Firefighter weight worries doctors

March 20, 2009 3:19:55 PM PDT
It appears firefighting and rescue workers are having the problem as the rest of America with obesity.

A new study of 400 fire recruits in the Boston area showed that three-quarters of them were overweight or obese.

And nearly half the obese recruits failed a treadmill exercise test now being recommended by the National Fire Protection Association, a national fire safety organization.

Doctors say that's worrisome, since the average age of the recruits was just 26. At that age, they should be in the peak of fitness.

Authors of the study, published online in the journal Obesity, say the physical condition of emergency responders could affect public health and safety. The excess weight also contributes to heart disease - a major cause of death among emergency responders, and to back & neck injuries, which are a leading cause of disabilities among them.

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