Evaluation of a Voluntary Worksite Weight Loss Program on Metabolic Syndrome

Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2015 Nov;13(9):406-14. doi: 10.1089/met.2015.0075. Epub 2015 Aug 24.


Background: Health care costs increase with the presence of metabolic syndrome and present a significant burden to companies throughout the world. Identifying effective behavioral programs within the workplace can reduce health care costs. We examined the effect of a voluntary worksite program on weight loss and metabolic syndrome.

Methods: Participants (N = 3880, from 93 companies) volunteered within their workplaces to participate in a 10-week weight loss program (Naturally Slim) focused on self-monitoring, eating behaviors, understanding hunger signals, reducing refined carbohydrate and sugar intake, and increasing protein intake to 25%-30%. Primary outcomes included weight loss and metabolic syndrome prevalence. Secondary analyses examined the individual components of metabolic syndrome and a categorical analysis within each World Health Organization body mass index category.

Results: Overall, women and men lost 9.4 (-4.8%) and 13.2 pounds (-5.8%), respectively. Each metabolic risk factor for both genders had a significant improvement but men exhibited the largest relative improvement for each risk factor. At baseline, 43% of women and 52% of men presented with metabolic syndrome, which was reduced to 30% in women and 26% in men (P < 0.001 for each) at the conclusion of the program. Secondary analysis demonstrated that individuals with greater baseline levels of metabolic dysfunction had larger metabolic improvements, similar benefits to risk factors across baseline body mass index categories, and the greater the weight loss, the greater the metabolic benefit.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that a worksite program targeting core behavioral skills associated with weight loss is an effective strategy to reduce weight and improve the components of metabolic syndrome amongst at-risk employees.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Occupational Health Services*
  • Prevalence
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Satiation
  • Self Care
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Weight Loss*
  • Weight Reduction Programs*
  • Workplace*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins