Benefits of a year-long workplace weight loss program on cardiovascular risk factors

Pritchard, Janet E., Nowson, Caryl, Billington, Timothy and Wark, John D. 2002, Benefits of a year-long workplace weight loss program on cardiovascular risk factors, Nutrition and dietetics, vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 87-96.

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Title Benefits of a year-long workplace weight loss program on cardiovascular risk factors
Author(s) Pritchard, Janet E.
Nowson, CarylORCID iD for Nowson, Caryl
Billington, Timothy
Wark, John D.
Journal name Nutrition and dietetics
Volume number 59
Issue number 2
Start page 87
End page 96
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Limited
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2002-06
ISSN 1446-6368
Keyword(s) workplace weight loss program
body weight
abdominal fat
blood pressure
blood lipids
Summary Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a year-long workplace weight loss program in reducing risk factors of coronary heart disease.

Design: A randomised, controlled study of low fat (25% of dietary energy) diet- and/or moderate exercise-induced weight loss interventions in free-living, middle-aged men. Compliance was monitored from food and activity diaries at monthly blood pressure measurement sessions. Blood was sampled and body composition determined from dual energy X-ray absorptiometry before and after 12 months.

Subjects and setting: Fifty-eight overweight men (mean [+ or -] SD age: 43.4 [+ or -] 5.7 years; BMI 29.0 [+ or -] 2.6 kg/[m.sup.2]), recruited from a national corporation, were instructed into diet (n = 18) exercise (a 21) or control (n = 19) groups over 12 months; 16 control subjects combined diet and exercise (n = 16) for the subsequent 12 months.

Main outcome measures: At 12 months, weight, total and regional fat and lean mass, dietary energy and percentage dietary fat intake, physical activity indices, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, serum insulin, blood lipids and lipoproteins.

Statistical analyses: Differences between groups were tested using analysis of variance with Scheffe post hoc test. Differences between pre- and post-intervention variables were tested using Students' paired t-tests. Pearson's correlation coefficient and univariate linear regression identified association between dependent variables, multiple stepwise regression identified specific predictors.

Results: Weight loss with either diet or exercise resulted in a reduction in systolic blood pressure (-3.3 [+ or -] 1.7%), diastolic blood pressure (-4.8 [+ or -] 1.3%) and LDL cholesterol (-3.9 [+ or -] 2.8%), a rise in HDL cholesterol (+10.0 [+ or -] 3.8%) and a change in the LDL/HDL ratio (-8.9 [+ or -] 3.5%). Abdominal fat loss (-26.8 [+ or -] 3.6% after diet; -16.6 [+ or -] 4.5% after exercise; -21.0 [+ or -] 4.7% after diet and exercise) was the strongest predictor of change in blood pressure: twenty percent abdominal fat loss predicted a percentage fall of 2.4 [+ or -] 0.05% in systolic blood pressure and 5.4 [+ or -] 0.07% in diastolic blood pressure. Greater abdominal fat loss was associated with the greatest decrease in serum insulin (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Modest changes in diet and exercise effected by a low cost workplace-based education program achieved weight loss, loss of abdominal fat, reduced blood pressure and serum insulin and improved blood lipid concentrations. (Nutr Diet 2002;59:87-96)

Language eng
Field of Research 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2002, Dietitians Association of Australia
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