Follow me on

Edmonton Obesity Stage in Italian Workers

Luisella Vigna and Arya Sharma

Luisella Vigna and Arya Sharma

Amongst the many posters being presented at the 3rd International Congress on Abdominal Obesity this week, one that (for obvious reasons) caught my attention is a study by Vigna and colleagues from the Occupational Medicine Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, which looked at the Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS) in a group of 134 overweight and obese workers (BMI greater than 25).

Surprisingly, the vast majority of participants (76%) had Stage 2 obesity, with only 7% and 9% having Stage 0 and 1, respectively.

This relatively high burden of comorbidities and complications was reflected in the fact that 81% had mental health problems, 66% had ‘mechanical’ complications, and well over 90% had metabolic risk factors or comorbidities.

Over 38% of participants reported a direct impact of their personal health on their work performance.

Given that there was a rather poor relationship between BMI levels and the actual presence or impact of comorbidities, the authors conclude that assessment of obesity stage rather than simply BMI may give a better idea of the ‘occupational’ health of individuals with excess weight, particularly in the assessment for specific professional activities for which mental, mechanical or metabolic health may be of particular importance rather than just a measure of size.

Québec City, QC


  1. “80 % weight related mental health problems”, that’s quite a lot concerning “an Italian population”. So wich mental problems are they talking about ? Is this result different from a non-obese Italian workers population ? (let’s hope so)

    Post a Reply
  2. That’s what I was wondering. How is this in any way meaningful without information on Italian workers in general?

    Also, the idea that obesity and “mental health problems” are linked in any kind of a cause and effect way seems far fetched.

    Fat people may have mental health problems due to the social bias against them, but that’s not an affect of their size. It’s a result of others’ attitudes toward it. Also, I know you’re aware that a lot of mental health drugs cause weight gain, and that seems like the most obvious connection. So, it’s more like “mental health-related weight issues” than vice-versa.

    The whole thing just sounds dodgy to me. Where did they get the subjects for the study? How were they selected? I have a feeling it wasn’t a representative population.

    Post a Reply
  3. in our workers following dr Sharma classification of mental problems (MMM&M) emotional eating was the main issue, followed by depressive mood and binge eating disorders.
    We run an outpatient “Obesity and work”clinic so the population in our study was referred to us by occupational doctors.
    Dr L Vigna

    Post a Reply
  4. I’m not surprised. Clinical populations are by no means representative. People who are motivated to seek treatment by occupational doctors are not at all typical of the general population. The fact that your subjects were seeking medical treatment for work-related problems should be stated up front and emphasised. Most people with 30+ BMIs do not need or seek out that kind of treatment. Of course you found a high percentage of mental health problems in that kind of sample.

    Post a Reply
  5. has this study been published yet? If so, is there a link to it?

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *