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Restrained Eating is Related to Augmented Overweight-Associated Absenteeism in a Prospective Study

van Strien, Tatjana PhD; Koenders, Paul MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 6 - p 663–668
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821b9db7
Original Articles

Objective: To replicate in a prospective analysis the earlier cross-sectional moderator effects of physical activity, sports, and dietary restraint on overweight-associated absenteeism.

Methods: Using a web-based life style questionnaire in a large banking corporation responses were obtained from 2298 employees. These data were coupled with the data from the company absenteeism registration in the year preceding (T1) and the year following (T2) the assessment of physical activity, sports, and dietary restraint. In all analyses we controlled for age, sex, level of education, and smoking. In addition, we controlled for possible confounding effects of perceived general health and energy at work and in the analyses with dietary restraint also for emotional and external eating and physical activity and sports.

Results: Only restrained eating was found to moderate the relation between overweight and/or obesity on the one hand and absenteeism at T2 on the other hand. The degree of overweight and obesity was more strongly related to augmented absenteeism at T2 in people with higher levels of dietary restraint.

Conclusion: To reduce absenteeism in overweight and/or obese employees it seems indeed wise to advise them to stop dieting.

From Radboud University Nijmegen (Dr van Strien) Nijmegen, The Netherlands; and Beter, Occupational Health Services (Dr Koenders) Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Address correspondence to: Dr Paul G. Koenders, Beter, Hogehilweg 21, 1101 CB Amsterdam, The Netherlands; E-mail:

Paul Koenders has disclosed no financial interest related to this research.

Tatjana van Strien received royalties for the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ), published by Boom test uitgevers.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine