Factors associated with unintended weight change in the UK Armed Forces: a cohort study

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Abstract

Objective: To examine factors associated with selfreported unintended weight change in (ex-) military personnel of the UK Armed Forces. Design: A cohort study whereby a self-report questionnaire was administered at baseline (2003–2005) and follow-up (2007–2009). Participants: A total of 6352 former and serving military personnel of the UK Armed Forces. Setting: United Kingdom. Main outcome measures: Personnel were asked about socio-demographic, military and (mental) health characteristics, including screening measures for common mental health disorders. Further, participants were asked to report unintended weight fluctuations (none,<or> than 10 lbs in the past month). Multinomial regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with self-reported weight change at follow-up. Results: Out of the 6352 former and serving military personnel, 123 (2.1%) reported unintended weight loss and 577 (9.0%) reported unintended weight gain in the past month. At follow-up, multivariable analyses indicated that unintended weight loss or weight gain was more likely to be reported by those who screened positive for mental health problems and those reporting weight changes at baseline. Reported weight loss was more common among smokers than non-smokers, whereas reported weight gain at follow-up was associated with having a higher BMI at baseline. Conclusions: At follow-up, self-reported unintended weight changes in former and serving military personnel of the UK Armed Forces were found to be associated with mental health problems, body mass index,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine Open
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Body weight changes, cohort study, eating disorders, mental health, military personnel

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