
inches).
Surveys on nutrition knowledge, attitudes and behaviors
toward food and physical activity
Following previously validated protocols [29-31], participants
completed 3-section nutrition and physical activity questionnaire to
assess knowledge, usual dietary and exercise habits, as well as levels
of condence and barriers to changing eating and exercise behaviors.
e rst section contained ten multiple-choice or multiple component
questions, adopted from the Hawkes and Nowak nutrition knowledge
questionnaire [25], which asked whether foods were low in cholesterol,
fat, or ber. One point was given for correct answers and zero points
for incorrect or “not sure” answers, for a total maximal score of 38
points. e second section contained 26 multiple choice and open-
ended questions to identify participant’s eating and exercise habits
at the workplace [29,30]. e third section assessed the participant’s
motivation and self-ecacy regarding a regular exercise program
[32,33].
Participants completed a separate survey asking their level of liking/
disliking for foods and physical activity. Previous research has shown
that reported preference for foods serves as a proxy of habitual dietary
intake [27,34]. e survey contained 62 foods/beverages, 7 physical
activity items, and 7 pleasurable (e.g., jumping into a pool on a hot
day) and unpleasurable (e.g., glare of headlights) items on the hedonic
general Labeled Magnitude Scale. e bidirectional scale has labels
spaced to give the scale ratio properties: strongest liking/disliking is
located at the ends (±100), neutral in the middle (0), and intermediate
labels of weakly (±6), moderately (±17), strongly (±35), and very
strongly (±54) like/dislike. e non-food items generalize the hedonic
scale, increasing the ability to compare ratings across individuals [35]
and providing insight to motivation for eating (e.g., food hedonism)
[27,34]. Individual items were conceptually grouped by foods, physical
activities, and non-foods.
Intervention period
e study group participated in eight, 1-hour weekly educational
sessions lead by the PF who had formal training in health promotion
and health education, was certied by a major insurance corporation
Baseline Characteristics
Gender
Male 11
Female 9
Age Years ± St. Dev. (Range: 19-72 yrs) 47.1 ± 8.8
Anthropometrics
Male
Weight: Pounds ± St. Dev.
BMI: Kg/cm
2
± St. Dev.
Waist: Inch ± St. Dev.
262±6.2
36.6±6.7
46.6±6.9
Anthropometrics
Female
Weight: Pounds ± St. Dev.
BMI: Kg/cm
2
± St. Dev.
Waist: Inch ± St. Dev.
170±21.1
29.6±4.4
35.8±2.6
Race
Hispanic (Answered Yes) 2
White 15
African American / Black 3
Table 1: Baseline Characteristics of Worksite Employees.

