Obese US firefighters report receiving no weight advice from their health provider

Obese and overweight firefighters are not receiving weight management advice from their health care providers, according to new research from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

National guidelines state that health care professionals (HCPs) should advise patients on the importance of maintaining a healthy . Firefighters have high rates of , and cardiovascular events are the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths in . This study assessed the association of age and body mass index (BMI) with HCP weight recommendations among male firefighters.

Researchers used data on self-reported HCP weight recommendations and measured BMI from a 2011–2012 national sample of male firefighters. HCP recommendations were recorded as no advice, maintain, gain, or lose weight, and BMI was categorized as normal, overweight, class I obese, and class II or III obese. We used multinomial logistic regression to estimate the odds of receiving weight advice by age and BMI categories.

Most firefighters (96 percent) reported visiting an HCP in the past year. Most (69 percent) firefighters and 48 percent of class I to III obese firefighters reported receiving no weight advice. Higher BMI predicted HCP advice to lose weight. Younger firefighters were less likely to receive weight loss than older firefighters, except among those who were class II or III obese.

The study was published today in the Center for Disease Control's journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

More information: Wilkinson ML, Brown AL, Poston WS, Haddock CK, Jahnke SA, Day RS. Physician Weight Recommendations for Overweight and Obese Firefighters, United States, 2011–2012. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140091. DOI: 10.5888/pcd11.140091

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physician's weight may influence obesity diagnosis and care

Jan 26, 2012

A patient's body mass index (BMI) may not be the only factor at play when a physician diagnoses a patient as obese. According to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the diagnosis ...

Recommended for you

Obese children burdened by more than weight

Nov 24, 2014

High blood pressure and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are two emerging health problems related to the epidemic of childhood obesity. In a recent study, researchers at University of California, ...

Nearly 30% of world population is overweight: study

Nov 20, 2014

More than 2.1 billion people globally—or nearly 30 percent of the world's population—are now overweight or obese, with the figure set to rise further by 2030, according to a study published Thursday.

Report: Global obesity costs hits $2 trillion

Nov 20, 2014

The global cost of obesity has risen to $2 trillion annually—nearly as much as smoking or the combined impact of armed violence, war and terrorism, according to a new report released Thursday.

Small cash rewards pay off in weight loss plans

Nov 20, 2014

People who received small cash bonuses for their degree of participation in an Internet weight loss program shed more pounds than those who were not offered bonuses and they kept much of the weight off, according to a new ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alfie_null
not rated yet Jul 12, 2014
Why do firefighters have higher rates of obesity?

How effective is receiving health care provider advice?
Forestgnome
not rated yet Jul 13, 2014
They don't know they're fat without an expert telling them?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.