People who take part in weight-loss programs set up by their employers manage to lose at least modest amounts of weight compared to co-workers who do not take part, U.S. researchers said.
Obesity has been on the rise in the United States and many other countries in recent decades, alongside related illnesses such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke.
Some companies have sponsored programs of various kinds aimed at helping employees lose weight and stay fit.
Dr. Michael Benedict of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, who led the new research, said relatively few studies have assessed how well these programs work.
“The programs are helpful for at least short-term, modest weight loss in people who actually participate in them,” Benedict said in a telephone interview.
In the studies that compared employees who took part in the programs to co-workers who did not, those in the programs lost weight averaging in a range from 2.2 pounds (1 kg) to 14 pounds (6.4 kg), the researchers said.
Benedict added that because people with jobs spend about half their waking hours at work, workplace weight-loss programs could have a big effect on slowing the obesity epidemic.
More information at Reuters