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J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Mar;53(3):266-73. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31820af362.

The prevalence of overweight, obesity, and substandard fitness in a population-based firefighter cohort.

Author information

1
Institute for Biobehavioral Health Research, National Development and Research Institute, Inc, Leawood, Kan., USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the prevalence of overweight and obesity in firefighters.

METHODS:

Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and body fat percentage (BF%) were assessed in 478 career and 199 volunteer male firefighters from randomly selected departments.

RESULTS:

High prevalence rates of overweight + obesity (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m) were found in career (79.5%; 33.5%) and volunteer firefighters (78.4%; 43.2%). False-positive obesity misclassification based on BMI, compared to waist circumference and BF%, was low (9.8% and 2.9%, respectively). False negatives were much higher: 32.9% and 13.0%. Obese firefighters demonstrated unfavorable cardiovascular disease (CVD) profiles.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of overweight and obesity exceeded that of the US general population. Contrary to common wisdom, obesity was even more prevalent when assessed by BF% than by BMI, and misclassifying muscular firefighters as obese by using BMI occurred infrequently.

PMID:
21386691
PMCID:
PMC5826653
DOI:
10.1097/JOM.0b013e31820af362
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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