Home > Uncategorized > Forty Percent Of Executives Are Obese

Forty Percent Of Executives Are Obese

The results of a study by James Rippe, associate professor of medicine (cardiology) at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass., and founder/director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute, suggest that the boardroom may not be the healthiest place for executives to sit. It shows that many senior executives may be living unhealthy lifestyles and flirting dangerously with heart disease.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the prevalence of obesity among adults has increased from 25 to 32% in the past 10 years. Among obese executives, 100% have at least one other risk factor for cardiovascular disease, 86% have two, and 60% have at least three other risk factors. Significantly, 55% of all heart disease occurs in individuals with at least two risk factors for this condition. The bottom line: Senior executives have a disproportionate risk of heart disease–compared with the population at large–which may be putting their companies’ interests in danger as well.

“For a CEO or other senior executive, health issues have a serious impact on both personal life and the welfare of the business,” Rippe points out. “The critical levels of risk factors for heart disease among senior executives affect everyone in the business world, from employees to stockholders. And because risk factors multiply each other in relation to the risk of heart disease, an overweight, inactive senior executive is something that no American company can afford.”

The study involved extensive review of clinical data on executives who were seen for annual health evaluations. Their average age was 45. The study indicated a high prevalence of risk factors for heart disease, including inactive lifestyle; increased waist circumference; elevated cholesterol, blood pressure, and/or glucose; and cigarette smoking. More than half of the executives seen for the study left with a new diagnosis of dyslipidemia, hypertension, or coronary artery disease–chronic diseases they had not been aware of before.

Keeping the boardroom healthy carries enormous implications for every corporation in America. In some cases, when the company’s image and reputation are closely tied to the CEO, long-term illness or premature death carries not only profound consequences for the individual, but can be catastrophic to the business.

These findings suggest that Corporate America needs to focus more attention on assisting senior executives in seeking proper medical care and making positive lifestyle decisions, such as becoming more active and better managing their weight in order to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of premature morbidity and mortality in the U.S.

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