Does worksite social capital enhance retention into a worksite weight-loss programme?

J. L. Hill, K. Wilson, S. Harden, F. Almeida, L. Linnan, P. A. Estabrooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if worksite social capital predicted retention in a worksite-based weight-loss programme using structural equation modelling. A secondary aim was to determine if worksite social capital was related to changes in weight at 6 months. Methods: Overweight or obese employees from 28 worksites enrolled in a larger 12-month worksite weight-loss trial. Workplace social capital was assessed using an eight-item scale specific to the workplace. Weight was measured using a HealthSpottm, and change in weight was computed from weigh-ins at baseline and 6 months and reported as pounds (lbs) lost. Retention was defined as those employees who completed a weigh-in at 6 months. Results: Across the trial, N = 1,790; age = 46.6 ± 11; 73% women; 73% White overweight or obese employees participated. The odds of participant attrition were 1.12 times greater with each unit decrease in social capital score at baseline (p < 0.05), and while the model testing the direct effect of social capital at baseline on weight loss at 6 months demonstrated acceptable fit, social capital was not a significant predictor of weight loss (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Increased worksite social capital was predictive of retention in a worksite weight-loss programme. To maximize return on investments for employee wellness and weight-loss programmes, employers may benefit from understanding the facets of the ‘social’ environment such as social capital that may increase the likelihood of sustained participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalObesity Science and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2016


  • Retention
  • social capital
  • weight loss
  • worksite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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