Overweight, under-exercised and unhealthy

2004

It's official. Britain's bosses really are fat cats. According to a new report, boardrooms are groaning under the weight of overweight, under-exercised and decidedly unhealthy executives.

A survey of 500 business leaders by catering firm Avenance has found that almost half – 47 per cent – are overweight.

More than half (55 per cent) admit that they do not take enough exercise and one in five say that they take no exercise at all.

And with Christmas just around the corner, one in 10 bosses say that they expected to chomp their way through eight Christmas lunches in the next few weeks - each one of which contains the same number of calories as an entire day's recommended adult food intake.

According to Avenance, Britian's bosses can be divided into three main categories. The "Fatter Cat" combines a poor diet with over-indulgence in caffeine and alcohol and usually suffers from an associated lack of sleep.

More than a third (37 per cent) of those surveyed get less than six hours sleep a night while one in five work more than 55 hours a week.

The "FTSE Fluctuator" has good intentions – perhaps a gym membership and a diet plan - but is unable to sustain them in the face of the pressures of their job.

The "City Slimmer", however, is an executive paragon, going for early-morning runs and more likely to reach for a food supplement than a coffee when things get stressful.

Almost a quarter of the bosses surveyed said that they believed their company would suffer financially following a health scare. Many also believed that morale would drop.

"Business leaders need to take their heads out of the sand and accept that their health has serious implications for their own work and the fortunes of their company,” said Avenance chief executive Mike Audis.

"If business leaders are fatigued, under-exercised and even malnourished, they are not in the best position to make business decisions."