Obesity prevalence among veterans at Veterans Affairs medical facilities

Sandeep R. Das, Linda S. Kinsinger, William S. Yancy, Anthea Wang, Eileen Ciesco, Mary Burdick, Steven J. Yevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Obesity is a significant public health problem in the United States. Comprehensive obesity prevalence data among veterans have not been previously reported. Methods: This is a cross-sectional analysis of 1,803,323 veterans receiving outpatient care at 136 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities in 2000. Measured weight, height, and demographic data were used to obtain age-adjusted prevalences of body mass index (BMI) categories, which were stratified by gender and examined by age and race/ethnicity. Results: Of 93,290 women American veterans receiving care at VA medical facilities during 2000, 68.4% were at least overweight (body mass index [BMI]<25 kg/m2), with 37.4% classified as obese (BMI<30 kg/m2), and 6.0% as class-III obese (BMI<40 kg/m2). Of 1,710,032 men, 73.0% were at least overweight, 32.9% were obese, and 3.3% were class-III obese. Among women, obesity prevalence increased into the sixth and seventh decade of life before prevalence began to decline. Among men, prevalence was lowest for those aged <30 and >70. By race/ethnicity, Native American women (40.7%) and men (35.1%) had the highest prevalence of obesity, while Asian-American women (12.8%) and men (20.6%) had the lowest. Conclusions: There is a substantial burden of obesity among veterans using VA medical facilities. A comprehensive approach for weight management by the Veterans Health Administration is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-294
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Das, S. R., Kinsinger, L. S., Yancy, W. S., Wang, A., Ciesco, E., Burdick, M., & Yevich, S. J. (2005). Obesity prevalence among veterans at Veterans Affairs medical facilities. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(3), 291-294. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2004.12.007