U.S. military personnel are required to adhere to standards of body composition, fitness, and appearance to achieve and maintain readiness--that is, the maintenance of optimum health and performance so they are ready for deployment at any moment. In 1992, the Committee on Military Nutrition Research reviewed the existing standards and found, among other things, that the standards for body composition required for women to achieve an appearance goal seemed to conflict with those necessary to ensure the ability to perform many types of military tasks. This report addresses that conflict, and reviews and makes recommendations about current policies governing body composition and fitness, as well as postpartum return-to-duty standards, Military Recommended Dietary Allowances, and physical activity and nutritional practices of military women to determine their individual and collective impact on the health, fitness, and readiness of active-duty women.
National Research Council. Assessing Readiness in Military Women: The Relationship of Body, Composition, Nutrition, and Health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1998.
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