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Nutritional Requirements for Work in Cold and High Altitude Environments

The Committee on Military Nutrition Research (CMNR) was asked by the Division of Military Nutrition, U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), to review current research pertaining to nutrient requirements for working in cold and high altitude environments and to comment on how this information may be applied to military nutrient standards and military rations. The Committee was thus tasked with providing a thorough review of the literature in this area and interpreting these diverse data in terms of military applications. In addition to a focus on specific nutrient needs in cold environments, the Committee was asked to include consideration of factors that might change food intake patterns and therefore overall energy intake. The Army has conducted extensive research in this area and the CMNR has previously discussed both specific ration items (Ration, Cold Weather [RCW]) and Alaska -based cold weather experimental studies that compared soldier intake and performance between several versions of the Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) and the RCW (Marriott, and Earl, 1992). This project also parallelled and earlier CMNR study of the nutrient requirements for hot environments (Marriott, 1993; see page XX and Appendix G).

The principal questions that the CMNR was asked to address were:

  1. Aside from increased energy demands, do cold or high altitude environments elicit an increased demand or requirement for specific nutrients?



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OCR for page 45
Committee on Military Nutrition Research: Activity Report Nutritional Requirements for Work in Cold and High Altitude Environments The Committee on Military Nutrition Research (CMNR) was asked by the Division of Military Nutrition, U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), to review current research pertaining to nutrient requirements for working in cold and high altitude environments and to comment on how this information may be applied to military nutrient standards and military rations. The Committee was thus tasked with providing a thorough review of the literature in this area and interpreting these diverse data in terms of military applications. In addition to a focus on specific nutrient needs in cold environments, the Committee was asked to include consideration of factors that might change food intake patterns and therefore overall energy intake. The Army has conducted extensive research in this area and the CMNR has previously discussed both specific ration items (Ration, Cold Weather [RCW]) and Alaska -based cold weather experimental studies that compared soldier intake and performance between several versions of the Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) and the RCW (Marriott, and Earl, 1992). This project also parallelled and earlier CMNR study of the nutrient requirements for hot environments (Marriott, 1993; see page XX and Appendix G). The principal questions that the CMNR was asked to address were: Aside from increased energy demands, do cold or high altitude environments elicit an increased demand or requirement for specific nutrients?

OCR for page 45
Committee on Military Nutrition Research: Activity Report Can performance be enhanced in cold or high altitude environments by the provision of increased amounts of specific nutrients? To assist the CMNR in developing a response to these questions, a workshop was convened on January 31-February 2, 1994 in Washington, D.C., that included presentations from individuals familiar with or having expertise in digestive physiology, energetics, macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, appetite, psychology, exercise physiology, and high altitude physiology. The titles of the presented papers are listed below: Scenarios of Cold Exposure in Military Settings William D. Strauss COL Russell W. Schumacher, Jr. How the Army Feeds Soldiers in the Cold LTC Nancy King CW4 Thomas J. Lange The Physiology of Cold Exposure Andrew J. Young Central Nervous System Function, Sleep, and Cold Stress Robert S. Pozos The Influence of Cold Exposure on Body Fluid Balance Major Beau Freund Muscle Metabolism and Shivering During Cold Stress Ira Jacobs Macronutrient Requirements for Work in Cold Environments Peter J.H. Jones Cold Exposure, Appetite, and Energy Balance Jacques LeBlanc Influence of Cold and Altitude on Vitamin and Mineral Requirements Robert D. Reynolds Micronutrient Deficiency States and Thermoregulation in the Cold John L. Beard Drug-Induced Delay of Hypothermia Andre Vallerand Food and Ice Robert E. Feeney The Physiology of High Altitude Exposure Allen Cymerman The Effects of High Altitude on Physical Performance and Well-Being Robert B. Schoene Fluid Metabolism at High Altitude Inder S. Anand

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Committee on Military Nutrition Research: Activity Report Effects of High Altitude on Basal Energy Requirement, Body Composition Maintenance and Fuel Source When Energy Intake is Adequate Gail E. Butterfield Energy and Macronutrient Requirements for Work at High Altitude Reed W. Hoyt Vitamin E and Antioxidants Irene Simon-Schnass Effects of Altitude on Cognitive Performance and Mood States Barbara Shukitt-Hale Environmental Stress Management by Adaptogens Kaushal Kishore Srivastava Food Components and other Treatments that may Enhance Mental Performance at High Altitude and in the Cold Harris Lieberman A panel discussion was held at the end of the workshop to summarize the findings and discuss specific issues raised during the two-day workshop. The six invited panelists, Robert B. Schoene, Robert S. Pozos, Murray Hamlet, Bill Strauss, Irwin Taub, and COL Russell Schumacher, had either contributed presentations to the workshop or brought additional expertise in food development, cold physiology, high altitude research, and military operations at high altitude. The invited speakers discussed their presentations with the Committee members at the workshop and submitted the content of their verbal presentations as written reports. The committee met in executive session after the workshop to discuss the issues raised and the information provided. The members of the committee will draw upon their expertise and the scientific literature to develop a summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on this workshop. The CMNR is currently in the process of completing this report for submission to the U.S. Army Medical Research, Development, Acquisition, and Logistics Command (Provisional) [USAMRDALC (PROV)]. The completed report will also include the written papers by invited speakers and will be submitted in early spring, 1995 in the CMNR workshop report series format.

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