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Health

Study links obesity and long-term unemployment in U.S.
High blood pressure, cholesterol also more common among long-term unemployed
 
Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 10:15 am
by Staff Reports

Being out of work for over a year can add a few inches to your waistline and put you at an increased risk for obesity. That’s according to a new Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index study.

Researchers found that Americans who have been out of work for a year or more are much more likely to be obese than those unemployed for a shorter time. The obesity rate rises from 22.8 percent among those unemployed for two weeks or less to 32.7% among those unemployed for 52 weeks or more.

The study also found that the long-term unemployed (defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as being unemployed for 27 weeks or more) are also at an increased risk for other health conditions related to obesity, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

The results are based on nearly 5,000 interviews throughout 2013 with the long-term unemployed and more than 13,000 interviews with the short-term unemployed.

According to the study, the long-term unemployed are nearly twice as likely to say they currently have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

It also found that those out of work for 27 weeks or more report experiencing an average of 4.7 days out of the past 30 when poor health kept them from doing their usual activities. That compares with an average of 2.8 lower-productivity days for those unemployed for a shorter period, and just 1.4 days for full-time workers.

Read a complete summary of the study at www.Gallup.com.

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