Body mass index trajectories among the Canadian workforce and their association with work environment trajectories over 17 years

Publication type
Journal article
Dobson K, Gilbert-Ouimet M, Mustard C, Smith PM
Date published
2020 Jun 01
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Open Access?

OBJECTIVE: To determine the number of latent body mass index (BMI) trajectories from 1994 to 2010 among working Canadians and their association with concurrent trajectories in work environment exposures. METHODS: Data of employed individuals from the longitudinal Canadian National Population Health Survey were used. Group-based trajectory modelling was used to determine the number of latent BMI trajectories and concurrent psychosocial work environment trajectories. A multinomial logistic regression of BMI trajectory membership on trajectories in work environment dimensions (skill discretion, decision latitude, psychological demands, job insecurity, social support, physical exertion) was then explored. RESULTS: Four latent BMI trajectories corresponding to normal, overweight, obese and very obese BMI values were found. Each trajectory saw an increase in BMI (~2-4 kg/m(2)) over the 17-year period. A higher decision authority trajectory was associated with lower odds of belonging to the overweight and obese trajectories when compared with the normal weight trajectory. A decreasing physical exertion trajectory was associated with higher odds of belonging to the very obese trajectory when compared with the normal weight trajectory. CONCLUSIONS: Four BMI trajectories are present in the Canadian workforce; all trajectories saw increased body weight over time. Declining physical exertion and lower decision authority in the work environment over time is associated with increased likelihood of being in overweight and obese trajectories