Army Recruit Health and Diet Survey
DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA) AERONAUTICAL AND MARITIME RESEARCH LAB
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During 1998, 200 Army recruits took part in a health and diet survey. Most 90 were Regular Army recruits and recent high school graduates, the remainder being Army Reservists. Fourteen percent of recruits were female. Recruits completed a questionnaire, had their weight and height recorded and donated a fasting blood sample for measurement of cholesterol, fasting triglycerides, apolipoprotein B, ferritin, homocysteine and vitamins. The group comprised of apparently healthy young adults, mostly in the ideal body weight range, with a high rate of participation in organised sports and a high rate of smoking 26. The dietary intake by these recruits, which was similar to that of other young adults in the general Australian population, was too high in fat and unbalanced with respect to the recommended core food groups. Recruits were at risk of eating insufficient calcium, magnesium and zinc. Female recruits were at risk of eating insufficient iron. Biochemistry results revealed a significant prevalence of folate, thiamin and riboflavin deficiency for males and females and iron deficiency amongst the females. Up to half of the recruits had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, namely elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein B or homocysteine concentration. Nutrition education should be targeted at lowering the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors amongst Army personnel and addressing the special dietary needs of female personnel.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Medicine and Medical Research