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Nutritional Needs in Hot Environments: Applications for Military Personnel in Field Operations
The CMNR was asked to address the following questions:
What is the evidence that there are any significant changes in nutrient requirements for work in a hot environment?
If such evidence exists, do the current Military Recommended Dietary Allowances provide for these changes?
Should changes be made in military rations that may be used in hot environments to meet the nutrient requirements of soldiers with sustained activity in such climates?
Specifically, are the meals, ready-to-eat (MREs) good hot-weather rations? Should the fat content be lower? Should the carbohydrate content be higher?
What factors may influence food intake in hot environments?
To what extent does fluid intake influence food intake?
Is there any scientific evidence that food preferences change in hot climates?
Are there special nutritional concerns in desert environments in which the daily temperature may change dramatically?
Is there an increased need for specific vitamins or minerals in the heat?
Does working in a hot climate change an individual's absorptive or digestive capability?
Does work at a moderate to heavy rate increase energy requirements in a hot environment to a greater extent than similar work in a temperate environment?
To assist the CMNR in responding to these questions, a workshop was convened on April 11–12, 1991, that included presentations from individuals familiar with or having expertise in digestive physiology, energetics, macro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, appetite, psychology, sociology, and olfaction. The invited speakers discussed their presentations with committee members at the workshop and submitted the content of their verbal presentations as written reports. The committee met after the workshop to discuss the issues raised and the information provided. The CMNR later reviewed the workshop presentations and drew on its collective expertise and the scientific literature to develop the following summary, conclusions, and recommendations.
MILITARY RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCES
The history of the Military Recommended Dietary Allowances (MRDAs) is related to the history of both the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs)