Malays Fam Physician. 2022 Oct 18;17(3):89-96. doi: 10.51866/oa.107. eCollection 2022 Nov 30.
INTRODUCTION: Obesity is associated with an increased risk for non-communicable diseases. Local studies have shown that 33.1% of healthcare providers (HCPs) are overweight, while 21.1% are obese. Interventions that consist of diet, physical exercise and cognitive behavioural training have been shown to be successful in reducing weight.
METHOD: We designed a weight loss programme for our HCPs named the ‘Fit and Trimmed Staff programme, which consisted of 3 months of group education on obesity-related health problems led by a doctor, a pharmacist, a nutritionist and an occupational therapist among HCPs. Monthly individual dietary counselling by a nutritionist was also provided for 6 months. We measured the body weight, body mass index, percentage of body fat, visceral fat and percentage of skeletal muscle of the HCPs before and after the intervention.
RESULTS: Forty-five (56.25%) HCPs at Simpang Health Clinic were either overweight or obese; the majority of them were drivers and administrative clerks (100%), followed by health attendants (69.2%) and medical assistants (63.6%). At 6 months post-intervention, there was a trend towards a non-significant reduction in the fat percentage (median=-0.8%, P=0.423). Approximately 42% (n=19) of the HCPs lost weight, while 58% gained weight. Weight loss was observed more commonly in the male HCPs (>50%) than in the female HCPs.
CONCLUSION: A weight loss programme solely consisting of health discussion and nutritional advice is inadequate to induce weight reductions. A multimodal approach may be considered in managing weight among HCPs.
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