Selected weight management interventions for military populations in the United States: A narrative report

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Nutrition and Health


Overweight and obesity continues to be a significant public health burden in the US and particularly among military personnel. Although the US Department of Defense mandates standardized physical activity requirements for military members, incidence and prevalence of overweight and obesity among military personnel continue to increase. Each military department controls their own interventional strategies for physical fitness and weight control. However, unique challenges such as geographic transients, lack of central standardization and empirical efficacy data across military departments, and chronic stress associated with military service adversely affect program outcomes. This brief narrative report explores overweight and obesity interventions among military populations from 2006 to 2016 and includes programmatic reviews of eight overweight and obesity interventions: The Prevention of Obesity in Military Community; Health Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle Training Headquarters (H.E.A.L.T.H); ArmyMOVE!; L.I.F.E.; Look AHEAD; Nutrition-focused Wellness Coaching; Go for Green; and LE3AN. A majority of these interventions did not report significant weight loss 6 months post intervention, and did not mention a theoretical foundation within the interventions. Further research to examine the importance of theory-based programming is warranted to improve process and outcome objectives.

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