Sunday, January 25, 2009

Job Strain Causes Obesity? Obesity causes...

American Journal of Epidemiology 2007 165(7):828-837

Prospective Effect of Job Strain on General and Central Obesity in the Whitehall II Study
Eric J. Brunner, Tarani Chandola and Michael G. Marmot
From the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Royal Free and University College London Medical School, London, England

Correspondence to Dr. Eric J. Brunner, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Royal Free and University College London Medical School, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, England (e-mail: e.brunner{at}

Positive energy balance is the major cause of obesity, and chronic stress may be a contributory factor. The authors examined cumulative work stress, using the Job Strain Questionnaire on four occasions, as a predictor of obesity in a prospective 19-year study of 6,895 men and 3,413 women (aged 35–55 years) in the Whitehall II cohort in London, United Kingdom (baseline: 1985–1988). A dose-response relation was found between work stress and risk of general obesity (body mass index 30 kg/m2) and central obesity (waist circumference >102 cm in men, >88 cm in women) that was largely independent of covariates. The imputed odds ratios of body mass index obesity for one, two, and three or more reports of work stress adjusted for age, sex, and social position were 1.17, 1.24, and 1.73 (trend p < color="#990000">This study provides prospective, population-based evidence that chronic work stress predicts general and central obesity.
BrooklynDodger(s) comment: The "obsesity epidemic" is in part a moral panic in which persons lacking the will to eat less are blamed for the health problems which arise among those in the upper range of obese (BMI > 30) and extremely obese (BMI > 35). The next step will be taking their health insurance away, or not agreeing to national health security.

[You can calculate your BMI at
For a 6 footer (gender underfined), 185 lbs begins overweight and 220 obese.]

This paper finds that job stress precedes increased caloric intake and increased weight. Intervening of job stress thus has a quantitive relationship to reduced mortality and morbidity.

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