More troops tipping the scales

By • Published: April 29th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

A U-S Department of Defense study shows more troops are struggling to win the battle against extra weight.

Examinations of military personnel’s medical records for past decade reveal the percentage of active military members diagnosed as overweight or obese is growing. The rate has been rising since 2003, the same year combat in Iraq began.

From 1998 to 2002, the percentage receiving an overweight diagnosis remained between one and two percent. In 2008, the number jumped to four-point-four percent.

Diagnoses of excess weight were most common in women, military health-care workers, members of the Air Force and people older than forty. Marines and people younger than twenty were the least likely to be overweight.

According to a 2005 study, fifty-eight percent of active military members were technically overweight. Respondents in this study ranked stress and coming home from a deployment as the two biggest factors contributing to weight gain.

Records of medical exams for reserve members of the military also showed that since 1999, an increasing number are packing on the pounds.

The report says the increase in cases of overweight military personnel may correspond with the rise in weight problems within the general population.

Military personnel on leave or returning to civilian life should be careful of fast-food meals and distractions from exercise, such as videogames and T-V.

As for the rest of us, it helps to mix in some healthy treats when pampering the returning heroes. Their waistlines will thank you for it.