open access

Vol 62, No 2 (2011)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2011-09-09
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Obesity continues to be a major health risk for Danish seafarers and fishermen

H.L. Hansen, L. Hjarnoe, J.R. Jepsen
International Maritime Health 2011;62(2):98-103.

open access

Vol 62, No 2 (2011)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2011-09-09

Abstract


Background. In addition to the well-known medical consequences of overweight, severe obesity may also constitute a safety problem on board a ship in case of an emergency. The purpose of this study was to determine the current extent of the problem of overweight among Danish seafarers and fishermen and to follow-up the situation since a previous survey. The aim was to identify the main target groups and determine the need for continuous intervention.
Material and methods. Data on height and weight were obtained from the mandatory health examinations of seafarers and fishermen. A total of 2,101 seafarers were included in the study. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated for each individual seafarer. Data from two other surveys were used as reference.
Results. A total of 1,379 (66%) of all tested subjects were overweight. Among the male officers and ratings, the relative risk of being overweight was 1.33 (1.25–1.38) and 1.30 (1.22–1.38), respectively. The relative risk for fishermen was 1.45 (1.25–1.66) and for maritime students and trainees 1.44 (1.25–1.66). The female seafarers had a relative risk of being overweight of 1.42 (1.23–1.65). There were a statistical significantly increased number of overweight merchant seafarers since 2001/2002.
Discussion. The study shows that Danish merchant seafarers have a major and significantly increasing overweight problem. Among fishermen, overweight was even more frequent. Overweight constitutes a threat not only to their health, but also to their career at sea. The larger than expected incidence of overweight among new employees in the industry provides particular cause for concern. The causes of the problem are complex and interventions need to be broad.
(Int Marit Health 2011; 62, 2: 98–103)

Abstract


Background. In addition to the well-known medical consequences of overweight, severe obesity may also constitute a safety problem on board a ship in case of an emergency. The purpose of this study was to determine the current extent of the problem of overweight among Danish seafarers and fishermen and to follow-up the situation since a previous survey. The aim was to identify the main target groups and determine the need for continuous intervention.
Material and methods. Data on height and weight were obtained from the mandatory health examinations of seafarers and fishermen. A total of 2,101 seafarers were included in the study. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated for each individual seafarer. Data from two other surveys were used as reference.
Results. A total of 1,379 (66%) of all tested subjects were overweight. Among the male officers and ratings, the relative risk of being overweight was 1.33 (1.25–1.38) and 1.30 (1.22–1.38), respectively. The relative risk for fishermen was 1.45 (1.25–1.66) and for maritime students and trainees 1.44 (1.25–1.66). The female seafarers had a relative risk of being overweight of 1.42 (1.23–1.65). There were a statistical significantly increased number of overweight merchant seafarers since 2001/2002.
Discussion. The study shows that Danish merchant seafarers have a major and significantly increasing overweight problem. Among fishermen, overweight was even more frequent. Overweight constitutes a threat not only to their health, but also to their career at sea. The larger than expected incidence of overweight among new employees in the industry provides particular cause for concern. The causes of the problem are complex and interventions need to be broad.
(Int Marit Health 2011; 62, 2: 98–103)
Get Citation

Keywords

seafarers; obesity; body mass index

About this article
Title

Obesity continues to be a major health risk for Danish seafarers and fishermen

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 62, No 2 (2011)

Pages

98-103

Published online

2011-09-09

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2011;62(2):98-103.

Keywords

seafarers
obesity
body mass index

Authors

H.L. Hansen
L. Hjarnoe
J.R. Jepsen

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