233614 Innovative approaches to worksite-based weight loss: Results of the WAY to Health study

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 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
Carolyn Naseer, MA , Department of 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
Jiang Li, MPH , Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Obesity is at epidemic proportions and costs US employers an estimated $78.5 billion annually. According to national data, only 16.9% of employers offer weight loss programs for their employees. Effective weight loss programs are needed that are adaptable to busy work environments, maintain employee privacy, and keep employees engaged over time to help avoid weight re-gain. WAY to Health is a NIH-funded, group randomized worksite-based weight loss study that takes place in 14 worksites where 1020 overweight employees enrolled and were randomly assigned to one of 4 intervention groups: cash incentives (CASH), web-based weight loss program (WEB), cash plus web (BOTH), or usual care (UC). Employee participants completed written surveys and weight was measured at 3, 6, 12 and 18 months. College was the unit of randomization and intervention; employee was the unit of analysis. Weight loss at 12 months was the primary outcome and 765 employees remained for the final analysis (75% overall retention rate). Among completers, average 12 mo weight losses (lbs) were -0.68(.71)(WEB); -2.52(.70)(CASH); -2.07(.69) (BOTH); -1.51(.93) (USUAL CARE). Clinically relevant weight losses (at least 5% weight lost from baseline to 12 months) by arm were: 13.8% (WEB); 16.4% (CASH); 16.4% (BOTH); and 15.9% (UC). At 12 months, 55.2% of enrolled employees in the WEB group lost any weight, compared with 57.7% CASH, 55.3% BOTH, and 52.2% UC. Minimal-intensity worksite-based interventions produced clinically relevant weight losses among overweight/obese employees. Employer options and considerations/implications for reach and impact are discussed.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify at least three features of weight loss programs that should be considered when planning for sustainable interventions. 2. Describe at least three ways to ensure high participation in a weight loss study over time. 3. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of web-based and cash incentive weight loss interventions.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator of this research study, and have more than twenty years of experience in public health, including over 100 professional presentations of my work.
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.