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Protective services workers, truckers top state’s list of most obese

Olympia, WA – Truck driving and protective services are the occupations with the highest percentage of obese workers in Washington state, according to a new study from the state’s Department of Labor and Industries.

Researchers collected information on 37,626 workers using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual state-based survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, almost 25 percent of all workers in Washington state were obese. Protective services workers were 2.46 times as likely to be obese as workers in the health diagnosing field, which had the lowest obesity level. Other industries at high risk for obese workers were transportation and material moving and cleaning and building services.

Obesity was less likely among workers who ate more fruits and vegetables and engaged in leisure-time physical activity, as well as those in physically demanding jobs.

Based on the findings, researchers advised employers and policymakers to develop comprehensive workplace health intervention programs and target the programs to specific occupations.

The study was published in the January issue of CDC’s journal Preventing Chronic Disease.