Which Jobs Have the Highest Obesity Rates?

Do some jobs make you less healthy than others? Maybe. According to a new study published this month in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, there’s a direct correlation between higher obesity rates and certain types of professions—and the professions in question might surprise you.

Using data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey in conjunction with self-reported weight and height information, the researchers behind the study took a look at how obesity rates were distributed across 19 different job categories. They found that the six categories with the highest obesity rates are manufacturing, healthcare/social assistance, transportation/warehousing, information, utilities, and public administration. After adjusting for factors like race, gender, and other health behaviors (whether or employees smoke, etc.), though, only two categories retained significantly higher-than-average obesity rates: Public administration and healthcare/social assistance.

Public administration may not be terribly surprising; desk jobs involve an awful lot of sitting down, and after ridonculously long work days, the last thing many people feel like doing is working out. But healthcare? You’d think folks working in that sector would, y’know… be a little healthier, no?

Well, maybe not. The authors of the studies speculate that it might have something to do with the characteristics of certain jobs that fall under that umbrella. True, doctors and nurses may be on the go all day; but receptionists and billing staff, like public administration employees, are usually chained to their desks all day. Additionally, a survey conducted by the National Health Interview in 2002 found that lower-wage clerical staff working in healthcare generally have a much greater obesity rate than higher paying “health diagnosing” jobs. The conclusion? It might not be where you work that affects your health, but how much you earn.

Of course, there are plenty of other factors that may contribute to unhealthiness in the workplace — the study also found that folks who work for more than 40 hours a week are significantly more likely to be obese, as are people who suffer through hostile work environments — but still. That sucks. Hard. Especially given that the economy is still so awful. Maybe there will be a light at the end of the tunnel eventually, but we’re definitely not there yet. Sigh.

Here. Have a look at some of the Internet’s best April Fool’s jokes this year. It’ll make you feel better. Let's all laugh a lot today, shall we?