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Obesity Raises Diabetes Rates for Veterans, Servicemembers

Obesity and related health issues remain a significant concern for U.S. servicemembers and veterans, according to a new study published in the journal Obesity.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veterans’ Weight-Loss Issues Different From Those Never Serving

It’s a story VA primary care providers often hear from patients who need to lose weight: Even though they were constantly pressured to maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness while on active military service, veterans never learned much about healthy diets.

Current Issue

Dietary Changes Show Promise in Slowing MS Progression

PHILADELPHIA – Emerging evidence suggests that diet and vascular risk factors including obesity and hyperlipidemia may influence progression of multiple sclerosis. A poster presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veteran Study Shows Significant Survival Benefit From Bariatric Surgery

DURHAM, NC - While evidence is growing that bariatric surgery can improve survival among the severely obese, past research hasn’t been as useful for some of the patients who would benefit most from weight loss.

Cardiovascular Disease

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

Why Do Overweight Patients Live Longer with Heart Failure? Now the leading cause of hospital admissions in the VA Health Care System, heart failure is associated with high mortality rates and poor quality of life.

Agencies Home

Women Veterans Have Higher Prevalence of Arthritis than Male Colleagues

DURHAM, NC - While the commitment to physical fitness demanded of active duty forces can keep many ailments at bay, the rigors of service also bring an increased risk of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, especially for young women entering (and exiting) the military.

Clinical Topics Home

Insomnia Doubles Risk of Chronic Diseases in Servicemembers

BETHESDA, MD – Chronic insomnia doubles the risk of developing hypertension and type 2 diabetes in servicemembers compared to military personnel who have not been diagnosed with that sleep problem. That’s according to a report... View Article

Clinical Topics Home

Pituitary Dysfunction Related to Blast TBI

CHICAGO – Pituitary dysfunction after blast injury may be an important, under-recognized, and potentially treatable source of symptoms in servicemembers who survive traumatic brain injury (TBI) from blast exposure, according to a new study. The... View Article

Current Issue

New Weight Management Treatment Approved

PLAINSBORO, NJ – The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment option for chronic weight management in addition to a reduced-calorie diet and physical activity. Saxenda (liraglutide [rDNA origin] injection) is approved for... View Article

Agencies Home

Healthcare Providers Should Consider Ethnicity in Weight-Loss Counseling

Studies Show Unique Needs of Hispanic, Veteran Populations By Annette M. Boyle NEW YORK – Since 2003, the proportion of new military recruits who identified as Hispanic has increased by more than 50% and the... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Air Force Program Helps Prediabetic Patients Battle the Bulge

SAN ANTONIO - For many veterans, leaving the service marks the beginning of a new battle — the constant fight against obesity. Sudden weight gain often accompanies the transition to civilian life, with more than 70% of veterans ending up overweight and at elevated risk of developing diabetes and a complex cascade of related health issues.

2014 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Army Turns to NCOs to Combat Obesity, Related Issues, in Soldiers

While the vast majority of soldiers maintain healthy weights, bad habits developed during deployment and on military bases follow them after retiring from the Army. In fact, more than 70% of veterans end up overweight.... View Article

2013 Issues

VA’s MOVE! Program Touted as Model for Combating Diabetes, Obesity

By Stephen Spotswood ATLANTA – Can lifestyle changes be achieved in a large-scale healthcare setting, with patients maintaining improvement over several years? An Emory University study of VA’s Managing Obesity and Overweight Veterans Everywhere! (MOVE!)... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Removing Junk Food from Schools Could Increase Pool of Potential Military Recruits

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — With 1 in 4 young adults too overweight to join the military, a group of retired senior military leaders offers this advice: Remove junk food from the schools. “The problem... View Article


Soldiers with Diabetes in Theater Increase Clinicians’ Disease Management Challenges

By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD — The Army is retaining an increasing number of personnel with diabetes, and, despite directives to the contrary, these soldiers may be deployed to active war zones where typically... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Duodenal Switch May Be More Effective Surgical Procedure

FORT LEWIS, WA — Is the duodenal-switch (DS) procedure better than the commonly-used gastric bypass (GB) in prompting weight loss and control of coexisting conditions, especially for the super-obese? An Army study published recently in... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Obesity Appears to Affect Response to MRSA Antibiotics

