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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

IUPUI: Researchers Examine Barriers to Weight Management Among Firefighters

Several researchers at the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health – Indianapolis (IUPUI) recently conducted a study to examine barriers to weight management among firefighters. They collected health risk data on 2373 overweight firefighters to complete a cross-sectional study.

Barriers to weight management were the dependent variables and the correlates in the multivariate-adjusted logistic models were demographic characteristics, readiness for change, and health risk factors.

 The study found that overweight firefighters who were ready to begin a weight management program were more likely to identify “lack of knowledge about weight management,” “lack of access to exercise opportunities,” and “eating helps me cope with stress,” as well as report a greater number of barriers toward weight management. Older firefighters were less likely to identify or report one or more barriers to weight management.

In conclusion, understanding barriers, readiness for change, and age may be useful in planning interventions to help firefighters better manage their weight.

Authors of the study include Ms. Carolyn Muegge, PhD student in epidemiology; Dr. Terrell Zollinger, professor emeritus of epidemiology; Dr. Yiqing Song, professor of epidemiology; Dr. Jennifer Wessel, associate professor of epidemiology; Dr. Patrick Monahan, professor of biostatistics; and Dr. Steven Moffatt of the National Institute for Public Safety Health. Read the full study, “Barriers to Weight Management Among Overweight and Obese Firefighters,” published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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