Abstract P247: Trends in Obesity Prevalence and Predictors of Significant Weight Loss in a Large, Diverse Employee Population: The Baptist Health Employee Study
Background: Obesity has become a significant problem in the workplace, impacting health care costs to employers and employee productivity. As a result, employers have adopted various strategies to improve obesity among their employees. In this study, we examine the changes in obesity distribution in a cohort of employees of a large healthcare organization over a 3-year period and examine characteristics of employees who lost significant weight.
Methods: Employees of Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF), a large not-for-profit healthcare organization, participated voluntarily in an annual Health Risk Assessment between 2012 and 2014. Only employees who participated in all 3 consecutive years were selected for this study. Height and weight from which body mass index was calculated, as well as other biometric measures were collected. The HRA also assessed current lifestyle behaviors, as well as intentions/ readiness to improve these lifestyle characteristics and behaviors including diet, exercise and weight. Obesity was categorized according to BMI as < 30, 30 - 34.9 and ≥ 35.0 kg/m2.
Results: A total of 7357 employees (76% females, 56% Hispanic) participated in all 3 years of the HRA under study. Five percent (n=362) of participants shifted to a lower obesity category over 2 years. After 1 year, about 10% (n=703) of participants had a 5% reduction in BMI, while at 2 years, almost 15% (n=1061) achieved a reduction in BMI of at least 5%. Over 20% of participants with a BMI > 35 lost significant weight (≥5% BMI reduction). Participants who lost significant weight were more likely to have reported an intention to lose weight (OR=1.7; 1.5 - 2.0), an intention to improve their diet (OR=1.3; 1.2 - 1.5) or physical activity (OR=1.2; 1.1 - 1.4)
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that intentions to improve lifestyle may be as important as improving lifestyle itself. It also highlights the need for, and the opportunity to create motivational strategies to encourage individuals to pursue healthier lifestyles.
Author Disclosures: C.U. Osondu: None. E.C. Aneni: None. J. Valero-Elizondo: None. J.A. Salami: None. A. Younus: None. M. Rouseff: None. S. Das: None. H. Guzman: None. T. Tran: None. G. Khan: None. T. Feldman: None. A. Agatston: None. E. Veledar: None. K. Nasir: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.