Document Type



Medicine and Health Sciences


Statement of problem: Correctional facilities are stressful, unhealthy and dangerous working environments, which increase the risk of chronic diseases and a shortened lifespan for employees, particularly corrections officers. The need exists for effective worksite interventions to lower chronic disease risk and improve health of correctional employees. Objective: The primary aim was to pilot test eight-week worksite nutrition and physical activity educationalintervention for correctional employees and to determine baseline indicators of weight loss success. Methods: Twenty overweight/obese volunteer employees were recruited by convenience sampling. Educational material was tailored to baseline responses on diet and physical activity knowledge, preferences, and behaviors. Adiposity status was both self-rated by the study participants and measured by researchers. The primary indicator was change in adiposity with a goal of 3% loss in weight across the intervention. Results: The group averaged one-pound loss per week; eleven of 20 employees lost ≥3% of body weight. The number of overweight/obese employees with healthy waist circumferences increased from 3 to 8 post-intervention. At baseline, employees who reached the weight loss goal were most likely to: accurately assess their level of adiposity; havelower knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating; report greater preference for discretionary-energy foodsbut less preference for vegetables; and less confidence in changing their physical activity behaviors. Conclusions: The intervention resulted in clinically meaningful, short-term weight loss among employees in stressful workplaces. Simple baseline survey-assessment defined employees who reported room to change their dietary and physical activity patterns as well as an accurate realization of their level of excessive adiposity.


Originally published in : Journal of Obesity and Weight Loss Therapy, v.2:no.2 (2012:Mar) pp121

doi: 10.4172/2165-7904.1000121