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Business news solutions items — Jan. 19

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HEALTH

Obesity measurements

Obesity among children from lower earning families rose compared with their well-off counterparts, according to a study that suggests the U.S. weight epidemic may be another sign of a growing divide between rich and poor.

Using data from two national surveys of children ages 12 to 17 years old, researchers from Harvard University and Insead analyzed parents’ level of education as shorthand for socioeconomic status, a measure of education, income and occupation. The study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that children from less educated families exercised less and didn’t cut their calories as much.

Though the prevalence of childhood obesity has leveled off since a decade ago, and children overall are consuming fewer calories and are more physically active, those gains aren’t evenly distributed. Obesity among children whose parents are college-educated has dropped, while obesity among those in less-educated families continues to increase, the study said.

“We’re finally beating obesity on the aggregate level, but when you look at the trends, it’s very different for rich kids and poor kids,” said Kaisa Snellman, one of the study’s authors and a sociologist at Insead, an international business school. Lower education is usually linked to less income.

— Bloomberg News

WORKPLACE

Dealing with change

Q: My job has recently changed to require me to telecommute much of the time. I’m used to being part of a large, cohesive team, and am struggling with feelings of isolation. It’s hard to stay energized.

A: Build and maintain connections, even though the form may have changed.

Change can be difficult, especially if it is unsought. This change comes with some losses for you at an emotional level. Acknowledge this so that unexpressed feelings don’t sabotage you, taking some time to breathe through the feelings, and get ready to think about possibilities.

Consider factors in your previous arrangement that worked. For example, being in an office provides day-to-day structure, as well as easy access to social engagement. Think about the parts of being in the office that you won’t miss so much.

— By Liz Reyer

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Stressful jobs ranked

Where does your job rank when it comes to the level of stress you have to manage daily? Do you have to save people from raging fires or formulate policies for public and private companies? Or are you on the low end of the stress meter, working as a tenured university professor, dietitian or hair stylist?

Jobs website CareerCast recently released its annual top 10 most and least stressful occupations for 2014. Not making the top of the list doesn’t mean your job isn’t stressful. It only means there some occupations that regularly take a physical and emotional toll on employees — around the clock.

Take the No. 1 most stressful job on the list: enlisted military personnel. The median salary is only $28,840.

The most stressful: 1. enlisted military personnel; 2. military general; 3. firefighter; 4. airline pilot; 5. event coordinator; 6. public relations coordinator; 7. senior corporate executive; 8. newspaper reporter; 9. police officer; 10. taxi driver.

The least stressful: 1. audiologist; 2. hair stylist; 3. jeweler; 4. tenured university professor; 5. seamstress¼tailor; 6. dietitian; 7. medical records technician; 8. librarian; 9. multimedia artist; 10. drill press operator.

— By Christopher Seward

Atlanta Journal-Constitution


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