UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion


OBJECTIVE: To describe the effectiveness, reach and implementation of a weight gain prevention intervention among public school employees.

METHOD: A multi-level intervention was tested in a cluster randomized trial among 782 employees in 12 central Massachusetts public high schools from 2009 to 2012. The intervention targeted the nutrition and physical activity environment and policies, the social environment and individual knowledge, attitudes and skills. The intervention was compared to a materials only condition. The primary outcome measures were change in weight and body mass index (BMI) at 24-month follow-up. Implementation of physical environment, policy and social environment strategies at the school and interpersonal levels, and intervention participation at the individual level were assessed.

RESULTS: At 24-month follow-up, there was a net change (difference of the difference) of -3.03 pounds (p=.04) and of -.48 BMI units (p=.05) between intervention and comparison conditions. The majority of intervention strategies were successfully implemented by all intervention schools, although establishing formal policies was challenging. Employee participation in programs targeting the physical and social environment was maintained over time.

CONCLUSION: This study supports that a multi-level intervention integrated within the organizational culture can be successfully implemented and prevent weight gain in public high school employees.


Ecological model, Environmental interventions, Obesity prevention, Program evaluation, Worksite health promotion

Rights and Permissions

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



Lemon SC, Wang ML, Wedick NM, Estabrook B, Druker S, Schneider KL, Li W, Pbert L. Weight gain prevention in the school worksite setting: Results of a multi-level cluster randomized trial. Prev Med. 2014 Mar;60:41-7. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.12.010. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Preventive medicine

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID