New data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that the lowest paid workers have the highest obesity rates. Workers from transportation, manufacturing, repair and service industries top the list of most obese. Doctors, business owners, teachers and other professionals were least likely to be obese.
Jobs associated with greater obesity rates were poorer paying jobs that required less education. Obese workers were less likely to exercise three or more times per week. They were less likely to have eaten healthfully the day before and reported difficulty affording food. They were more likely to be depressed. But also the least likely to smoke.
Here are more specific findings broken down by industry:
- Service workers were the least likely to have a safe place to exercise, most likely to have been diagnosed with depression and most likely to have struggled to afford food.
- Physicians were the most likely to have a safe place to exercise, the least likely to have been diagnosed with depression and the least likely to have struggled to afford food.
- Sales people were the least likely to eat well.
- Office workers were the least likely to exercise at least 90 minutes per week.
- Farming, fishing and forestry workers had the highest rates of exercise and healthful eating.
- Construction workers were the least likely to visit a dentist.
- Teachers were the most likely to visit a dentist.
Obesity could have an impact on salaries. Obese women earn an average of 6.2 percent less than normal-weighing counterparts.
The researchers write, “Gallup research also finds that engaged employees exercise more frequently and also eat healthier than those who are not engaged or are actively disengaged. Therefore, employers who prioritize employee engagement may see a double benefit of healthier and happier workers.”