A high prevalence of obesity has been observed among former World Trade Center (WTC) workers and volunteers. We hypothesized that unemployment and disability status would predict obesity. We surveyed 220 participants at the [INST] Mount Sinai WTC Clinical Center to assess their obesity and current employment and disability status, WTC occupational exposure level, medical comorbidities, and dietary and exercise habits. Bivariate and logistic regression multivariate analyses were used to explore associated risk factors. Obesity was associated with active employment status. Other significant covariates included non-Latino African American race, having a high number of comorbid chronic diseases, low exercise frequency, and not drinking any glass of juice daily. The association of obesity with active employment suggests that interventions that favor healthy habits among actively employed individuals are warranted.
Keywords: Employment status; World Trade Center attack, 2001; obesity.