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Worksite Programs Help Employees Lose Weight

Worksite programs help employees lose weight, according to a systematic review published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. On the basis of strong evidence of their effectiveness, the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) recommends worksite programs intended to improve diet and/or physical activity behaviors for reducing weight among employees. These programs include various approaches to support behavior change, such as informational and educational activities, behavioral and social strategies, and policy and environmental approaches.

The Task Force—a non-federal, independent group of public health and prevention experts appointed by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—based its findings on a systematic review of scientific studies. This review was conducted by CDC's Community Guide scientists, in collaboration with federal and non-federal experts in research, practice, and policy. Task Force recommendations and the review methods and findings are described in the following articles.

Task Force Recommendation:

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. A recommendation to improve employee weight status through worksite health promotion programs targeting nutrition, physical activity, or both Adobe PDF File [PDF - 81 kB]. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2009;34(4):358-9.

Evidence review:

Anderson LM, Quinn TA, Glanz K, Ramirez G, Kahwati LC, Johnson DB, Buchanan LR, Archer WR, Chattopadhyay S, Kalra GP, Katz DL, Task Force on Community Preventive Services. The effectiveness of worksite nutrition and physical activity interventions for controlling employee overweight and obesity: a systematic review Adobe PDF File [PDF - 1.22 MB]. American Journal of Preventive Medicine2009;34(4):340-57.

Visit Worksite Programs to Control Overweight and Obesity to learn more about this recommendation and related findings. You can learn more about other Community Guide systematic reviews, including additional reviews specific to obesity prevention by visiting Community Guide topics.

The Community Guide in Action: This Task Force recommendation served as part of the foundation for CDC's LEAN Works! -- a free, web-based resource that offers interactive tools and evidence-based resources to design effective worksite obesity prevention and control programs.