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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Jul;24(7):1582-9. doi: 10.1002/oby.21513.

Obesity and associated adverse health outcomes among US military members and veterans: Findings from the millennium cohort study.

Author information

1
Division of Epidemiology Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA.
2
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, USA.
3
Deployment Health Research Department, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, California, USA.
4
Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego, California, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the prevalence of obesity and associated health outcomes among US service members and veterans.

METHODS:

Data from three survey cycles (2001-2008) of the Millennium Cohort Study were used to examine the prevalence of obesity and associated health outcomes.

RESULTS:

Of the 42,200 individuals, 25% were of normal weight in 2007/2008. Rates of obesity were significantly higher among veterans (32%) compared with service members (20%). Over a 7-year period, obesity rates doubled among both service members (10%-20%) and veterans (14%-32%). Participants with obesity were significantly more likely to be male, older, less educated, in the Army or Navy, and separated/retired from the military. Hypertension, diabetes, and sleep apnea were significantly more common among individuals with obesity compared with participants with normal weight (all P < 0.05). Individuals with obesity also had significantly higher rates of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder than individuals with normal weight and had lower mental and physical functional scores (all P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings indicate an urgent need to enhance strategies for preventing and reducing excess weight gain within the military and veteran populations. Such strategies should aim to ensure a fit military force and promote health after military service.

PMID:
27345964
DOI:
10.1002/oby.21513
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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