SAN FRANCISCO — While non-obese patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pneumonia respond to both of the antibiotics vancomycin and linezolid, obese patients are best treated with linezolid, according to a VA researcher. Presenting at... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery Last Over Time

SAN ANTONIO — Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery resulted in significant weight loss for severely obese patients, and the weight loss was sustained for an average of six years after the surgery, according to a new... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Robotic Exoskeletons Allow Paralyzed Veterans to Exercise, Reduce Sedentary Effects

By Stephen Spotswood New York  — For veterans suffering from paralysis due to a spinal-cord injury (SCI), the inability to move a significant portion of their body is the obvious, immediate concern. Over the long-term,... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA’s MOVE! Initiative Plagued by Lack of Participation

Annette M. Boyle SEATTLE — When it comes to weight loss, you have to play to lose — or at least that’s the conclusion of a study of the MOVE! Weight Loss Management Program for... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Bariatric Surgery Increasing at VA, Questions Continue on Long Term Benefits

By Stephen Spotswood CHARLESTON, SC — With bariatric surgery becoming more common and reliable, VA medical centers are employing the treatment more often in patients previously unable to lose weight and reverse co-morbidities associated with... View Article

August 2012

New Diabetes Guidelines Offer More Leeway for Primary-Care Physicians, Patients

By Annette M. Boyle SAN DIEGO — What is an appropriate blood glucose level for patients with diabetes? It depends, according to the latest position statement of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Seeks to Gather More Information on Women Veterans to Improve Care

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — With more women leaving the military and becoming healthcare-eligible veterans, VA is focusing more energy and funding than ever into women’s health research.. Despite spending more money on women’s healthcare... View Article

Editor in Chief

There is only one thing people like that is good for them – A good night’s sleep

“There is only one thing people like that is good for them; a good night’s sleep.” – Edgar Watson Howe (1853 – 1937) Editor-In-Chief, Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA E.W. Howe was... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Patients More Likely to Suffer Sleep Apnea, Have More Treatment Options

By Annette M. Boyle Because of their unique demographics, VA patients are four to five times more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than the general population. They also have more options for treatment. Dawn... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Study Identifies Factors In Veterans’ Weight Changes

While active-duty military personnel are less likely to be overweight or obese compared with civilians of similar ages, that benefit does not always persist after servicemembers become veterans. A new study from the VA Puget... View Article

2012 Compendium of Federal Medicine

With Increase in Bipolar Patients the VA Tackles Medication Side Effect Issues

By Steve Lewis BOSTON–Headlines may focus on mental-health issues such as schizophrenia, often related to veteran homelessness or even violent behavior, but bipolar disorder actually is increasing far faster at the VA and can be... View Article

May 2012

Obesity Studies Update

VA-funded Study: Intervention Improves Diabetes Health Type 2 diabetes patients can improve their mobility significantly by participating in an intensive lifestyle program to both lower weight and improve fitness.  That is according to a multicenter,... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

MHS Faces Belt-Tightening in Obama Administration’s FY 2013 Budget

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — If the Obama Administration has its way, the Military Health System (MHS) will tighten its belt — and its wallet — next fiscal year. Under President Barack Obama’s proposed FY... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Institutional Barriers Seen in VA MOVE Program Rollout

For the past five years, VA has struggled to implement a systemwide weight-reduction program to combat obesity rates among veterans receiving care. More than one-third of veterans receiving care qualified as obese in 2006, and... View Article


New Campaign Targets Obesity and Nutrition in Military

WASHINGTON, DC—Troops can soon expect to find healthier food choices at military dining halls. The dining changes were announced as part of a new Military Health System obesity and nutrition awareness campaign directed towards troops.... View Article


Military Healthcare Professionals Gather For Annual MHS Conference

WASHINGTON, DC—Slowing down the growth of military healthcare costs continues to be a priority for the MHS, Jonathan Woodson, MD, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said today. “We will be a smaller,... View Article


Caring For Troops And Families After A Decade Of War

The MHS enters 2012 and its second decade of combat operations with confidence in our ability to sustain and expand the excellence we have exhibited in military medicine. The world remains a turbulent place –... View Article

Cardiovascular Disease

CDC Tackles Heart Health And Winnable Battles In 2012

The CDC is the health sentinel for our nation. Monitoring and surveillance are among our key functions, allowing the country to know the extent of health problems, which populations are most affected and whether interventions... View Article


