lunes, 8 de junio de 2015

Worksite Influences on Obesogenic Behaviors in Low-Wage Workers in St Louis, Missouri, 2013-2014


Worksite Influences on Obesogenic Behaviors in Low-Wage Workers in St Louis, Missouri, 2013-2014

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Worksite Influences on Obesogenic Behaviors in Low-Wage Workers in St Louis, Missouri, 2013-2014

Jaime R. Strickland, MA; Galen Pizzorno, BS; Anna M. Kinghorn, MS; Bradley A. Evanoff, MD, MPH

Suggested citation for this article: Strickland JR, Pizzorno G, Kinghorn AM, Evanoff BA. Worksite Influences on Obesogenic Behaviors in Low-Wage Workers in St Louis, Missouri, 2013–2014. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:140406. DOI:


More than one-third of US adults are obese. Workplace programs to reduce obesity and improve overall health are not available or accessible to all workers, particularly low-wage workers among whom obesity is more prevalent. The goal of the study was to identify modifiable workplace factors and behaviors associated with diet and exercise to inform future workplace interventions to improve health.
We distributed paper and online surveys to 2 groups of low-wage workers, hospital workers and retail sales workers, at the worksites. The surveys assessed obesity, obesogenic behaviors, workplace factors, and worker participation in workplace health programs (WHPs). Descriptive and regression analyses were conducted to examine workplace factors associated with obesogenic behaviors.
A total of 529 surveys were completed (219 hospital workers and 310 retail workers). More than 40% of workers were obese and 27% were overweight. In general, workers had poor diets (frequent consumption of sugary and high-fat foods) and engaged in little physical activity (only 30.9% met recommended physical activity guidelines). Access to and participation in workplace health programs varied greatly between hospital and retail sales workers. We identified several modifiable workplace factors, such as food source and work schedule, that were associated with diet, exercise, or participation in workplace health programs.
This study illustrates the high prevalence of obesity and obesogenic behaviors workers in 2 low-wage groups. The differences between work groups indicated that each group had unique facilitators and barriers to healthy eating and exercise. An understanding of how socioeconomic, demographic, and work-related factors influence health will help to identify high-risk populations for intervention and to design interventions tailored and relevant to the target audiences.


This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) P30DK092950, Washington University Center for Diabetes Translation Research (WU-CDTR), and by the Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences Award, UL1 TR000448, from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the NIH. G. Pizzorno received a stipend from the NIH T35 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Training Grant 5 T35 HL007815. Contents of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the WU-CDTR, NIDDK, NCATS, or NIH. We acknowledge the support of the Washington University Institute for Public Health for cosponsoring, with the WU-CDTR, the Next Steps in Public Health event that led to the development of this article.

Author Information

Corresponding Author: Jaime R. Strickland, MA, Division of General Medical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Ave, Box 8005, St. Louis, MO 63110. Telephone: 314-454-7337. Email:
Author Affiliations: Galen Pizzorno, Anna M. Kinghorn, Bradley Evanoff, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.


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