Tags: Obesity | military | obesity | veterans | depression | PTSD

Obesity Prevalent in U.S. Military

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Monday, 27 Jun 2016 01:31 PM

Despite being held to stringent weight and body fat standards, obesity is a prevalent problem in the U.S. military in both active personnel and veterans as well, a new survey finds.

Not only that, but there is also an association between military personnel who have obesity – including both active duty and veterans – and mental health conditions like depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the study says.

The study comes at a time when the military is already presented with significant recruiting challenges and names obesity as one of the top reasons for military ineligibility among people ages 17 to 24.

To conduct the study, researchers examined data from 42,200 current and former military personnel from 2001 – 2008 as part of the Millennium Cohort Study.  Among these 42,000 individuals, the study found that 20 percent of the service members  – one in five – were obese, and the rate rose to 32 percent among veterans.

The percentage of veterans with obesity did not change significantly between less than one year and more than three years after military separation, suggesting that the increase in obesity may occur shortly after separation, the study found.

In a cross-sectional analysis of the data, the researchers found that military personnel who had obesity had higher rates of depression and PTSD than individuals with normal weight. High blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea were also significantly more common among individuals with obesity, says the study, which appears in Obesity.

 “We count on our military to be in the best shape both physically and mentally, and these data show there is a need to improve efforts to maintain a healthy weight within our Armed Forces,” says Catherine Champagne, of the Obesity Society’s Advocacy Committee.

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Although military personnel must meet stringent weight requirements, a new study finds obesity is common both in active soldiers and veterans.
military, obesity, veterans, depression, PTSD
Monday, 27 Jun 2016 01:31 PM
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