A "small-changes" workplace weight loss and maintenance program: examination of weight and health outcomes

J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Oct;54(10):1230-8. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182480591.


Objective: To compare the effect of "small-changes" and "usual care" workplace interventions on weight loss and to investigate the effect of small changes with or without maintenance on weight and health outcomes.

Methods: Overweight/obese employees at two New Zealand worksites received a 12-month usual-care intervention (n = 53), followed by a 12-month small-changes intervention (n = 102). Small changes comprised a 12-week component, followed by 9 months of maintenance, implemented at only one worksite. Magnitudes of effects were assessed via a threshold of -5% (weight loss) and standardization (health outcomes).

Results: Small changes showed beneficial weight loss relative to usual care in both worksites. For small-changes interventions, worksites reduced weight (12 weeks) and maintained lost weight (12 months). One in every three participants lost 5% or more weight. Some improvements in health outcomes were shown.

Conclusion: Regardless of maintenance, the small-changes intervention was successful in sustaining weight loss.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • Overweight / diet therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*
  • Workplace
  • Young Adult