Prevalence of overweight and obesity among U.S. military veterans

Mil Med. 2008 Jun;173(6):544-9. doi: 10.7205/milmed.173.6.544.


Overweight and obesity are increasingly contributing to disease burden among military populations. The purpose of this study was to calculate and examine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among the veteran population. Data were obtained from the 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Overweight (body mass index > or = 25 kg/m2) prevalence in veterans was 73.3% (SE, 0.4%) for males and 53.6% (SE 1.7%) for females. Obesity (body mass index > or = 30 kg/m2) prevalence in veterans was 25.3% (SE, 0.4%) for males and 21.2% (SE, 1.4%) for females. After adjusting for sociodemographics and health status, veterans were no more likely to be overweight (odds ratio, 1.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.99-1.11) or obese (odds ratio 0.99; confidence interval, 0.93-1.05) than nonveterans. Despite previous participation in a culture and environment that selects for and enforces body weight standards, veterans have a high prevalence of overweight and obesity that is similar to general population estimates.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*