BOSTON — Three out of four paramedic, EMT and firefighter recruits in the Boston area are overweight, a troubling trend that shows the obesity epidemic is weighing down even young rookies, according to a new study out today.
Researchers reviewed pre-placement medical exams for 370 Boston-area firefighter and ambulance recruits over three years. They found that only 22 percent, or about 1 in 5 recruits, had a normal weight, according to the Boston University study.
Nearly 44 percent were overweight and 33 percent were obese, according to the study published today in the journal Obesity. Investigators defined normal weight, overweight and obese based on BMI, which is a commonly accepted weight-to-height-ratio.