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High rates of obesity in certain job fields

Some jobs are bad for the waistline and a new survey shows people working in transportation, manufacturing, repair and service industries have higher rates of obesity. But doctors, business owners and teachers have lower rates.

“Until they walk a mile in my shoes, they should not make judgments. Until they do that person’s job, that they’re saying is mostly obese they need to keep their mouths quiet,” said Idaho Falls school bus driver Kari Caudle.

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, transit workers have a 36 percent obesity rate, the highest rate among 14 occupations reviewed.

The study shows one reason for the high rate is not having enough money to eat healthy. The low pay is something Caudle struggles with.

“It’s a good job for retired people that want to make extra money because it’s not a big paycheck. For as much as we do and as much as we’re responsible for, we don’t get paid enough,” she said.

On the lighter end of the scale, the index finds only 14 percent of physicians are obese. One exercise physiologist at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center explains the reasoning.

“Physicians are up moving around, walking around the hospital all day. Somebody that does transportation, they’re sedentary for their job, and I think the temptation is if you’re driving you’re going to hit the closest McDonald’s,” said Tom Stickley.

The survey findings were based on more than 139,000 interviews with American workers.

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