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More than 80% of Firefighters in the U.S. Are Overweight or Obese, But What’s Being Done?

obesity-in-firefighters-2014

A new study out of the CDC finds that 82.5% of firefighters in the U.S. are overweight or obese, a figure alarmingly higher than the rest of the general population, which hovers around 67%. The study found that, of 1,002 firefighters who participated, 854 had a BMI over 25%. A BMI under 25% is considered to be “normal.”

The main purpose of the Centers for Disease Control’s study was to determine whether firefighters were receiving recommendations from their health care providers regarding their weight and whether they needed to gain weight, lose weight, or simply maintain their current weight. The study found that 69% of them, despite having visited their physician in the last 12 months, received no recommendations or advice.

This is especially problematic, considering that data from earlier this year by Johns Hopkins University found that cardiovascular problems are the leading cause of death (45%) for active duty firefighters. They attribute that staggering statistic to the high stress factor of the job and poor lifestyle habits surrounding it.

What can be done to reduce obesity in our first responders?
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Overweight Cops May Lose Jobs

police officerIt’s tough being a cop. It may get a little tougher if the state of Ohio has its way. There’s a state rule that allows the dismissal of police officers who “consistently exceed weight limits.” Alaska and Massachusetts also have weight rules for their police force.

Six Ohio troopers were removed from duty in 2003, including one who was 71 pounds overweight.

While no officers have been fired in recent years, at least 11 have received verbal or written reprimands this year for weighing too much. Reportedly, one trooper was 48 pounds over his allowable weight, while another was 40 pounds overweight. So, apparently the protest is working, or nobody wants to enforce the rules.
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