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Prev Med. 1996 Sep-Oct;25(5):593-600.

Predictors of weight increases over 7 years in fire fighters and paramedics.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33136, USA.



Excess body weight among adults is associated with increased risk of disease. Therefore, we sought predictors of weight gain that might be used to prevent increases in weight.


Participants were 438 male fire service personnel, 20-58 years of age, who filled out a questionnaire in 1984 and were weighed in 1984 and 1991.


Sixty-five percent gained > or = 5 lb, 42.1% gained > or = 10 lb, and 26.1% gained > or = 15 lb. Unmarried fire fighters gained 11.7 lb; those married or living as married gained 7.0 lb (P < 0.001). Black non-Hispanics increased by 15.7 lb, white Hispanics by 8.9 lb, and white non-hispanics by 6.7 lb (P < 0.001). New ex-smokers gained 13.0 lb; all other fire fighters gained 7.7 lb (P < 0.004). Fire fighters who reported eating "faster" at the station than elsewhere gained 9.9 lb compared with 6.8 lb for all others (P < 0.006). Those worried over financial security gained 11.2 lb versus nonworriers who gained 7.4 lb (P < 0.005).


Prevention programs will reach fire fighters likely to gain the most weight if aimed at those who are unmarried, younger, black, recent ex-smokers, fast eaters, and experiencing certain stressful life events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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