179069 Weight Loss Results of Web-based Program and Cash Incentives on Wt. Loss among Employees in 17 Community Colleges

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 4:30 PM

Laura Linnan, ScD , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Deborah Tate, PhD , Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Eric Finkelstein, PhD, MHA , Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore
Ziya Gizlice, PhD , Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Kant Bangdiwala, PhD , University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Center for Heath Promotion and Disease Prevention, Chapel Hill, NC
Obesity costs US employers an estimated $78.5 billion annually; yet national data reveal that less than 16% of employers offer obesity management programs. Effective weight loss programs should be easily adaptable to busy work environments, maintain employee privacy, and help employees avoid weight re-gain. We conducted a three year group-randomized weight loss intervention study where 1028 overweight/obese employees nested within 17 community colleges were randomly assigned to receive one of three interventions over 12 months: Winners Circle Dining Program (WC); Web-based Weight Loss Program + Winners Circle (WEB) or Web + Incentives + Winners Circle (WPI). Web-based program lasted 52 weeks; the incentive payment was up to $150 based on amount of weight lost. College was the unit of randomization and intervention; employee was the unit of analysis. Weight loss at 12 months was the primary outcome. Overall observed weight losses were modest and generally in the expected direction (WPI>WEB>WC). Average weight losses were 3.86 pounds (WPI employees); 2.86 pounds (WEB employees); 0.51 pounds (WC) and the difference between WC vs. WPI was significant (p=0.01). At 12 months, clinically relevant weight losses (at least 5%)were 8.7% (WC); 13.4% (WEB); 17.6% (WPI) and the difference between WC vs WPI was significant (p=0.00). At 12 months, 44.5% of enrolled employees in the WC group lost any weight, compared with 56.1% of those in the WEB and 59.1% of those in WPI group (WC vs WPI was significant at p=0.02). Implications of these results for future worksite-based weight loss programs will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe three different weight loss strategies and their impact on employee weight loss: winners circle dining program; web-based weight loss program; cash incentives 2)Explain the clinical and public health importance of 5% or any weight loss

Keywords: Worksite, Weight Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: i am principal investigator of this study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.