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Obesity and the US military family.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Release Date/Publication: November 01, 2013

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Review

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This review discusses the current knowledge and future directions regarding obesity within the US military family (i.e., active-duty servicemembers, as well as military spouses, children, retirees, and veterans). The increasing rates of overweight and obesity within the US military adversely impact military readiness, limit recruitment, and place a significant financial burden on the Department of Defense.

DESIGN AND METHODS: The following topics are reviewed: 1) The prevalence of and the financial, physical, and psychological costs associated with overweight in military communities; 2) military weight regulations, and challenges faced by the military family related to overweight and disordered eating; 3) the continued need for rigorous program evaluations and new intervention development.

RESULTS: Overweight and its associated sequelae impact the entire military family. Military families share many similarities with their civilian counterparts, but they face unique challenges (e.g., stress related to deployments and relocations). Although the military has weight management resources, there is an urgent need for rigorous program evaluation and the development of enhanced obesity prevention programs across the lifespan of the military family-several of which are proposed herein.

CONCLUSIONS: Interdisciplinary and collaborative research efforts and team-based interventions will continue to inform understanding of obesity treatment and prevention within military and civilian populations.

Citation:

Tanofsky-Kraff M, Sbrocco T, Theim KR, Cohen LA, Mackey ER, Stice E, Henderson JL, McCreight SJ, Bryant EJ, Stephens MB. Obesity and the US military family. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Nov;21(11):2205-20.

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