Obesity on the job

By Jungwee Park

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Obesity among Canadian workers increased over the last decade, from 12.5% in the mid-1990s to 15.7% in 2005.

Low education was associated with obesity for both employed men and women as was low income for women.

Work arrangements such as shift work and excessive hours were associated with obesity.

Obesity was related to elevated levels of work stress—these workers had higher job strain and lower co-worker support.

The odds of being absent from work were almost four times higher for obese young men than for those with normal weight.

Among older women workers, obesity negatively affected productivity as measured by reduced work activities, disability days, and work injury.

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