RESEARCH APPROACH

Weight Management Programme

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OBJECTIVE

Obesity is a highly prevalent condition that affects over 23% of men and 20% of women in the WHO European Region 1. The classification under ‘obese’ is ‘overweight’ with

a prevalence of over 50% in the same region 1. This condition is a highly complex problem due to it’s multicasual causes 2

The effectiveness of a weight management programme can be dependent on a variety of components including: self-monitoring, counsellor feedback and communication, social support, use of a structured programme, and use of an individually tailored program 3. These components need to be delivered through a variety of specialised professionals, across the disciplines of dietary guidance, physical exercise and behavioural psychology. 

There has been some literature reporting the use of worksite interventions to help manage weight 4-7. To date, the literature does not include interventions that implement all components across all disciplines. 

The purpose of this programme was to help support participants’ health and weight management goals as well as to help improve their health-related quality of life.

METHODS

This study was a 10-week, prospective cohort study. Participants were  overweight and obese adults, aged 20-64 employed in a Dublin-Ireland based organisation. The primary physical outcomes to be assessed are total weight loss and body mass index (BMI) reduction.

The primary behavioural/emotional outcomes to be assessed are changes in eating behaviour via ‘The Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ-R18)’ 8 and the health-related quality of life, measured via ‘The Short Form Health Survey (SF-36)’ 9. The SCOFF questionnaire was used as a screening measure to assess the possible presence of an eating disorder (anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa) during the initial 1-1 meeting with the psychologist. 

The exlusion criteria included score 2 or higher on the SCOFF questionnaire. Therapeutic techniques derived from behavioural psychology, such as self-monitoring, stimulus control, goal setting and problem solving approach have been incorporated in the programme.

Social support included private workplace group chat and bi-weekly group sessions. Nutrition and Exercise specialist and psychologist were available for 1-1 sessions throughout the duration of the programme. 

Participants obtained information and guidance about health factors within their own control (such as diet, hydration, lifestyle, wellness, and various other related behaviours) in order to help them support their health and weight management goals. Dietary evaluations and lifestyle assessments were not intended for the diagnoses of disease. Rather, these were intended as a guide for the development of a individually tailored nutritional programme and used to monitor participants’ progress in achieving their health and weight management goals. Long-term programme outcomes will be measured on the follow up sessions every 6 months.

HYPOTHESIS

We hypothesise that using a three pronged approach covering behavioural psychology as well as dietary and physical activity guidance covering: self-monitoring, counsellor feedback and communication, social support, use of a structured programme, and use of an individually tailored programme, will achieve greater outcome results that a control group.

REFERENCES

  1. Global Health Observatory: Obesity: Data by Country. Geneva, World Health Organization, (2014). Available from: www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/overweight/en/
  2. Jensen, M.D., Ryan, D.H., Apovian, C.M., Ard, J.D., Comuzzie, A.G., Donato, K.A., Hu, F.B., Hubbard, V.S., Jakicic, J.M., Kushner, R.F. and Loria, C.M., (2014). ‘’2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society’’, Journal of the American college of cardiology, 63(25 Part B), pp.2985-3023.
  3. Khaylis, A., Yiaslas, T., Bergstrom, J. and Gore-Felton, C., (2010). A review of efficacious technology-based weight-loss interventions: five key components. Telemedicine and e-Health, 16(9), pp.931-938.
  4. Petersen, R., Sill, S., Lu, C., Young, J. and Edington, D.W., (2008). Effectiveness of employee internet-based weight management program. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine50(2), pp.163-171.
  5. Corsino, L., Hazelton, A.G., Eisenson, H., Tyson, C., Svetkey, L.P., Sha, R., Ostbye, T. and Wolever, R.Q., (2014). The Duke Employee Weight Loss Program: Report of a Duke Diet and Fitness Center Pilot Study. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Health4(2), pp.44-50.
  6. Nigam, A., Tétreault, K., Leblanc, M., Renaud, L., Kishchuk, N. & Juneau, M. (2008), “Implementation and Outcomes of a Comprehensive Worksite Health Promotion Program”, Canadian Journal of Public Health / Revue Canadienne de Sante’e Publique, 99(1), pp. 73-77.
  7. Kong, J.P., Jok, L., Ayub, A.B. & Bau, R.A. (2017), “Worksite weight management program”, Nutrition & Food Science, 47(4), pp. 490-510.
  8. Stunkard, A.J. and Messick, S., (1985). The three-factor eating questionnaire to measure dietary restraint, disinhibition and hunger. Journal of psychosomatic research29(1), pp.71-83.
  9. McHorney, C.A., Ware Jr, J.E. and Raczek, A.E., (1993). The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36): II. Psychometric and clinical tests of validity in measuring physical and mental health constructs. Medical care, pp.247-263.

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