Obesity prevalence among healthcare professionals in England: a cross-sectional study using the health survey for England

Journal article


Kyle, RG, Wills, JD, Mahoney, C, Hoyle, L, Kelly, M and Atherton, IM (2017). Obesity prevalence among healthcare professionals in England: a cross-sectional study using the health survey for England. BMJ Open. 7 (12).
AuthorsKyle, RG, Wills, JD, Mahoney, C, Hoyle, L, Kelly, M and Atherton, IM
Abstract

Objective: To estimate obesity prevalence among healthcare professionals in England and compare prevalence to those working outside of the health services. Design: Cross-sectional study based on data from five years (2008-2012) of the nationally representative Health Survey for England. Setting: England. Participants: 20,103 adults aged 17-65 indicating they were economically active at the time of survey classified into four occupational groups: nurses (n=422), other healthcare professionals (n=412), unregistered care workers (n=736) and individuals employed in non-health related occupations (n=18,533). Outcome measure: Prevalence of obesity defined as Body Mass Index  30.0 with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and weighted to reflect the population. Results: Obesity prevalence was high across all occupational groups including: among nurses (25.1% 95% CI 20.9, 29.4); other healthcare professionals (14.4% CI 11.0, 17.8); non-health related occupations (23.5% CI 22.9, 24.1); and unregistered care workers, who had the highest prevalence of obesity (31.9%, CI 28.4, 35.3). A logistic regression model adjusted for socio-demographic composition and survey year indicated that, compared to nurses, the odds of being obese were significantly lower for other health care professionals (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR] 0.52, CI 0.37, 0.75) and higher for unregistered care workers (aOR 1.46 CI 1.11, 1.93). There was no significant difference in obesity prevalence between nurses and people working in non-health related occupations (aOR 0.94 CI 0.74, 1.18). Conclusions: High obesity prevalence among nurses and unregistered care workers is concerning as it increases the risks of musculoskeletal conditions and mental health conditions which are the main causes of sickness-absence in health services. Further research is required to better understand the reasons for high obesity prevalence among healthcare professionals in England to inform interventions to support individuals to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Year2017
JournalBMJ Open
Journal citation7 (12)
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018498
Publication dates
Print01 Dec 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Oct 2017
Accepted20 Sep 2017
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
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