Worker health and wellness

Intervention programs help workers at risk for diabetes: study

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Columbus, OH – Workers with pre-diabetes who participate in workplace intervention programs may lose more weight and consume less fat, according to new research from Ohio State University.

The study involved 69 workers with pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, raising the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

For the 16-week study, 35 participants underwent a group intervention with the objectives of losing weight, reducing fat intake and increasing exercise. They met weekly with dietitians. The other participants received a booklet and attended one session about weight-loss strategies. All participants were encouraged to lose 7 percent of their body weight.

Intervention group participants decreased their fat intake, reduced their fasting blood sugar by more than double that of the control group, and dropped on average 5.5 percent of their weight. Nearly one-third lost at least 7 percent of their weight. In contrast, only 2.9 percent of control group participants lost 7 percent. Each percentage point of weight loss supports a 10 percent decrease in the risk of developing diabetes, according to an OSU press release.

“Adults spend a large portion of their time at work. This study shows that it is not only feasible to implement a comprehensive lifestyle intervention at the work site – it is an effective way to prevent disease,” said Carla Miller, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State and lead author of the study.

The study was published Nov. 25 in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.