Short-term Intensive Lifestyle Therapy in a Worksite Setting Improves Cardiometabolic Health in People With Obesity

George G. Schweitzer, David C. Beckner, Gordon I. Smith, Samuel Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: The Pritikin Program, which provides intensive lifestyle therapy, has been shown to improve cardiometabolic outcomes when provided as a residential program. Objective: The purpose of the present study was to conduct a short-term, randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the feasibility and clinical efficacy of treatment with the Pritikin Program in an outpatient worksite setting. Methods: Cardiometabolic outcomes were evaluated in people with overweight/obesity and ≥2 metabolic abnormalities (high triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, high blood pressure, HbA1c > 5.7%), before and after they were randomized to 6 weeks of standard care (n = 26) or intensive lifestyle therapy, based on the Pritikin Program (n = 28). Participants in the lifestyle intervention group were provided all food as packed-out meals and participated in group nutrition, behavioral education, cooking classes, and exercise sessions 3 times per week at a worksite location. Results: Compared with standard care, intensive lifestyle therapy decreased body weight (−5.0% vs −0.5%), HbA1c (−15.5% vs +2.3%), plasma total cholesterol (−9.8% vs +7.7%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (−10.3% vs +9.3%) and triglyceride (−21.7% vs +3.0%) concentrations, and systolic blood pressure (−7.0% vs 0%) (all P values < .02), and increased exercise tolerance (time to exhaustion walking on a treadmill by +23.7% vs +4.5%; P < .001). Conclusion: This study demonstrates the feasibility and clinical effectiveness of short-term, intensive outpatient lifestyle therapy in people with overweight/obesity and increased risk of coronary heart disease when all food is provided and the intervention is conducted at a convenient worksite setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbvad048
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023


  • diabetes
  • low-fat diet
  • metabolic syndrome
  • Pritikin diet


Dive into the research topics of 'Short-term Intensive Lifestyle Therapy in a Worksite Setting Improves Cardiometabolic Health in People With Obesity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this