Case Study: U.S. Department of Defense Initiatives2
as rates o dental caries, bone injuries, diabetes,cardiovascular disease and cancer also increase.Health data indicate that the pool o men and womenwho could potentially serve in the military is also morephysically compromised and less ft than ever beore. Inthe general population, nearly 27 percent o 17- to-24-year-olds are too overweight to serve.
These problemsare evident among new recruits; in 2010, 59 percent oemales and 47 percent o males who took the military’sentry-level physical ftness test ailed.
And 62 percento new soldiers are not immediately deployable becauseo a signifcant dental issue.Poor health in the military is not just a problem amongnew recruits. It has also emerged as an issue orretention. The Navy, or example, loses an average o2,000 trained personnel each year because many o itsmembers ail to pass physical ftness tests (personnelreceive several warnings beore discharge). At a cost o$100,000 to $200,000 to train each service member,the Navy is losing about $300 million in annual traininginvestments – investments that will have to be madeagain to train replacements or those who have beendischarged.
The Army and Air Force have similarissues with training and retention costs.To ensure a strong military today and in the uture, andto prevent the military’s health care costs rom risingto unsustainable levels, DoD is increasingly exploringprograms and policies to promote good nutrition andphysical activity among service members and theiramilies. Since many individuals who join the militarycome rom amilies with a history o service, thesepolicies and programs oer an opportunity to enhancereadiness and improve health outcomes across multiplegenerations.For example, DoD is working to ensure that all o itschild care centers serve ruits and vegetables withevery meal, provide one to two hours o physical activityper day, limit screen time, and more.
DoD alsorecently committed to updating its nutritional standardsgenerally or the frst time in 20 years and plans toinclude more resh ruits, vegetables, whole grains, leanmeats and low-at dairy products with every meal.
We think DoD can do even more, and that other largeinstitutions and employers can learn rom DoD’s eorts.Some o the recommendations highlighted belowreinorce proposals that have been made beore bythe White House Childhood Obesity Task Force, thePrevention Council or within DoD itsel.1.
The children o today’s military amilies are theworkorce and new recruits o tomorrow. A healthierenvironment or these children can help thembecome productive and high perorming adults,whether they grow up to serve their country in themilitary or in civilian lie.a.
Ensure that all military hospitals that provide maternal care ollow the standards o the Baby Friendly Hospital initiative.
The Military HealthSystem (MHS) is a global network within DoD thatprovides health care to all U.S. military personneland their amilies. With an operating budgeto $50 billion, the MHS includes 59 hospitalsand 364 clinics in the United States. Within theMHS, TRICARE is the health plan provider ormore than nine million eligible benefciaries.We recommend that MHS hospitals ollow theCDC-approved “Baby Friendly” standards thatpromote breasteeding. Exclusive breasteeding