This study will evaluate the effectiveness of an environmental worksite intervention to
reduce obesity among hospital employees.
Obesity is a significant public health problem in the United States, prompting policy makers
and researchers to call for action against the epidemic. Obesity and associated health
conditions affect all age groups and both genders, yet disproportionately affect racial and
ethnic minorities. Health consequences of obesity include high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, hyperinsulinemia, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease,
arthritis, sleep disturbances, breathing problems, and certain types of cancer. Hospitals
are important worksite environments that employ large numbers of people in diverse job
categories from diverse educational and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The purpose of this study is to promote weight loss among those who are overweight and
obese, and prevent weight gain among those of normal weight through an environmental
intervention targeted to all employees at six hospitals in central Massachusetts. The
hospitals will be matched according to size, and within each matched pair randomly assigned
to either the intervention or control group. The intervention will promote active living, in
which physical activity is incorporated into each participants' daily routine. Participants
will also follow a healthy diet, characterized by higher intakes of fruits, vegetables,
fish, poultry, legumes, and whole grains. Participants will consume less high fat foods and
refined grains, and reduce their total caloric intake through smaller portion sizes.
- Works at least 20 hours per week at a participating hospital
- Speaks English or Spanish
- Works at only one hospital within the participating hospital system