USPHS Pharmacy Prepared to Lead

With nearly 1,200 Commissioned Corps pharmacists and more than 400 civilian and tribally-hired pharmacists serving across 15 federal agencies and five departments, U.S. Public Health Service Pharmacy has harnessed a dedicated cadre of pharmacists with... View Article

January 2012

Imaging Guidelines Not Followed in Prostate Cancer

Clinicians are not adhering to imaging guidelines for men with incident prostate cancer, a recent study concluded.1 The researchers found that, of 18,491 men at low risk for prostate cancer, 45% received inappropriate imaging, while... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Heart Study Looks At African-American Parents Children

NIH researchers are enrolling multiple generations of patients in a landmark study designed to identify the early warning signs of heart disease among African-Americans. The new feasibility study will enroll children and grandchildren of African-American... View Article

December 2011

Fund for Chronic Disease Prevention Is Vulnerable Amid Deficit Reduction

WASHINGTON — While some health officials laud the Prevention and Public Health Fund as the nation’s best chance of funneling resources into chronic-disease prevention, it is not clear that the fund can survive deficit-reduction efforts... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Researchers Building a Better Weight-Loss Simulator

A model created by NIH researchers challenges some commonly held diet beliefs, including that eating 3,500 fewer calories, or burning them through exercise, always results in a pound of weight loss. The mathematical model takes... View Article


Best-Practice Programs Reduce Diabetes Rate Among Native Americans, Alaskans

Following encouraging results from a demonstration project that involved 36 Indian Health Service (IHS), tribal and urban Indian health programs, the IHS has added “Youth and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention and Treatment” to its list... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Study Examines Association Between DHA Levels and Suicide Risk

WASHINGTON, DC — Diet impacts far more than waistlines and the risk of obesity. In fact, the military has been paying close attention to not only the role of nutrition in maintaining physical health, but also... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Osteoarthritis More Common in Servicemembers, Presents Challenge for Military

Though most servicemembers are relatively young, osteoarthritis is a serious problem for the U.S. military. A recent study in journal Arthritis & Rheumatism found that military troops are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than civilians,... View Article


Army Looks to Telehealth Project to Improve Wounded Warrior Pain Management

WASHINGTON — Army officials are taking steps to replicate an innovative telehealth project to enhance the Army’s pain-medicine care and treatment. Telehealth initiatives generally have been used to allow a doctor at one location to... View Article

August 2011

VA Improves Staff Training, Technology for Prosthetics

WASHINGTON — It has become a common complaint among OEF/OIF amputees moving from active-duty to veteran status: VA does not have the same level of technology or expertise as DoD facilities when it comes to... View Article

May 2011

Knowledge of Risk Factors Not Necessarily Valuable in Predicting Cardiovascular Disease

BETHESDA, MD—Five years ago, NIH started promoting a paradigm of medicine—one that was predictive, personalized, preemptive and always with the participation of the patient. That paradigm began with the ability to predict who was at... View Article

May 2011

NIH Releases Strategic Plan for Obesity Research

WASHINGTON—Recent months have seen a reinvigorated commitment to research targeted at curbing the obesity epidemic in the United States, including a number of completed studies from VA and DoD and the release of a new... View Article


Pharmaceutical Solutions Lag Behind Growth in Childhood Obesity

BETHESDA, MD—With the continuing rise in the rates of diabetes and obesity, researchers are exerting more and more effort to find a viable pharmaceutical treatment to combat weight gain. The pediatric population is especially at... View Article


Panel Tackles Psychological Health and Obesity in Children

WASHINGTON, DC—Obesity and psychological problems are taking a toll on children. How can health providers, federal agencies, schools, and other entities address these issues in young people? Private and public sector officials discussed solutions to... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

NIH Funds Help DCVAMC, Partners Tackle Health Disparities

WASHINGTON, DC—“Historically, it takes many years and lots of research money to go from the initial concept—an idea created in a lab—to the few of those trials that are successful and actually change clinical practice,”... View Article


Reforming the Indian Health Service

Yvette Roubideaux, MD, MPHDirector, Indian Health Service Over a year ago, I was honored to be asked to assume the role of director of the Indian Health Service (IHS). Immediately, it was clear that tribes,... View Article