206254 Second-year results of an obesity prevention program at The Dow Chemical Company

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 10:30 AM

Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD , Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Washington, DC
Xiaofei Pei, PhD , Health and Productivity Research, Thomson Medstat, Washington, DC
Meghan Short, MPH , Health and Productivity Research, Thomson Medstat, Washington, DC
Enid C. Roemer, PhD , Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Washington, DC
Mark G. Wilson, HSD , Department of Health Promotion & Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Objective: To evaluate the impact of adding worksite environmental changes to reduce obesity-related health risks to standard individual-focused obesity management interventions at a large multi-site employer.

Methods: The NHLBI-funded LightenUP program introduced environmental interventions designed to encourage physical activity and healthy eating at The Dow Chemical Company. In a quasi-experimental study, five sites received intense interventions (individual + environmental + management commitment programs), four sites received moderate interventions (individual + environmental programs), and three control sites received standard individual programs. Participants (n=4,776) completed a Health Risk Assessment and biometric screening at baseline and at two-year follow-up. Longitudinal change across intervention and control sites was assessed using a difference-in-difference analysis. Baseline intervention and control site differences were equalized using propensity score weights.

Results: At follow-up, average weight loss at the intervention sites was significantly greater than control sites (1.58 pounds difference; p = 0.005), as were reductions in mean blood pressure (difference is 7.05 mm Hg for Systolic and 1.65 mm Hg for Diastolic, p=0.003 and p < 0.0001) and cholesterol levels (difference is 3.64, p = 0.02). Intervention sites achieved significantly greater improvement in diet (9.0% change vs. 2.6% change, p=0.0005) and exercise (3.1% change vs. 0.1% change, p=0.015). However, a greater increase in the high-risk category for overweight/obesity at intervention sites (baseline: 70.77%; follow-up: 72.94%) than in the control sites (baseline: 74.82%; follow-up:72.56%) was observed.

Conclusions: Adding environmental interventions to individual-level programs improved biometric and behavioral risk factors. Reduced risk of overweight/obesity may necessitate a longer intervention period, however.

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the effectiveness of adding worksite environment-based health interventions to individual-focused weight management programs in reducing employee risk of obesity/overweight, improving health behaviors, and decreasing biometric health risk factors.

Keywords: Worksite, Wellness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Mark Wilson is one of the Co-PIs for 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.