Nursing

Blog spotlight: Does being a nurse make you fat?

Nurse Leader Insider, February 6, 2012

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Is being a nurse bad for your health? A new survey indicates that this might be the case, and offers managers an opportunity to help staff be healthier and take care of themselves so they can take better care of patients in return.

The survey of more than 2,100 female nurses, conducted by the University of Maryland's School of Nursing, revealed that 55% of participants were obese. The study used body mass index (BMI) as the primary measure for obesity. The nurses who participated in the survey indicated factors such as jobs stress, poor sleep habits, and long, irregular work hours as the primary causes for their excess weight.

This study comes among other recent reports that overweight physicians are less likely to advise obese patients about the benefits of dieting and exercising to lose weight and improve their health. A common thread among these studies is that physicians and nurses who are at an unhealthy weight are unable to provide the highest quality of care for patients, because they are not caring for themselves and feel they cannot lead by example.

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