A telephonic coaching program has more impact when body mass index is over 35

James E. Rohrer, James M. Naessens, Juliette Liesinger, Sidna Tulledge-Scheitel, Holly VanHouten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the theory that two indicators of risk (body mass index (BMI) and overall medical risk at baseline) are correlated with weight change in a telephone employer-provided coaching program. Design: A retrospective cohort study with assessments at baseline and six months after program completion. Setting: A large manufacturing employer in the United States. Subjects: Adult employees and dependents enrolled in a voluntary weight loss program. Intervention: The weight program was based on the Self-Management of Care model. Coaching was based on collaborative goal-setting and included telephonic self-management health education. Clients were staged according to readiness to change. Measures: Weight change (in kilograms), percent weight change, BMI, health risk indices, readiness to change, and demographic variables. Analysis: Age, gender, race, education, income, total health risk, readiness to change, and baseline body mass index (BMI) were included as model covariates in a multiple linear regression analysis. Results: Individuals with a BMI >35 at baseline lost more weight than those with normal weight (p = 0.001). Total health risk at baseline was not significantly related to weight loss at p < 0.05. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the greatest weight loss could be achieved in this telephone coaching program by targeting morbidly obese employees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e65-e72
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Health promotion
  • Health risk appraisal
  • Obesity
  • Occupational health
  • Telephonic lifestyle coaching
  • Weight loss intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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