Obesity Prevalence Among Active Component Service Members Prior to and During the COVID-19 Pandemic, January 2018–July 2021

Mitchell Legg, Shauna Stahlman, Aparna Chauhan, Deven Patel, Zheng Hu, Natalie Y. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined monthly prevalence of obesity and exercise in active component U.S. military members prior to and during the COVID-19 pan-demic. Information about obesity (BMI≥30) and self-reported vigorous exercise (≥150 minutes per week) were collected from Periodic Health Assessment (PHA) data. From 1 January 2018 through 31 July 2021, there was a gradual increase in obesity and an overall decrease in vigorous exercise. Comparing the mean monthly percentage of obesity during the 12-month period prior to the pandemic to the 12 months after its start showed an overall increase in obesity (0.43%); however, no obvious spike in the obesity trend was appar-ent following the onset of the pandemic. The prevalence of vigorous exercise showed an abrupt decrease following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this change did not coincide with an abrupt change in the obesity trend. These results suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic had a small effect on the trend of obesity in the active component U.S. military and that obesity prevalence continues to increase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Surveillance Monthly Report
Volume29
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

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