Office Weight Loss Programs: They Work

If you enroll in a workplace weight loss program, you're more likely to shed pounds, reduce your fasting blood sugar and eat less fat than your co-workers, according to new study.

Researchers from Ohio State University found that office-wide intervention programs can also prevent diabetes in people who have pre-diabetes.

"Adults spend a large portion of their time at work," said Carla Miller, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University and lead author of the study. "This study shows that it is not only feasible to implement a comprehensive lifestyle intervention at the work site - it is an effective way to prevent disease."

The study included 69 employees, 35 of whom received the 16-week lifestyle intervention and 34 of whom were assigned to receive a booklet of strategies for weight loss.

The intervention group focused on calorie reduction, exercise and group discussions during lunch or after work.

Accountability works

Researchers found that the subjects in the intervention group lost an average of 5.5 percent of their body weight, and these individuals also met their exercise goals more frequently than the control group subjects.

"Participants who attended more group discussion sessions and monitored their food and physical activity lost more weight, and weight loss is the primary way to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes," Miller said.

Fasting glucose levels were reduced to "near-normal" levels in the intervention group, and both groups saw reductions in glucose levels until the study's three-month follow-up mark.

While other studies have shown that accountability is a key factor in weight loss success, the current research also suggests that ongoing support is important for not gaining weight back.

"That first month is critical," Miller said. "And this current study suggests the regular access to lifestyle coaching plays a role in helping people lose weight."

Source: Ohio State University

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