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The Effect of Consumption of Australian Combat Rations on Military Personnel after a Medium-Term Field Exercise
DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA) AERONAUTICAL AND MARITIME RESEARCH LAB
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The effect of combat ration pack CRP feeding on military performance in a tropical environment was assessed. Three groups received different diets freshly prepared foods Fresh group, a Full CRP and a Half CRP during the conduct of a routine training exercise over 12 days. Physical, cognition, immune and nutritional status were recorded. Freshly prepared foods were better consumed than CRP foods. A high rate of CRP item discards resulted in subjects eating insufficient food for their energy and carbohydrate requirements and hence significant weight loss, protein catabolism and immune suppression were observed for the two CRP groups. All subjects experienced poor sleep quality with no effect of dietary treatment. Subjects eating CRP reported greater levels of fatigue and negative emotions than the Fresh group. All subjects had poor folate and vitamin K status, which tended to become worse during the exercise period. Subjects drank insufficient water to prevent dehydration and a high rate of cigarette smoking contributed to poor antioxidant status. Despite these negative effects, cognition and physical fitness were maintained over the course of the exercise.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE