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Prev Med. 2009 Mar;48(3):267-71.

Obesity, overweight, and weight control practices in U.S. veterans.

Author information

  • 1Seattle Epidemiologic Research and Information Center, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA 98101, USA. koepsell@u.washington.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We assessed the burden of obesity and overweight, as well as trends in weight control practices, among U.S. veterans and users of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care in a large national survey.

METHODS:

Data were combined from the 2003 and 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys of U.S. adults (n=558,426), a large telephone survey conducted in all states.

RESULTS:

Some 24% of veterans were obese (Body Mass Index [BMI] > or = 30 kg/m2), and 48% were overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2). After adjustment for age and gender, obesity prevalence was similar between veterans and non-veterans, but overweight was about 3.8 percentage points more frequent in veterans. Among veterans, obesity was more common among users of VA care, especially those who received all health care through the VA. Obese and overweight VA users were significantly more likely than non-users to report advice from a health care provider to lose weight, but no more likely to report that they were actually trying to lose weight.

CONCLUSIONS:

Obesity and overweight pose special burdens on veterans who use VA care. These results strengthen the case for system-wide interventions aimed at weight control.

PMID:
19297689
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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