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Open Access Research

Changes in skinfold thickness and waist circumference after 12 and 24 months resulting from the NHF-NRG In Balance-project

Lydia Kwak1*, Stef PJ Kremers2, Math JJM Candel3, Tommy LS Visscher4, Johannes Brug5 and Marleen A van Baak6

Author Affiliations

1 Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden

2 Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands

3 Department of Methodology and Statistics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands

4 Institute of Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

5 EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

6 Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands

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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010, 7:26  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-7-26

Published: 7 April 2010

Abstract

Background

More knowledge is needed regarding the effectiveness of weight gain prevention programmes. The present study tested the 12-and 24-month effectiveness of the 'Netherlands Research programme weight Gain prevention' (NHF-NRG)-In Balance-project, a worksite-based intervention aimed at the prevention of weight gain.

Methods

Twelve worksites (n = 553 participants) were matched and assigned to either intervention or control group. The worksites and employees of the intervention group received individual (i.e. pedometer, computer-tailored advice) and environmental (i.e. changes in worksite canteen) interventions, directed at physical activity and food intake over 1-year. Differences between the intervention and control group in changes in body weight, BMI, skinfold thickness and waist circumference at 12 and 24 months were examined using multilevel linear regression analyses adjusting for various baseline characteristics (age, gender, BMI, marital status, education and smoking status).

Results

A significant greater reduction in skinfold thickness was found in the intervention group than in the control group, both after 12-and 24 months (Unstandardized regression coefficients (B) = -2.52, 95% C.I. -4.58, -0.45; p = 0.018; B = -4.83, 95% C.I. 6.98, -2.67; p < 0.001 respectively). Significant differences were also observed for changes in waist circumferences both at 12 months (B = -1.50, 95% C.I. -2.35, -0.65; p < 0.001) and at 24 months (B = -1.30, 95% C.I. -2.18, -0.42; p = 0.005). No significant changes were observed for weight and BMI.

Conclusions

The project was effective with regard to changes in skinfold thickness and waist circumference both at 12 and 24 months. It supports the usefulness of worksite-based prevention, especially regarding maintenance of behavioral changes.