Back to Top Skip to main content
Alert Arrow ALERT!!

There are emergency procedures in place due to Hurricane Michael.

Get the latest information on emergency prescription refills and referral waivers.

Lose to win: Some service members struggle with weight

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jovanei Taito, shown here receiving his information warfare qualification certificate, credits the ShipShape program for enabling him to pass the Navy's body composition and physical fitness assessments.  (Courtesy photo) Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jovanei Taito (left), shown here receiving his information warfare qualification certificate, credits the ShipShape program for enabling him to pass the Navy's body composition and physical fitness assessments. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Heart Health

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Fitness wasn’t a problem for Petty Officer 3rd Class Jovanei Taito when he joined the Navy in 2014. He’d kept in shape by playing football and participating in track and field at his high school in Kapolei, Hawaii.

But as an information warfare systems technician, Taito does a lot of sitting. After long hours on the job, he gradually became less active. Less than three years after enlisting, his military career was at risk because he was in danger of failing the sea service’s body composition and physical fitness assessments.

Taito, who works at Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command in Suffolk, Virginia, was referred to ShipShape, the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center’s weight-management program. ShipShape teaches service members how to make healthy lifestyle changes to comply with weight and body fat percentage standards, helping to ensure readiness.

“I’m really glad I did ShipShape,” said Taito, who continued losing weight after completing the two-month program and today is down about 60 pounds.

Staying in shape is a struggle most Americans know all too well. For military members, staying in shape is a job requirement. People in uniform are significantly less likely than their civilian counterparts to be overweight or obese, according to Dr. Don Shell, director of disease prevention, disease management, and population health policy and oversight in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Health Services Policy and Oversight.

Almost 71 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Generally, being overweight or obese is defined by body mass index, a weight-to-height ratio. In comparison, only about 8 percent of military members were overweight or obese in 2015, according to a study in the September 2016 issue of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch’s Medical Surveillance Monthly Report or MSMR.

The number of service members dealing with weight issues may be low, but it has steadily risen. The 8 percent defined as overweight or obese in 2015 is a nearly 60-percent increase from those identified as overweight or obese in 2011, according to the study. Its authors note that excessive weight and body fat “have a detrimental effect on operational effectiveness and increase the risk of both acute and chronic health effects.”

Shell said a DoD working group is reviewing DoD and service-specific body mass and physical fitness policies and standards, with the goal of recommending revisions that will enhance the fitness and health of the overall force. The working group includes members from the Navy, Air Force, Army, and Coast Guard.

Meanwhile, there’s help for service members who, like Taito, get off track. Soldiers who’ve been identified as exceeding their service’s body fat standards enroll in the Army Body Composition Program. The Air Force’s Fitness Improvement Program is mandatory for service members identified with an unsatisfactory fitness score. It’s also available for any Air Force member who wants to improve his or her overall fitness and health.

For Taito, his time in ShipShape was well-spent. He’s maintained a focus on healthy eating and portion control. He also works out about five times a week: 15 minutes of cardio exercise to raise his heart rate, followed by 40 minutes of strength training to build and maintain lean muscle tissue. On his latest physical fitness assessment, he earned a “good high” overall.

“I’m in the best shape of my life,” Taito said, “and I feel great.” 

You also may be interested in...

USNS Comfort conducts mass casualty training exercise

Article
10/15/2018
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Arthur Lammers, an anesthesiologist assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort, practices patient transfer during a mass casualty exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joseph DeLuco)

A mass casualty event, by nature, is chaotic

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

CVD

Infographic
10/3/2018
CVD

As of part of WOMEN’S HEALTH MONTH, we focus on the findings related to female service members. If the risk factors are recognized, these service members can take steps to modify their lifestyles or obtain appropriate medical intervention, and reduce the likelihood of significant CVD while serving in the Armed Forces, and also after leaving service.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Gynecologic Disorders

Infographic
10/3/2018
Gynecologic disorders are conditions that affect the female reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, and vulva. As part of Women’s Health Month, this report describes the incidence and burden of four commonly occur-ring gynecologic disorders (menorrhagia, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids, and endometriosis) among active component service women from 2012 through 2016. This report also documents the number and percentage of women with co-occurring incident diagnoses during the surveillance period.