Citation: Faghri PD, Duffy VB, Benson NR, Cherniack MG (2012) Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot
Study and Baseline Survey Indicators of Success. J Obes Weig los Ther 2:121. doi:10.4172/2165-904.1000121
Page 3 of 7
Volume 2 • Issue 2 • 1000121
J Obes Weig los Ther
ISSN: 2165-7904 JOWT, an open access journal
on their workplace weight loss programs, and had previous experience
implementing health program interventions at correctional facilities.
Four weekly education sessions (two per week, one in the morning, and
one in the aernoon to reach all shis) were held to provide employees
with maximum opportunity to attend sessions convenient to their
work and shi schedules. ey were discouraged from attending more
than 1 session per week. During the rst week, the PF met with the 20
participants, who then created seven teams of 2-5 members each. e
team model was consistent with the small group nature of corrections
work. Weekly meetings were scheduled between the PF and each team
to discuss and provide nutrition and weight loss information. e
participants were required to attend at least in 6 of the 8 weekly sessions
and monitored their progress through food and activity logs.
Tailored weight loss intervention
e focus of the intervention was to promote knowledge and
attitudes conducive to improving or maintaining positive dietary
and physical activity practices for healthy behaviors and weight loss,
following the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid
and the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National
Cholesterol Program Guidelines. e general topic areas are shown in
Table 2.
Although the session topics were the same for all teams, the PF
utilized the baseline survey responses to tailor the educational sessions
and handouts for nutrition messages, emphasizing portion control,
exible restraint, planned indulgences and a positive relationship with
food. is approach is consistent with most of the research identifying
barriers to weight loss including perceived taste, lack of convenience/
time, high cost, confusing advertising, and lack of knowledge of actual
food intake and dietary recommendations [36-39]. During educational
sessions, the PF discussed issues regarding energy balance, portion size
and calorie counting. In terms of nutrition knowledge for example, the
instruction addressed that 15 of 20 participants incorrectly answered
questions pertaining to fat and cholesterol contents of foods as well
as fruit and vegetable intake recommendations. Further educational
tailoring was specic to environmental constrains of the correctional
facility (e.g., planning healthy meal options for extended shi hours
and avoiding overeating energy dense, low-nutrient quality foods
during double shis). For each session, a detailed outline of the didactic
materials was presented to the participants.
Data analysis
Changes in adiposity across the intervention were tested with
paired t-tests. Dierences in baseline survey responses and associations
with change in adiposity were tested for central tendency (independent
t-test) and distribution with Chi Square Test of Association or the
Fisher Exact Probability Test (two-tailed). e criterion for signicance
was p≤0.05.
Results
Change in adiposity across the intervention and associations
with perceived adiposity
From pre to post intervention, there were signicant losses in
weight, BMI and waist circumference in both males and females
(p<0.01). e average weight loss at week 8 was 8.3 lbs, ranging from
26.2 lbs lost to 1.8 pounds gained, which corresponds to an average of
3.6% weight lost across all participants (Figure 1). e average BMI
decreased from 33.5 at baseline to 32.3 at the nal week. In comparison
with females, males achieved signicantly greater loss of weight and
BMI (p<0.05), but not greater percentage of weight loss.e average
reduction in waist circumference was 1.4 inches, ranging from 6.6
inches lost to 1.2 inches gained.e number of participants with normal
waist circumference (lower disease risk, according to the CDC BMI/
Waist circumference classication) increased by two and half fold,
from 3 or 15% at baseline to 8 or 40% at post intervention (Table 3).
Although there was no gender dierence in loss of waist circumference,
females showed signicantly greater variance in circumference lost
(+1.2 to -6.6 inches) than did males (+0.5 to -4 inches, p<0.05).
Comparing measured to perceived adiposity status, 14 individuals
(70%) showed concordance between perceived and measured BMI
categories (Table 4). None of the individuals perceived that they
Figure 1: Individual participant’s percentage weight loss following 8-weeks
intervention.
0
1
2
3
1 % 0 -1 % -2 % -3 % -4 % -5 % -6 % -7 % -8 % >-9 %
Number of Parcipants
Distribuon of weight change across the 8-week
intervenon
Categories*
Baseline Post Intervention
Total
Waist
Normal
Waist
Elevated
Total
Waist
Normal
Waist
Elevated
Normal (18.5<BMI<25) 0 1 1
Overweight (25<BMI<30) 7 3 4 8 7 1
Obese I (30<BMI<35) 6 6 6 1 5
Obese II (35<BMI<40) 5 5 3 3
Obese III (40≤BMI) 2 2 2 2
Table 3: Participants BMI/Waist-circumference classication.
*CDC classications including waist circumference normal as <35 in. for females
and <40 in. for males; waist elevated above these cutoffs (www.nhlbi.nih.gov/
guidelines/obesity/prctgd_c.pdf)
Session Lessons
1
Introduction to My Pyramid, Caloric Balance, Your Healthy Weight,
and Portion Sizes
2
Benets to Exercise, Create an Exercise Plan, Learn How to Move
Everyday
3
Sample Meal Plans, Learn How to Read Nutrition Labels, Healthy
Snacks, Plan-Ahead Meals
4
Create a Healthy Environment at Home and Work, Hunger Scale,
Identifying Triggers
5
Prioritize a Healthy Lifestyle, Finding Your Support System, Making
Time to Exercise, On-the-go Activities
6
Strategies to Healthy Eating While Dining Out, Ingredient
substitutions, Key Components to a Healthy Diet
7 Identify Signs and Sources of Stress, Problem Solving
8 Keys to Success, Positive Self-Talk
Table 2: Lessons for intervention sessions.

