military personnel and for the general U.S. population. Research on the following topics is recommended:
the development of service-specific standard tests of military performance that more accurately reflect military activities;
the relationship of body composition to military and physical performance among men and women, including consideration of the relationships of lean body mass, height, and physical performance;
the relationship of body fat distribution and body composition to long-term health outcome in career military personnel, specific for race and gender; and
the relationship of injuries to components of body composition (specifically bone density and lean body mass).
Two additional areas of research were not specifically mentioned in the task posed to the committee for this project however, in view of the unique opportunities available for research within the military setting and afforded by its data bases, the CMNR recommends that the military conduct research in these areas to increase general knowledge related to body composition and physical performance:
a retrospective study of the Medical Remedial Enlistment Program (MREP) data base to evaluate (a) long-term health status and performance of overweight recruits and overweight personnel in general, and (b) cost-benefit analyses of enrolling individuals who are overweight at the time of enlistment.
the relationship of body composition to emotional and psychological factors in military units: (a) psychological effects of being overweight and underweight on individuals in a military setting, (b) psychological effects on unit morale of having overweight and underweight individuals present in the unit; and (c) an evaluation of officers' and noncommissioned officers' attitudes and possible biases toward the presence of overweight and underweight individuals in potential combat situations.
The Committee on Military Nutrition Research is pleased to participate with the Division of Military Nutrition, USARIEM, U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, in programs related to nutrition and health of American military personnel. The CMNR hopes this information will be useful and helpful for the Department of Defense in developing programs that continue to improve the lifetime health and well-being of service personnel.