Diabetes prevention and control in the workplace: a pilot project for county employees

J Public Health Manag Pract. 2011 May-Jun;17(3):233-41. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181fd4cf6.


Objectives: To improve nutrition and physical activity of county employees and promote weight loss.

Design: Random assignment to begin the program when first offered or after 3 months ("wait control" group).

Setting: Worksite.

Participants: Onondaga County employees (n = 45) at risk for diabetes (n = 35) or with diabetes (n = 10). Mean (±SD) age = 51.2 (± 8.0) years and body mass index (BMI) = 37.3 ± (6.8 kg/m).

Intervention: Twelve weekly healthy lifestyle sessions based on the Diabetes Prevention Program curriculum, followed by monthly sessions for up to 12 months.

Outcomes: Medical: Weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose, lipid, and hemoglobin A1c levels. Psychosocial/behavioral: Health-related quality of life Short Form-12, Impact of Weight on Quality of Life Scale), physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire), eating behavior (3-Factor Eating Questionnaire, National Cancer Institute Fat Screener), job satisfaction.

Results: The intervention group lost significant weight compared to the wait control group over the first 3 months (mean [95% CI], -2.23 kg [-3.5 to 0.97]) vs [+ 0.73 kg (+0.17 to +1.28)], with a decrease in BMI (P < .001) and waist circumference (P = .004), an increase in physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire, P = .011) and lower dietary fat intake (P = .018). Over 12 months, 22.5% (9/40) lost more than 5% body weight and 12.5% (5/40) lost more than 7% body weight. After the first 3 months, there was gradual partial weight regain but reduction in waist circumference was maintained. The intervention group demonstrated significant improvement in Impact of Weight on Quality of Life Scale (P < .001), 3-Factor Eating (cognitive restraint P < .001, uncontrolled eating P = .003, and emotional eating P = .001), International Physical Activity Questionnaire (P = .011), and Short Form-12 Physical Component Summary (P = .048). No improvements were observed in blood pressure, lipid, hemoglobin A1c, or glucose levels. Job satisfaction was inversely related to BMI at baseline (P = .001) with a trend for improvement with the modest weight loss.

Conclusions: A worksite intervention program can help government employees adopt healthier lifestyles and achieve modest weight loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Occupational Health*
  • Overweight / prevention & control
  • Pilot Projects
  • Weight Loss
  • Workplace*