Once assessment and planning have been completed, including analysis of the collected data, the next step is implementing the strategies and interventions that will comprise the workplace health program. These intervention descriptions include the public health evidence-base for each intervention, details on designing interventions for maintaining a healthy weight, and links to examples and resources.

Before implementing any interventions, the evaluation plan should also be developed. Potential baseline, process, health outcomes, and organizational change measures for these programs are listed under evaluation of obesity prevention and control programs.

Obesity increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions including:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer (breast and colon)
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Osteoarthritis

Overweight and obesity and their health effects are associated with substantial economic costs. In 2008, the estimated health care costs related to obesity were $147 billion1

The use of body mass index (BMI) is an approach to assessing whether a person is overweight or obese.  While BMI standards have some drawbacks, they are useful for quick assessment of employee’s excess body weight in the workplace and are often used in clinical care.  

  • The formula for BMI is weight in pounds (lbs) divided by height in inches (in) squared and multiplied by a conversion factor of 703  
  • Using standard definitions, a BMI of
    less than 18.5 is underweight
    18.5 to 24.9 is normal
    25.0 to 29.9 is overweight
    30.0 or higher is obese

Many obesity interventions are closely linked to physical activity and nutrition programs.  These intervention descriptions supplement the material found under those headings.


1.  Finkelstein EA, Trogdon JG, Cohen JW, Dietz W. Annual medical spending attributable to obesity: payer- and service-specific estimates. Health Affairs. 2009; 28(5):w822-831.