A cross-sectional analysis of patterns of obesity in a cohort of working nurses and midwives in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom

Bogossian, Fiona E., Hepworth, Julie, Leong, Gary M., Flaws, Dylan, Gibbons, Kristen S., Benefer, Christine A., & Turner, Catherine T. (2012) A cross-sectional analysis of patterns of obesity in a cohort of working nurses and midwives in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 49(6), pp. 727-338.

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of overweight and obesity and the association with demographic, reproductive work variables in a representative cohort of working nurses and midwives.

Design

A cross sectional study of self reported survey data. Settings

Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Methods

Measurement outcomes included BMI categories, demographic (age, gender, marital status, ethnicity), reproductive (parity, number of births, mother's age at first birth, birth type and menopausal status) and workforce (registration council, employment type and principal specialty) variables.

Participants

4996 respondents to the Nurses and Midwives e-Cohort study who were currently registered and working in nursing or midwifery in Australia (n=3144), New Zealand (n=778) or the United Kingdom (n=1074).

Results

Amongst the sample 61.87% were outside the healthy weight range and across all three jurisdictions the prevalence of obesity in nurses and midwives exceeded rates in the source populations by 1.73% up to 3.74%. Being overweight or obese was significantly associated with increasing age (35–44 yrs aOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.41–2.08; 45–55 yrs aOR 1.90, 95%CI 1.56–2.31; 55–64 aOR 2.22, 95% CI 1.71–2.88), and male gender (aOR 1.46, 95% CI 1.15–1.87). Primiparous nurses and midwives were more likely to be overweight or obese (aOR 1.37, 95% CI 1.06–1.76) as were those who had reached menopause (aOR 1.37, 95% CI 1.11–1.69). Nurses and midwives in part-time or casual employment had significantly reduced risk of being overweight or obese, (aOR 0.81, 95% CI 0.70–0.94 and aOR 0.75, 95% CI 0.59–0.96 respectively), whilst working in aged carried increased risk (aOR 1.37, 95% CI 1.04–1.80).

Conclusion

Nurses and midwives in this study have higher prevalence of obesity and overweight than the general population and those who are older, male, or female primiparous and menopausal have significantly higher risk of overweight or obesity as do those working fulltime, or in aged care. The consequences of overweight and obesity in this occupational group may impact on their workforce participation, their management of overweight and obese patients in their care as well as influencing their individual health behaviours and risks of occupational injury and chronic disease.

Impact and interest:

15 citations in Scopus
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9 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 59320
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: BMI, Electronic survey, Nurses, Midwives, Obesity, Overweight
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2012.01.003
ISSN: 0020-7489
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100) > Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified (111199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 01 May 2013 03:49
Last Modified: 01 May 2013 22:11

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