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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000133
Original Articles

Prevalence of Obesity by Occupation Among US Workers: The National Health Interview Survey 2004–2011

Gu, Ja K. MSPH; Charles, Luenda E. PhD, MPH; Bang, Ki Moon PhD, MPH; Ma, Claudia C. MPH; Andrew, Michael E. PhD; Violanti, John M. PhD; Burchfiel, Cecil M. PhD, MPH

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Objective: To estimate the prevalence of obesity and the change of prevalence of obesity between 2004−2007 and 2008−20011 by occupation among US workers in the National Health Interview Survey.

Methods: Self-reported weight and height were collected and used to assess obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2). Gender-, race/ethnicity-, and occupation-specific prevalence of obesity were calculated.

Results: Prevalence of obesity steadily increased from 2004 through 2008 across gender and race/ethnicity but leveled off from 2008 through 2011. Non-Hispanic black female workers in health care support (49.2%) and transportation/material moving (46.6%) had the highest prevalence of obesity. Prevalence of obesity in relatively low-obesity (white-collar) occupations significantly increased between 2004−2007 and 2008−2011, whereas it did not change significantly in high-obesity (blue-collar) occupations.

Conclusions: Workers in all occupational categories are appropriate targets for health promotion and intervention programs to reduce obesity.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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