The aim of this study is to determine whether in workers exposed to urban pollution the risk of developing overweight and obesity is higher in workers exposed to urban pollution compared to a control group. The study was conducted on 150 volunteers, 75 workers exposed to urban pollution (50 women and 25 men) and 75 indoor workers (50 women and 25 men). Once measured the weight and height and calculated body mass index (BMI) for each worker, the research was based on the comparison, between the two groups, of the mean values of the measurements and of the frequency of workers with BMI index higher than the cut-off of normality. The only statistically significant difference found was for the mean value of weight in women, which was higher among outdoor workers compared to indoor workers. The mean values of BMI and the frequency of workers with BMI higher than normal was higher among outdoor workers compared to indoor workers in both sexes, but not statistically significant. The data suggest that outdoor workers may be subject to an additional risk of developing obesity as a result of exposure to urban air pollution (which, like obesity, is a source of oxidative stress). So, our preliminary study encourages to continue this line of research by implementing the sample and considering all the confounding factors. Furthermore, the results highlight the necessity to take account of gender differences in the context of health surveillance of workers.
Keywords: BMI; Obesity; Outdoor workers; Overweight; Urban pollution.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.