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Majority of health workers in Houston are obese

A recent study involving health workers in Houston hospitals has found that 78% of them are overweight or obese. 924 employees across six different hospitals took part in the research. Dr Shreela Sharma, lead author, explained that these results were above the national average and also worrying as obesity is linked to so many chronic diseases. Whilst intake of fruit and vegetables was consistent across all weight groups, it was the intake of fatty foods and sugary beverages that really separated each group.

Many of the participants in the study were classed as hospital administrators and technicians and lead sedentary lifestyles, furthermore 48% of participants reported not having any moderate physical activity during the week. Dr Sharma suggested that there is such a high number of overweight hospital workers due to the ‘nurturer effect’, where those who look after others are less likely to look after themselves. In addition to this, many of the workers were dissatisfied with their worksite wellness programs, saying that not much was being done to look after employees’ health. Overall, Dr Sharma stressed that hospital employers must also look after their own workforce whilst also caring for the public.

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