Accession Number:



A Coaching Intervention to Promote Nutrition and Bone Health in Deployed Soldiers

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. 1 Sep 2010-30 Nov 2014

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine if telehealth coaching is superior to one-time nutrition and fitness education regarding dietary and exercise contributions to bone health assessed before and after a 9-month deployment. DesignMethods Prospective, longitudinal, cluster-randomized, controlled trial. Outcomes included anthropometrics, bone density, bone turnover, dietary intake, and frequency intensity of work, sport, and leisure activities. All soldiers received one-time nutrition and fitness education prior to deployment Telehealth Group received health-related messages via internet mail platforms while deployed. Sample 234 male and female Soldiers, aged 18-30, were recruitedenrolled from deploying combat arms units Telehealth Group TG n85, Control Group CG n149. Analysis A linear mixed model approach was used to analyze the data longitudinally in SAS v9.2, as well as the MICE package in R v3.0.1. Findings Internet transmission of materials and soldier access to them limited intervention dose. There were no significant differences between groups upon return, except an increase in body fat BF p.003 and sport activities p.015 for the TG. Higher BF is an unexpected finding since there were no differences in calories consumed, weight, or work and leisure activities between groups. Consumption of vitamin D increased in both groups. Implications for Nursing Choices regarding lifestyle are important for all young adults but the obstacles to a balanced diet and exercise regimen in the deployed environment may have longstanding consequences for the soldier, and a fit-and-ready force. Early and aggressive educational efforts can help prevent chronic musculoskeletal conditions but require innovative approaches.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Food, Food Service and Nutrition

Distribution Statement: