Online Program

Attitudes Associated with Post-Retirement Weight Gain among U.S. Army Pre-Retirees

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Theresa Jackson Santo, PhD, MPH, CHES, Public Health Assessment Program, U.S. Army Institute of Public Health, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Laura Vasquez, MPH, Public Health Assessment Program, U.S. Army Institute of Public Health, Aberdeen Proving Ground - Edgewood Area, MD
Sandra Keelin, LTC (retired), RD, Department of Army (Retired), Abderdeen Proving Ground, MD
Background: Military retirees have higher rates of obesity than civilians.  Research shows retired service members have the greatest rates of weight gain at discharge and three years prior to discharge, therefore warranting exploration into pre-retirees’ weight-related attitudes.

Methods: U.S. Army pre-retirees were surveyed at five installations, within one year of retirement, to evaluate their demographics, concern about weight gain, knowledge regarding weight gain, self-efficacy to engage in weight gain prevention behaviors, and self-reported height and weight.  Regression analyses assessed interrelationships between these constructs.    

Results: Of the 547 respondents, most were overweight (57%) or obese (32%), yet the majority (56.3%) were unconcerned about post-retirement weight gain.  After taking into account various demographic characteristics, males had higher odds of being overweight or obese than females (OR: 3.64, p<.01). A multiple logistic regression revealed males were less likely to be concerned about weight gain than females (OR: .293, p<.01), and overweight respondents were less likely to be concerned with post-retirement weight gain than healthy weight respondents (OR: .293, p<.01). However, obese respondents were 7.86 times as likely as healthy weight respondents to be concerned about post-retirement weight gain (p<.01). No relationships existed between respondents’ knowledge and self-efficacy to engage in weight maintenance behaviors with either concern about weight gain or weight status.

Conclusions: Obese pre-retirees had the highest odds of concern about post-retirement weight gain, while overweight pre-retirees had the lowest.  The Army should provide obese pre-retirees with weight loss interventions and help overweight pre-retirees increase their perceived threat of post-retirement weight gain.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe attitudes associated with post-retirement weight gain in a U.S. Army pre-retiree population.

Keyword(s): Weight Management, Veterans' Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a subject matter expert in health promotion, program evalation, and assessment within the Department of Defense. I have been the investigator or co-investigator on more than 10 projects examining military service members' health and wellness knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.