Obesity a Problem for Health Care Workers
Apr 9, 2014, 1:00 PM
The health care industry is not in the healthiest state when it comes to weight, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Analyzing data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey and adjusting for confounding factors such as race, gender, and smoking, researchers identified two industries—public administration (36%) and health care and social assistance (32%)—as having significantly higher-than-average obesity rates.
Long work hours and hostile work environments were among factors that contributed to higher obesity rates, researchers found. Within the health care industry, obesity rates were lower for health care practitioners and for workers in technical occupations than they were for health care support occupations (such as home health aides and nursing assistants), “suggesting that the impact of working conditions on obesity may be especially harmful for lower-income workers,” the researchers wrote.
Out of 20 industries in the study, real estate workers had the lowest obesity rate, at just under 20 percent.
This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.