The risk of obesity is high if you have a white-collar job, according to a new study. Researchers have found Indians who work in an office environment have a higher average body mass index (BMI) than those working in blue-collar jobs.
The team found BMIs of mathematicians, scientists and teachers were significantly higher than housekeepers or farm workers. “Lower physical activity level at work is possibly one of the factors of rising BMI, given the backdrop that, on an average, India has witnessed a decline in energy intake as shown by studies such as Deaton and Drèze, 2009 and Ramachandran, 2014,”co-author to the study Archana Dang told a news portal.
For the study, data on men and women's BMI was analysed and categorised according to various sectors and levels of activity at work. The participants, between the ages of 18 and 60-years-old, worked at least 180 days in the year. The results showed those in low-activity jobs have an average BMI of 24.26 kg/m2.
“The WHO cut-off defines individuals as overweight or obese if BMI is greater than or equal to 25, which is the standard benchmark,” Dang told a news portal. Adding, “But WHO re-defined cut-offs for Asians at 23 because they appear to be at risk for non-communicable diseases at lower levels of BMI than other populations as they have a higher percentage of body fat than, for example, European populations of the same age, sex, and BMI.”
India reportedly has the third highest number of obese individuals in the world. A 2014 study revealed 20 per cent of adults in India are overweight, while 11 per cent of adolescents are obese.
Obesity has become a major health issue across the globe. It has been found to increase blood pressure, which can cause a stroke or heart disease.
The study's findings were originally published in the journal Economics and Human Biology.