Citation: Faghri PD, Duffy VB, Benson NR, Cherniack MG (2012) Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot
Study and Baseline Survey Indicators of Success. J Obes Weig los Ther 2:121. doi:10.4172/2165-904.1000121
Page 4 of 7
Volume 2 • Issue 2 • 1000121
J Obes Weig los Ther
ISSN: 2165-7904 JOWT, an open access journal
were a normal weight. e 6 individuals (30%) who were discordant
in perceived vs. measured adiposity (Table 4) achieved less than 3%
weight loss from pre to post intervention (Fisher Exact Probability
Test, p <0.05).
Baseline nutrition survey responses and associations with
intervention weight loss
e nutrition knowledge score at baseline ranged from 11 to 29, with
an average score (20.3±4.5) equal to half of the items being answered
incorrectly, and did not dier signicantly between males and females.
ere was no signicant relationship between nutrition knowledge and
either baseline adiposity or waist circumference. However, employees
with below average knowledge scores showed more success in the
weight loss intervention they tended to be distributed in the greater
than 3% weight loss category than those with above average baseline
knowledge scores (Fisher Exact Probability Test, p=0.07).
Fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and milk products were ranked
as less preferred at baseline than were high-fat food groups (Table 5).
Participants who lost 3% of their baseline weight or more across the
intervention (versus those who lost <3%) reported less healthy dietary
preferences at baseline. According to Fisher’s Exact Probability Testing,
the more successful weight loss group fell into higher liking categories
at baseline for sweets and alcoholic beverages (p<0.05) but tended to
fall into lower liking group at baseline for vegetables (p=0.06). Eleven
participants (55%) were classied as having high food interest (food
groups were ranked as more liked than pleasurable non-food items),
while eight participants (45%) were classied as having lower food
interest (food groups were ranked as less liked than pleasurable non-
food items). High food interest individuals had signicantly higher
baseline BMIs (p<0.05), yet did not dier signicantly in the amount of
weight/adiposity lost from pre to post intervention.
Baseline physical activity survey responses and associations
with intervention weight loss
From the survey reports at baseline, 15 participants (75%) reported
no activity or less than three times of recommended physical activity
per week [40]. Males and females did not dier in level of physical
inactivity and higher age was not associated with greater inactivity
(none or less than once/week). Participants who reported inactivity did
not dier signicantly in baseline BMI or waist circumference, central
tendency or distribution, from those who reported physical activity.
Across all participants, the average hedonic rating for physical
activity was just above moderately liked (average=22.1±27.5 St. Dev.),
with large variation (< moderately disliked to > strongly liked) that did
not dier signicantly between males or females or by age. Reported
liking for physical activity did not dier signicantly between those
who were inactive versus active, suggesting other barriers to physical
activity than level of liking (see below). e relationship between liking
for physical activity and adiposity measures was not linear. ose who
were heaviest (BMI≥35) reported greatest level of liking for physical
activity.
From the survey responses, 85% of participants (17 of 20) reported
no time, not enough energy, or laziness as barriers to physical activity,
with none reporting health or injury worry as a barrier. Reported
condence in physical activity across the 11 items was varied, ranging
from low (score<2) to high (score=5) condence.e relationship
between reported physical activity and physical activity condence
was j-shaped: those with highest condence either reported being
inactive or being highly activity. Individuals who lost >1 inch in waist
circumference across the intervention had lower baseline condence
scores than did individuals who lost ≤1 inch (p<0.05). Change in BMI
was not related signicantly to baseline condence scores.
Discussion
e present pilot study evaluated 8-week worksite weight loss
intervention for correctional employees, supplemented with nutrition
and physical activity survey assessments that were used to tailor the
messages and educational intervention as well as characteristics of
employees who were most successful in losing weight. e average
pre-post intervention loss of weight and adiposity was signicant and
reached clinical signicance (>3% weight loss).Participants who had less
healthy dietary behaviors at baseline, measured by less healthy dietary
preferences and lower nutrition knowledge, were most responsive to
the intervention as measured by percentage weight loss. e reported
level of physical activity at baseline was unrelated to the level of weight
loss, however, those who were less condent about their physical
Perceived Body Size
BMI Normal Overweight Obese
Normal 0 0 0
Overweight 0 6 1
Obese I 0 3 3
Obese II 0 2 3
Obese III 0 0 2
Table 4: The joint distribution between measured CDC BMI categories and perceived body size based on the Stunkard gures (1=very thin, 2-3 normal, 4-6 overweight,
7-9 obese) showing concordance (shaded) and discordance (un-shaded) at baseline.

Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A participatory program with employee involvement for a 12-week weight-loss program with an 8-week follow-up resulted in positive outcomes, increasing participants' knowledge and providing skills to manage their weight seem to change their attitudes, resulting in better outcomes.
Abstract: 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 ye

26 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This cross-sectional pilot study used a sample of sixteen correctional employees who participated in a Nutrition and Physical Activity Questionnaire and revealed that knowledge and self-efficacy scores predicted variation in BMI when controlling for other scores in the model.
Abstract: Obesity is a public health concern with significant economic costs affecting employers. Worksite wellness programs benefit from developing tailored interventions that consider employees’ health-related knowledge and self-efficacy to change behavior. Correction is a high stress occupation with elevated rates of overweight and obesity. Poor stress management and barriers to achieve optimal health in the work environment increases the need for adequate knowledge and self-efficacy, or the level of confidence to eat healthy and be physically active. This cross-sectional pilot study used a sample of sixteen correctional employees who participated in a Nutrition and Physical Activity Questionnaire. This survey assesses knowledge and self-efficacy for nutrition and physical activity and current health behaviors, such as current dietary habits and level of physical activity. Demographic and anthropometric data were also collected for statistical analyses. Participants were primarily male correction officers working first shift with a mean (±SE) BMI of 29 (±1.05) kg/m2, classified as overweight. Multiple regression analyses revealed that knowledge and self-efficacy scores predicted variation in BMI when controlling for other scores in the model. Findings from this study may be applicable for future health promotion interventions in high-risk occupations. In high-risk occupations such as corrections, understanding environmental and organizational barriers to achieving good health and reducing chronic disease risk is important. However, in addition to reducing these barriers, increasing knowledge, improving skills and self-efficacy to achieve good health are also critical in order to develop effective interventions for this population.

19 citations


Cites background or methods from "Worksite Weight Loss Intervention f..."

  • ...[19] consists of 67 multiple-choice items divided into four sections and takes approximately 35-40 minutes to complete....

    [...]

  • ...A quasi-experimental weight loss intervention using a participatory design used a modified version of the NPAQ....

    [...]

  • ...New variables were computed using sum scores from each domain in the NPAQ....

    [...]

  • ...Methods Study design This was a cross-sectional study of a survey called the Nutrition and Physical Activity Questionnaire (NPAQ) [19] completed by a group of correctional employees....

    [...]

