Gender differences and occupational factors for the risk of obesity in the Italian working population
BMC Public Health
Obesity is a multifactorial condition and a major risk factor associated with several non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, and with a higher risk of premature death and disability. Sex-specific factors have key roles and must be taken into consideration in studying occupational factors associated with the risk of obesity. The aim of this study was to investigate gender differences in body mass index (BMI) in a large cohort representative of Italian workers and, correlating
... rs and, correlating this index with several demographic and occupational variables, to verify sex- and work-dependent differences in the risk of obesity. We utilized data from INSuLa, a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of the Italian worker population conducted in 2013 by the Italian Workers' Compensation Authority to investigate health and safety at work. Analyses were run on a sample of 8000 Italian workers, aged from 16 to 64 years. Logistic regression models were employed to assess gender differences in the relation between occupational characteristics and BMI. We adjusted for age, education, variables related to health protection at work, and chronic conditions and diseases. There were several significant differences in the BMI between males and females, linked to some occupational factors. For instance, female shift workers were 1.32 times (95% CI 1.11-1.57) more likely to be overweight or obese than normal-weight workers, and this association was maintained when controlling for confounders. The likelihood of overweight or obesity among women who worked 1-2 night shifts per week was significantly higher - 1.5-1.6 times - than those on day shifts. Gender-specific differences in occupational factors associated with the risk of obesity are useful with a view to characterizing this risk and helping identify workplace-targeted intervention strategies.