26 March 2010
Washington, DC USA
Stressful working conditions and lack of exercise have been strongly associated with being overweight or obese in a study.
Researchers at University of Rochester Medical Center found that 72 to 75 percent of the employees studied were overweight or obese.
Lead author Diana Fernandez, an epidemiologist at the URMC Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, said her research like many others linked high job pressure with cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, depression, exhaustion, anxiety and weight gain.
She explained: “In a poor economy, companies should take care of the people who survive layoffs and end up staying in stressful jobs. It is important to focus on strengthening wellness programs to provide good nutrition, ways to deal with job demands, and more opportunities for physical activity that are built into the regular workday without penalty.”
Surprisingly, boffins also discovered that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables had little effect in offseting the effect of chronic job stress on weight gain among the employees, who were mostly sedentary.
Exercise, on the other hand, appeared to be significant in dealing with stress and keeping a healthy weight.
Fernandez said. “Other studies have shown that adults tend to eat more fatty foods while watching TV. But this requires more investigation.”