Journal of Community Health

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 619–625 | Cite as

Predictors of Obesity in Michigan Operating Engineers

  • Sonia A. DuffyEmail author
  • Kathleen A. Cohen
  • Seung Hee Choi
  • Marjorie C. McCullagh
  • Devon Noonan
Original Paper


Blue collar workers are at risk for obesity. Little is known about obesity in Operating Engineers, a group of blue collar workers, who operate heavy earth-moving equipment in road building and construction. Therefore, 498 Operating Engineers in Michigan were recruited to participate in a cross-sectional survey to determine variables related to obesity in this group. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine personal, psychological, and behavioral factors predicting obesity. Approximately 45% of the Operating Engineers screened positive for obesity, and another 40% were overweight. Multivariate analysis revealed that younger age, male sex, higher numbers of self-reported co-morbidities, not smoking, and low physical activity levels were significantly associated with obesity among Operating Engineers. Operating Engineers are significantly at risk for obesity, and workplace interventions are needed to address this problem.


Obesity Overweight Blue collar Health behaviors Workplace 



This study was supported by the Michigan Center for Health Intervention (MICHIN). The authors would like to acknowledge Karen Fowler for her assistance with project development and data collection. The authors would also like to thank the Operating Engineers that participated in this study as well as the Operating Engineers leadership staff including Bill Nelson, Willie Dubas, and Lee Graham.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia A. Duffy
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kathleen A. Cohen
    • 3
  • Seung Hee Choi
    • 4
  • Marjorie C. McCullagh
    • 4
  • Devon Noonan
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Nursing and Department of Otolaryngology and PsychiatryUniversity of Michigan, School of NursingAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.The VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Center for Clinical Management ResearchUniversity of Michigan School of NursingAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.NursingUniversity of Michigan, School of Nursing, and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Ann ArborAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.School of NursingUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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