  • ...Nutrition and physical activity questionnaire: The NPAQ developed by Faghri et al. [19] consists of 67 multiple-choice items divided into four sections and takes approximately 35-40 minutes to complete....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Participation levels, robustness of participatory structures and sophistication of interventions have increased at each measured interval, and the PAR approaches are robust and sustained.
Abstract: Background HITEC 2 (Health Improvement through Employee Control 2) is the follow-up to HITEC, a participatory action research (PAR) program that integrates health and work conditions interventions designed by the workforce. HITEC 2 compares intervention programs between two correctional sites, one using a pure workforce level design team and the other using a more structured and time delineated labor-management kaizen effectiveness team. Methods HITEC 2 utilizes a seven step participatory Intervention Design and Analysis Scorecard (IDEAS) for planning interventions. Consistent with PAR, process and intervention efficacy measures are developed and administered through workforce representation. Results Participation levels, robustness of participatory structures and sophistication of interventions have increased at each measured interval. Health comparisons between 2008 and 2013 showed increased hypertension, static weight maintenance, and increased ‘readiness to change’. Conclusions The PAR approaches are robust and sustained. Their long-term effectiveness in this population is not yet clear.

19 citations


Cites background from "Worksite Weight Loss Intervention f..."

  • ...These instruments are further detailed in manuscripts produced from HITEC2 1; their inclusion introduces the general format applicable to all short surveys (Faghri et al., 2012)....

    [...]



Journal Article
TL;DR: The present review discusses about the various types of common occupational disorders prevailing in different working fields, work compensation act and measurements and steps to be taken to prevent the occupational diseases according to the Occupational Health and Safety regards.
Abstract: Around the globe, work has heavy impact on the health. Any chronic ailment that results due to continuous work or any occupational activity can be known as Occupational disease. Various occupational exposures lead to different types of Occupational diseases. These can be caused by both ‘exertional factors’ and ‘environmental factors’ of which the former include injuries that are caused by the amount of physical exertion needed to perform the job and the latter refer to the presence of chemicals, dust, fumes, gases and other substances in the workplace. However, it is not always that easy to designate a disease as being occupational. There are many diseases that could be related to occupation in one or the other way. On one hand there are some classical diseases which are occupational in nature and generally related to one causal agent. On the other hand, there are many kinds of disorders which probably include several possible causal agents without being related to occupation. The present review discusses about the various types of common occupational disorders prevailing in different working fields, work compensation act and measurements and steps to be taken to prevent the occupational diseases according to the Occupational Health and Safety regards.

3 citations


Cites background from "Worksite Weight Loss Intervention f..."

  • ...and case definitions for major deployment related lung diseases [79-81]....

    [...]


References
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Journal Article
TL;DR: The revised wording of the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire has apparently had the intended effect of reducing positive responses, particularly to the question regarding an elevation of blood pressure.
Abstract: The original Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) offers a safe preliminary screening of candidates for exercise testing and prescription, but it screens out what seems an excessive proportion of apparently healthy older adults. To reduce unnecessary exclusions, an expert committee established by Fitness Canada has now revised the questionnaire wording. The present study compares responses to the original and the revised PAR-Q questionnaire in 399 men and women attending 40 accredited fitness testing centres across Canada. The number of subjects screened out by the revised test decreased significantly (p < .05), from 68 to 48 of the 399 subjects. The change reflects in part the inclusion of individuals who had made an erroneous positive response to the original question regarding high blood pressure. There is no simple gold standard to provide an objective evaluation of the sensitivity and specificity of either questionnaire format, but the revised wording has apparently had the intended effect of reducing positive responses, particularly to the question regarding an elevation of blood pressure.

1,664 citations


"Worksite Weight Loss Intervention f..." refers background or methods in this paper

  • ...The first section contained ten multiple-choice or multiple component questions, adopted from the Hawkes and Nowak nutrition knowledge questionnaire [25], which asked whether foods were low in cholesterol, fat, or fiber....

    [...]

  • ...Inclusion criteria were: being an employee of the correctional facility, a body mass index (BMI) of ≥25, no restriction in physical activity as indicated by the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire [25] and a commitment to the 8-week intervention and evaluation....

    [...]


