Back to Top Skip to main content

Lose to win: Some service members struggle with weight

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jovanei Taito, shown here receiving his information warfare qualification certificate, credits the ShipShape program for enabling him to pass the Navy's body composition and physical fitness assessments.  (Courtesy photo) Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jovanei Taito (left), shown here receiving his information warfare qualification certificate, credits the ShipShape program for enabling him to pass the Navy's body composition and physical fitness assessments. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Heart Health

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Fitness wasn’t a problem for Petty Officer 3rd Class Jovanei Taito when he joined the Navy in 2014. He’d kept in shape by playing football and participating in track and field at his high school in Kapolei, Hawaii.

But as an information warfare systems technician, Taito does a lot of sitting. After long hours on the job, he gradually became less active. Less than three years after enlisting, his military career was at risk because he was in danger of failing the sea service’s body composition and physical fitness assessments.

Taito, who works at Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command in Suffolk, Virginia, was referred to ShipShape, the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center’s weight-management program. ShipShape teaches service members how to make healthy lifestyle changes to comply with weight and body fat percentage standards, helping to ensure readiness.

“I’m really glad I did ShipShape,” said Taito, who continued losing weight after completing the two-month program and today is down about 60 pounds.

Staying in shape is a struggle most Americans know all too well. For military members, staying in shape is a job requirement. People in uniform are significantly less likely than their civilian counterparts to be overweight or obese, according to Dr. Don Shell, director of disease prevention, disease management, and population health policy and oversight in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Health Services Policy and Oversight.

Almost 71 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Generally, being overweight or obese is defined by body mass index, a weight-to-height ratio. In comparison, only about 8 percent of military members were overweight or obese in 2015, according to a study in the September 2016 issue of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch’s Medical Surveillance Monthly Report or MSMR.

The number of service members dealing with weight issues may be low, but it has steadily risen. The 8 percent defined as overweight or obese in 2015 is a nearly 60-percent increase from those identified as overweight or obese in 2011, according to the study. Its authors note that excessive weight and body fat “have a detrimental effect on operational effectiveness and increase the risk of both acute and chronic health effects.”

Shell said a DoD working group is reviewing DoD and service-specific body mass and physical fitness policies and standards, with the goal of recommending revisions that will enhance the fitness and health of the overall force. The working group includes members from the Navy, Air Force, Army, and Coast Guard.

Meanwhile, there’s help for service members who, like Taito, get off track. Soldiers who’ve been identified as exceeding their service’s body fat standards enroll in the Army Body Composition Program. The Air Force’s Fitness Improvement Program is mandatory for service members identified with an unsatisfactory fitness score. It’s also available for any Air Force member who wants to improve his or her overall fitness and health.

For Taito, his time in ShipShape was well-spent. He’s maintained a focus on healthy eating and portion control. He also works out about five times a week: 15 minutes of cardio exercise to raise his heart rate, followed by 40 minutes of strength training to build and maintain lean muscle tissue. On his latest physical fitness assessment, he earned a “good high” overall.

“I’m in the best shape of my life,” Taito said, “and I feel great.” 

You also may be interested in...

The Military Training Network transitions to the Defense Health Agency

Article
10/11/2019
The Military Training Network or MTN transferred from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to the Defense Health Agency in September 2019. MTN oversees basic, advanced, and pediatric life-support training for more than 350,000 medical and non-medical personnel at 345 military facilities around the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

Shift speeds training where it’s needed most

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

The Head, Hand, and Heart of Women’s Health

Article
10/4/2019
Maintaining peak health is critical for all military personnel. This month, we focus on women whose health concerns and symptoms may be different from those in men. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Roger Jackson)

Health is universal for military personnel and civilians, but some health concerns affect women differently. Here are a few examples.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Women's Health

International medics tackle Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Article
9/23/2019
Air Force students provide cover while pulling a ‘wounded’ training mannequin out of simulated line-of-fire during the Tactical Combat Casualty Care course at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Battlefield simulation drills are vital to provide medics and combat personnel with realistic situations where they provide life-saving care and evacuation of wounded. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ryan Lackey)

TCCC has become the new standard of medical training proficiency for military personnel

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 9 - September 2019

Report
9/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Editorial: The Department of Defense/Veterans Affairs Vision Center of Excellence; Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to ocular and vision-related conditions, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018; Incidence and temporal presentation of visual dysfunction following diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2006–2017; Incidence and prevalence of selected refractive errors, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001–2018; Incident and recurrent cases of central serous chorioretinopathy, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001–2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 8 - August 2019

Report
8/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Modeling Lyme disease host animal habitat suitability, West Point, New York; Incidence, timing, and seasonal patterns of heat illnesses during U.S. Army basic combat training, 2014–2018; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014–2018; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003–2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Tick Facts: Dangers at the height of tick season

Article
7/31/2019
A tick like this one, seen at 10x magnification, can spread a number of dangerous pathogens during the warm-weather months. (Photo by Cornel Constantin)

Many diseases are transferred to humans by ticks — Lyme is the most common, but several others, described here, are worth knowing about

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Public Health

U.S., Royal Air Force Aeromedical Evacuation Squadrons train together

Article
7/26/2019
Reserve Citizen Airmen from Joint Base Charleston's 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare a mock patient during a drill inside a C-17 Globemaster III, July 10, 2019. Drills performed while in-flight are to mimic real-life scenarios that the 315 AES may encounter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman William Brugge)

The C-17 Globemaster III serves as a common platform for medevacs in both squadrons

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability

Influenza

Infographic
7/1/2019
Adminstration of a seasonal flu vaccination. (U.S. Navy photo)

Adminstration of a seasonal flu vaccination. (U.S. Navy photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Mononucleosis

Infographic
7/1/2019
Mononucleosis

A specimen is tested for mononucleosis at the medical clinic on Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota (U.S. Air Force photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Zika

Infographic
7/1/2019
Zika

Anopheles merus mosquito. (CDC photo by James Gathany)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

Psittacosis

Infographic
7/1/2019
Psittacosis

Green-winged Macaw. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 7 - July 2019

Report
7/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Modeling Lyme disease host animal habitat suitability, West Point, New York; Incidence, timing, and seasonal patterns of heat illnesses during U.S. Army basic combat training, 2014–2018; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014–2018; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2003–2018

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Sexually transmitted infections on the rise in military

Article
6/26/2019
Some sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in the military. To increase awareness, members of Team McConnell attend a briefing on STIs at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexi Myrick)

What you need to know to stay safe

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Men's Health | Women's Health

German allies visit JBSA-Fort Sam Houston on 75th anniversary of D-Day

Article
6/14/2019
Maj. Gen. Gesine Kruger, Commander for the German Bundeswehr Medical Academy (pictured center in the Flight Paramedic Training Simulator) and her delegation observed training and toured the Critical Care Flight Paramedic Course at the Health Readiness Center of Excellence. (U.S. Army photo)

The purpose of this visit was to further strengthen the bonds and interoperability programs between our allied countries or partner nations

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Health Readiness

Cyclosporiasis

Infographic
6/1/2019
Cyclosporiasis

Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis in a U.S. Air Force Training Population, Joint Base San Antonio–Lackland, TX, 2018 While bacteria and viruses are the usual causes of gastrointestinal disease outbreaks, 2 Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)– Lackland, TX, training populations experienced an outbreak of diarrheal illness caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis in June and July 2018. Cases were identified from outpatient medical records and responses to patient questionnaires.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Epidemiology and Analysis | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 40

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.