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UK: More than One in four nurses are overweight as long hours and stress blamed - Research - Nurses Arena Forum

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UK: More than One in four nurses are overweight as long hours and stress blamed by Idowu Olabode : December 05, 2017, 03:49:52 AM
More than a quarter of NHS nurses are obese, with healthcare professionals more likely to be dangerously fat than those they care for, new research suggests.

Experts said the findings were “deeply worrying” and said patients would find it hard to stomach health advice from those whose weight was not healthy.

The research by  London South Bank University and Edinburgh Napier University set out to assess obesity prevalence among healthcare professionals working in England.

It found that 25.1 per cent of nurses were obese, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) score of more than 30, compared with rates of 23.5 per cent in the general population.

Rates were even higher among unregistered care workers - such as care home workers and nursing assistants, with one in three obese.

The study, published in the journal BMJ Open, saw them examine data from more than 20,000 working-age adults who took part in the Health Survey for England between 2008 and 2012.

Participants were split into four groups: nurses, other healthcare professionals - including doctors, dentists and physiotherapists, unregistered care workers and people employed in non health-related jobs.

Researchers said the high rates of obesity were likely to be fuelling sickness levels in the NHS, with excess weight increasing the risk of musculoskeletal conditions and mental health conditions - some of the main causes of sickness absence in the health service.

Co author Dr Richard Kyle, from Edinburgh Napier University, said: "Obesity is a global pandemic and healthcare professionals are at the heart of efforts to bring down high levels of obesity among the population.

"That one in four nurses in England have been found to be obese is deeply worrying, not least because we know that obesity is linked to diseases such as cancer, cardio-vascular disease, and diabetes.

"It is vital that we redouble our efforts to take care of our healthcare workforce who do so much to care for others."

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said repeated attempts to encourage overweight staff to shed the pounds had failed.

“When a quarter of qualified health professionals find it impossible to maintain a healthy BMI , no-one should be surprised if the majority of us find it difficult too. Instead of hectoring people to live healthily, the government should be making it easier for them to do so,” he said.

Kim Sunley, from the Royal College of Nursing, said: "There is no doubt obesity is a major public health issue, and we know nurses sometimes struggle to make healthy choices due to long hours, shift work and stress.

"In response, the RCN has worked with partner organisations to develop the Nursing You resource. This helps nurses recognise triggers for unhealthy decisions and make better food choices.”

Source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/05/one-four-nurses-obese-new-study-shows/

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