Journal Article

1,609 citations


"Worksite Weight Loss Intervention f..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...Perceived body size was estimated from the Stunkard Figure Rating Scale [26]....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Modest weight losses of 5 to <10% were associated with significant improvements in CVD risk factors at 1 year, but larger weight losses had greater benefits.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE Overweight and obese individuals are encouraged to lose 5–10% of their body weight to improve cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, but data supporting this recommendation are limited, particularly for individuals with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We conducted an observational analysis of participants in the Look AHEAD (Action For Health in Diabetes) study ( n = 5,145, 40.5% male, 37% from ethnic/racial minorities) and examined the association between the magnitude of weight loss and changes in CVD risk factors at 1 year and the odds of meeting predefined criteria for clinically significant improvements in risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes. RESULTS The magnitude of weight loss at 1 year was strongly ( P P = 0.79). Compared with weight-stable participants, those who lost 5 to 1c (odds ratio 3.52 [95% CI 2.81–4.40]), a 5-mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure (1.48 [1.20–1.82]), a 5-mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure (1.56 [1.27–1.91]), a 5 mg/dL increase in HDL cholesterol (1.69 [1.37–2.07]), and a 40 mg/dL decrease in triglycerides (2.20 [1.71–2.83]). The odds of clinically significant improvements in most risk factors were even greater in those who lost 10–15% of their body weight. CONCLUSIONS Modest weight losses of 5 to

1,145 citations


"Worksite Weight Loss Intervention f..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Losing 3-5% of body weight can delay or prevent chronic conditions related to obesity [41,42]....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
01 Oct 2006-Obesity
TL;DR: This study examined experiences of weight stigmatization, sources of stigma, coping strategies, psychological functioning, and eating behaviors in a sample of 2671 overweight and obese adults.
Abstract: The total sample of 2671 overweight and obese adults were partitioned into two subsamples for investigation. Sample I was comprised of 2449 adult women, and Sample II was a matched sample of adult men and women (N = 222) that was disaggregated to investigate gender differences. Both samples completed an online battery of self-report questionnaires measuring frequency of weight stigmatization and coping responses to deal with bias, the most common sources of the bias, symptoms of depression, self-esteem, attitudes about weight and obesity, and binge eating behaviors .Experiences of weight stigmatization was common in both samples. A variety of coping strategies were used in response. More frequent exposure to stigma was related to more attempts to cope and higher BMI. Physicians and family members were the most frequent sources of weight bias reported. No gender differences were observed in types or frequency of stigmatization. Frequency of stigmatization was not related to current psychological functioning, although coping responses were associated with emotional well-being. These findings raise questions about the relationship between stigma and psychological functioning and have important implications for obesity treatment and stigma reduction intervention efforts, both of which are discussed.

807 citations


"Worksite Weight Loss Intervention f..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...If inaccurate self-perception is a barrier to effective weight loss, the use of instruments like the FRS may have utility in workplace weight loss programs [49]....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI

735 citations


"Worksite Weight Loss Intervention f..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The third section assessed the participant’s motivation and self-efficacy regarding a regular exercise program [32,33]....

    [...]


Frequently Asked Questions (2)
Q1. What have the authors contributed in "Worksite weight loss intervention for employees in stressful workplaces: a pilot study and baseline survey indicators of success" ?

The primary aim was to pilot test eight-week worksite nutrition and physical activity educational intervention for correctional employees and to determine baseline indicators of weight loss success. Adiposity status was both self-rated by the study participants and measured by researchers. At baseline, employees who reached the weight loss goal were most likely to: accurately assess their level of adiposity ; have lower knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating ; report greater preference for discretionary-energy foods but less preference for vegetables ; and less confidence in changing their physical activity behaviors. Edu Received January 23, 2012 ; Accepted March 23, 2012 ; Published March 26, 2012 Citation: Faghri PD, Duffy VB, Benson NR, Cherniack MG ( 2012 ) Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot Study and Baseline Survey Indicators of Success. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. 

Future programs should consider these job characteristics during planning and implementation of worksite health promotion programs. This pilot study and previous research [ 2,3 ] support that interventions which address the unique workplace demands and facilitate participation increase potential for intervention success, and maintaining healthy behaviors in the future.