The effectiveness of a worksite lifestyle intervention program on high-risk individuals as potential candidates for bariatric surgery: My unlimited potential (MyUP)

Document Type





This is a single-arm, pre and post effectiveness study that evaluated the impact of a comprehensive workplace lifestyle program on severe obesity among high cardiovascular disease risk individuals in a large, diverse employee population. Employees of Baptist Health South Florida were considered eligible to participate if they had 2 or more of the following cardiometabolic risk factors: total cholesterol ≥200 mg/dL, systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg, hemoglobin A1c ≥6.5%, body mass index ≥30kg/m(2). Participants received a personalized diet plan and physical activity intervention, and were followed for 1 year. Data on anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, blood glucose, and other biochemical measures were collected. Participants' body mass index was calculated and their eligibility for bariatric surgery (BS) also assessed. A total of 297 persons participated in the program; 160 participants completed all procedures through 12 months of follow-up. At baseline, 34% (n = 100) of all participants were eligible for BS. In an intention-to-treat analysis, 27% (n = 27) of BS eligible participants at baseline became ineligible after 12 months. Considering program completers only, 46% of BS eligible participants at baseline became ineligible. Irrespective of BS eligibility at 12 months, mean values of cardiometabolic risk factors among program completers improved after the follow-up period. Workplace wellness programs provide an important option for weight loss that can obviate the need for BS, reduce cardiovascular disease risk, and potentially reduce costs. However, in designing future worksite lifestyle interventions, measures should be taken to improve participation and retention rates in such programs.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Population Health Management