Objective: To estimate the prevalence of obesity and the change of prevalence of obesity between 2004-2007 and 2008-20011 by occupation among US workers in the National Health Interview Survey.
Methods: Self-reported weight and height were collected and used to assess obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m). Gender-, race/ethnicity-, and occupation-specific prevalence of obesity were calculated.
Results: Prevalence of obesity steadily increased from 2004 through 2008 across gender and race/ethnicity but leveled off from 2008 through 2011. Non-Hispanic black female workers in health care support (49.2%) and transportation/material moving (46.6%) had the highest prevalence of obesity. Prevalence of obesity in relatively low-obesity (white-collar) occupations significantly increased between 2004-2007 and 2008-2011, whereas it did not change significantly in high-obesity (blue-collar) occupations.
Conclusions: Workers in all occupational categories are appropriate targets for health promotion and intervention programs to reduce obesity.