Gynecologic disorders are conditions that affect the female reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, and vulva. As part of Women’s Health Month, this report describes the incidence and burden of four commonly occur-ring gynecologic disorders (menorrhagia, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids, and ...

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

HPV

Infographic
10/3/2018
HPV

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the U.S.; HPV is the second most frequently diagnosed STI in U.S. military service members. Currently, HPV vaccine is not mandatory for U.S. military service members, but the Defense Health Agency and each individual service have policies encouraging and ...

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Say ‘Shoo’ to the flu with TRICARE

Article
9/26/2018
Amanda LaFountain, a licensed practical nurse, administers the flu shot to a Soldier. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Marshall Metzger)

Flu viruses are serious, contagious viruses that can lead to hospitalization or even death

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Public Health

HPV

Infographic
9/24/2018
HPV

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the U.S., and is the second most frequently diagnosed STI in U.S. military service members. Currently, HPV is not a mandatory vaccine for U.S. military service. However, it is encouraged and offered to service members.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Drowning

Infographic
9/24/2018
Drowning

Service members are at risk for unintentional drownings during training, occupational activities, and off-duty recreation. In the U.S., unintentional drowning ranks as the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death and accounted for an average of 3,558 deaths (non-boating related) annually between 2007 and 2016. The current analysis extends ...

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

HIV

Infographic
9/24/2018
HIV

As part of the U.S. military’s total-force HIV screening program, civilian applicants for military service are screened for antibodies to HIV during pre-accession medical examinations. Infection with HIV is medically disqualifying for entry into U.S. military service. Since 1986, all members of the active and reserve components of the U.S. Armed ...

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

MHS Minute September 2018

Video
9/21/2018
MHS Minute September 2018

Interested in hearing about some exciting events that took place around the Military Health System last month? Tune in to the MHS Minute to learn more!

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Spine surgery team adds capability, improves readiness

Article
9/11/2018
Air Force Col. (Dr.) Edward Anderson, 99th Medical Group orthopedic spine surgeon, performs a lumbar microdiscectomy surgery at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. A lumbar microdiscectomy surgery is performed to remove a portion of a herniated disc in the lower back. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver)

The benefits of performing complex surgeries in the orthopedic spine clinic go far beyond the operating room

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Proper sleep hygiene as a force multiplier

Article
9/5/2018
The fact that properly resting personnel has multiple benefits across the spectrum of human performance and military readiness is undisputed. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Michel Sauret)

Sleep is cheap; it costs nothing to rest troops properly, with proven, immediately realized returns

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Sleep

Army researchers develop tasty, healthy performance bar

Article
9/4/2018
Two U.S. Army soldiers eat a version of the Performance Readiness Bar. USARIEM researchers will monitor them to test whether the bar affects bone density. (U.S. Army photo by Mr. David Kamm)

Researchers aren’t working to provide recruits and soldiers with something that only tastes good; it has to make sense for their nutrition

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Nutrition

Guard Soldier uses medical skills to save boy’s life

Article
8/31/2018
New York Army National Guard Spc. Nicole McKenzie, shown here in a personal photo, used her combat life-saving skills to help save the life of a 12-year-old boy who jumped from an overpass in Yonkers, New York, Aug. 3, 2018. (Courtesy photo)

McKenzie just completed combat life-saving training and immediately began to triage the injuries the boy sustained in the fall

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Norovirus

Infographic
8/27/2018
Norovirus

Beginning in 2011, the Operational Infectious Diseases (OID) laboratory at the Naval Health Research Center has undertaken routine surveillance of four U.S. military training facilities to systematically track the prevalence of acute gastroenteritis and to establish its etiologies among U.S. military recruits.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Leptospirosis

Infographic
8/27/2018
Leptospriosis

Leptospirosis: The presence of leptospirosis in the Republic of Korea (ROK) poses a potential threat to more than 40,000 U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their family members who reside in the ROK. This is the first published study for risk assessment of leptospirosis among U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the ROK.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 37

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.