Abstract 16746: The Utility of a National Online Weight Reduction Intervention: Experience with “Beat the Holiday Bulge”
Background: Novel approaches to the obesity epidemic are required. While the use of online intervention to reduce weight and improve cardiovascular (CV) health, little research has assessed the efficacy of online weight management programs in reducing CV risk factors.
Methods: A free online weight management program, Beat the Holiday Bulge (BHB), was offered to employees at workplaces nationwide during the holiday season from Nov 1st to Jan 31st, 2011, to prevent weight gain during the holidays. Rolling enrollment was open from Nov 1st to Jan 1st, and participants completed a comprehensive health risk assessment (HRA) upon enrollment and participated in a 4-week weight-maintenance program including 4 one-week workshops on exercise, diet, and risk factors for CV disease. Those completing HRA and all four workshops were eligible for prizes.
Results: From Nov 1st to Jan 31st, 1,640 participants enrolled in BHB. Most participants were female (83% female vs. 17% male) between ages 46 and 55, followed by those 46-55 (28.9%), 36-45 (23.7%), 56-65 (19.6%), 26-35 (17.3%), 25 and under (5.4%) and 66 and over (3.2%). Among participants, 1,480 completed an HRA. Of those completing an HRA, 31.2% were obese (BMI >30), 21.9% had high cholesterol, 20.7% had hypertension, and 65% do not exercise regularly (< 3 days/week). Of 1640 total participants enrolled, 1600 completed week 1 tasks, 286 completed weeks 1 and 2, 126 completed weeks 1-3 and 67 completed all 4 weeks. From Nov 1st - Jan 31st, there were a total of 14,369 log-ins (Average 8.8 times per person), and participants lost of a total of 1,132.8 lbs (average 0.69 lbs per person).
Conclusion: A seasonal online weight-maintenance intervention was successful in not only preventing weight gain but promoting weight loss during the holidays. Women were more likely to participant than men, and most had at least one CV disease risk factor. While nearly all participants completed the first week of tasks and less then 1% completed all four, weight-loss was associated with participation, regardless of completion of tasks. With high rates of CV risk factors in the workforce and growing interest in online wellness programs, our results support online interventions as effective strategies for weight loss and improvement of CV health.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.