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More business travel, more body fat? Study explores

Photo: furtaev/iStockphoto

Atlanta — People who travel frequently for business may have trouble keeping the pounds off, researchers from Emory University say.

As part of their study, the researchers looked at the frequency of business travel and body fat among 695 senior-level corporate executives, 82% of whom were men. Overall, the average age of the participants was 52. About 45% of the execs traveled one to six days a month, 37% traveled seven to 13 days a month and 12% traveled at least 14 days a month.

The group that traveled the most had the highest levels of body mass index, body fat percentage and fat surrounding their internal organs, also known as visceral fat.


Previous research has shown that frequent business travel is linked to increased health risks, including obesity and cardiometabolic disease, an American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine press release states.

“Based on our results, consideration should be given to include advice on the importance of maintaining healthy habits among business travelers and on the potential chronobiologic effect of frequent international travel,” the researchers said in the release.

The study was published in the ACOEM’s Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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