Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Modest changes in military dining facilities promoted healthier eating

Date:
March 22, 2013
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
The prevalence of obesity within the military is currently 13 percent. This rising epidemic, also rampant throughout the general population, could result in military career setbacks, negatively impact operational readiness, and jeopardize Department of Defense operations. To combat the epidemic, a team of researchers chose the military cafeteria as the venue to observe and evaluate eating behavior and the positive impact of modest changes to promote healthy eating and food selection.

This is digital photography of a study participant's tray before consuming the test meal. Digital photography was used as a tool for visual estimation of diner intakes.
Credit: Pennington Biomedical Research Center

The prevalence of obesity within the military is currently 13 percent. This rising epidemic, also rampant throughout the general population, could result in military career setbacks, negatively impact operational readiness, and jeopardize Department of Defense operations. To combat the epidemic, a team of researchers chose the military cafeteria as the venue to observe and evaluate eating behavior and the positive impact of modest changes to promote healthy eating and food selection.

Related Articles


The results are captured in a new report published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

"Many studies have tested the effect of dietary, informational, and environmental interventions on the eating behaviors of customers in civilian worksite and university cafeterias," says lead investigator Major Aaron Crombie, PhD, RD, Military Nutrition Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA. "However, studies to date testing such interventions in military dining facilities (DFACs) have been very limited and inconclusive. Our study aimed to address that information gap." Nearly three-quarters of military personnel eat at least one meal a day in garrison dining facilities.

The study team from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center staged an intervention within five dining facilities on Fort Bragg, NC, that included the following actions consistent with 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

  • Increased availability of fresh fruit
  • Increased availability and variety of vegetables
  • Increased availability of whole-grain foods
  • Reduced availability of foods with high dietary fat and sugar
  • Offering one main lean meat or vegetarian entrιe at lunch and dinner with no added fat
  • Placement of color-coded "Go for Green" nutritional information cards at the point of service

Five other dining facilities served as a control during the first half of this year-long study. Researchers collected data using a combination of survey questionnaires and digital photography of the diners' plates before and after meals were consumed.

Over time, investigators observed that minimal changes in food service practices and menus in DFACs produced significant improvement in soldiers' nutritional intake, including decreases in fat. Customer satisfaction increased on four criteria -- flavor and taste, available choices, low-fat food availability, and appropriate portion sizes. More favorable results were observed the longer the intervention lasted, indicating that the positive changes are sustainable over time.

Says Major Crombie, "The results of this study give credence to the idea that DFAC food service interventions can promote a healthy lifestyle and, in turn, optimize the health profile of warfighters. Although intakes of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains continue to be problematic, reductions in energy and fat intake may prove effective over the long term in combating the obesity problem."

While the study was performed in army dining facilities, it has implications for the entire military family, since many meals are not taken in the DFAC, but at home. Further, the study team advocates that results can be easily applied to civilian settings.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Modest changes in military dining facilities promoted healthier eating." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130322125351.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2013, March 22). Modest changes in military dining facilities promoted healthier eating. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130322125351.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Modest changes in military dining facilities promoted healthier eating." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130322125351.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins