Endocrine Abstracts (2002) 3 P96

Effectiveness of a weight management programme in a hospital staff setting

J O' Connell, D Robinson, A McLaughlin, B Stuart, E Orsmond & D O' Shea

St. Columcille's Hospital, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Members of a hospital staff (n=332) were invited to complete a survey outlining dietary and lifestyle behaviour, and indicate if they were interested in a weight management programme. Height and weight were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated, in all respondents.

Two hundred and sixty (78%) staff members responded, 60 males (23.1%) and 200 females (76.9%). The mean age of respondents was 36.5 yrs (35.8yrs males, 36.7yrs female). The mean body mass index was 25.7 kg/m2 (26.5 kg/m2 males, 25.4 kg/m2 females). Thirty four percent were smokers (36% male, 32%female). The mean blood pressure was 130/77 (136/70 male, 128/79 female).

A total of 162 people (21% male and 79% female) were interested in a weight management programme and were allocated to one of two groups. The high intensity group (HIG, n=39) received formal dietary review, monthly physician review and a prescribed exercise programme. The medium intensity group (MIG, n=123) received general dietary and exercise advice and encouragement to attend for monthly review of weight. Those not interested were considered a low intensity group (LIG, n=98). Follow-up was over six months.

Fourty-four per cent, 52% and 69% of the LIG, MIG and HIG respectively were reassessed at six months. The change in BMI of the three groups over the six months was plus 0.38 (LIG), plus 0.40 (MIG) and minus 0.04 (HIG). Males gained more weight than females in all three groups.

The results of this survey show that a) the staff of a hospital are likely to be no healthier than the general population and b) an intensive weight management programme in a hospital staff setting does not achieve significant weight loss over a six month period.

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