Published Papers - Abstract 492

Au N & Hollingsworth B. Employment patterns and changes in body weight among young women. Preventive Medicine, 2011; 52(5): 310-316

Objective. To investigate the influence of employment patterns on weight gain and weight loss in young adult women.Methods. Study sample is 5164 participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health who completed surveys in 2003 and 2006. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios of weight change.Results. The adjusted odds of gaining weight, compared with women in stable full-time work (49.7%), were lower for women in stable part-time work (47.3%, OR=0.74, CI: 0.58–0.94), or who transitioned from not in the labour force (NILF) to part-time (42.8%, OR=0.68, CI: 0.47–0.99) or full-time (37.5%, OR=0.54, CI: 0.34–0.85) work. Heavy weight gain (>10 kg) was less likely among women in stable part-time work (6.4%, OR=0.59, CI: 0.37–0.93) compared with those in stable full-time work (8.1%). The likelihood of weight loss compared with women in stable full-time employment (22.4%) was higher among stable part-time workers (28.4% OR=1.34, CI: 1.02–1.75) and those who transitioned from full-time to part-time work (24.8%, OR=1.30, CI: 1.01–1.67).Discussion. The lower likelihood of heavy weight gain associated with fewer work hours suggests more time spent at work may contribute to weight gain. Young women in full-time employment may benefit from workplace interventions supporting healthier lifestyles.