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Associations between mental health disorders and body mass index among military personnel.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Army

Sponsoring Office:

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Undetermined

Release Date/Publication: July 01, 2014

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine if overweight or obesity is associated with mental health disorder (MHD) symptoms among military personnel Methods: Secondary analysis using the 2005 Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey (N = 15,195). Standard Body Mass Index (BMI) categories were used to classify participants' body composition.

RESULTS: For women, obesity was associated with symptoms of serious psychological distress (SPD), post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. For men, obesity and overweight was associated with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and SPD, respectively. Self-reported high personal stress was the strongest predictor of MHD symptoms and suicide attempts.

CONCLUSION: Self-reported stress was a stronger predictor of MHD symptoms than BMI. There is potential value in screening personnel for personal stress as a MHD risk factor.

Citation:

Smith TJ, White A, Hadden L, Young AJ, Marriott BP. Associations between mental health disorders and body mass index among military personnel. Am J Health Behav. 2014 Jul;38(4):529-40.

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