National Academies Press: OpenBook

Not Eating Enough: Overcoming Underconsumption of Military Operational Rations (1995)

Chapter: I Committee Summary and Recommendations

« Previous: Front Matter
Suggested Citation:"I Committee Summary and Recommendations." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Not Eating Enough: Overcoming Underconsumption of Military Operational Rations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5002.
×

PART I
Committee Summary and Recommendations

PART I OUTLINES THE TASK presented to the Committee on Military Nutrition Research (CMNR) by scientists at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) and the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center (NRDEC): to evaluate the data on and problem of underconsumption of military operational rations and recommend strategies for overcoming this underconsumption. As part of the charge to the CMNR, the Army posed the following five questions:

  1. Why do soldiers underconsume (not meet energy expenditure needs) in field operations?

  2. What factors influence underconsumption in field operations? Identify the relative importance of rations, environment, the eating situation, and the individual.

  3. At what level of consumption is there a negative impact on physical or cognitive performance?

  4. Given the environment of military operations, what steps are suggested to enhance ration consumption? To overcome deficits in food intake? To overcome any degradation in physical or cognitive performance?

  5. What further research needs to be done in these areas?

In Chapter 1, the committee reviews the data on deficits in energy intake and its relation to reductions in soldiers' physical and cognitive performance by using relevant background materials, data from controlled field studies, and

Suggested Citation:"I Committee Summary and Recommendations." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Not Eating Enough: Overcoming Underconsumption of Military Operational Rations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5002.
×

the workshop proceedings from November 3–4, 1993. The committee begins by defining the terms used in the report and proceeds with a review of factors that lead to reduced energy intake, the potential effect on performance, and possible solutions to overcome underconsumption. The committee views underconsumption as a particular problem for rapidly redeployed troops who have lost 5 to 10 percent of their body weight without the opportunity to regain it. For the physically fit soldier with low body fat, less fat loss and more reduction in lean body mass will accompany continued weight loss, thereby increasing the risk for reduced performance capacity.

The CMNR answers the questions posed by the Army in Chapter 2 before presenting their conclusions, recommendations, and suggestions for future research. In concluding that soldiers' energy intakes must match their energy expenditures, the committee acknowledges the multiple logistical, situational, and sensory factors that contribute to underconsumption in field operations. To enhance consumption of military operational rations, the CMNR concludes that steps need to be taken to enhance rations, to make specific time available for eating, and to cope with the factors that detract from ration acceptance. The CMNR recommends the establishment of a field feeding doctrine to parallel the water doctrine that is already in place. In addition to the field feeding doctrine, the CMNR further recommends keeping soldiers well-hydrated to avoid hypohydration-induced anorexia, enhancing the MRE to improve consumption, educating commanders about the relationship between ration intake and performance, introducing snacks to increase energy intake, and developing promotional materials for the information of commanders and soldiers alike. Guidance is also provided regarding the rate of weight loss and the potential for performance decrements.

Suggested Citation:"I Committee Summary and Recommendations." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Not Eating Enough: Overcoming Underconsumption of Military Operational Rations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5002.
×
Page 1
Suggested Citation:"I Committee Summary and Recommendations." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Not Eating Enough: Overcoming Underconsumption of Military Operational Rations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5002.
×
Page 2
Next: 1 Introduction and Background »
Not Eating Enough: Overcoming Underconsumption of Military Operational Rations Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $70.00 Buy Ebook | $54.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Eating enough food to meet nutritional needs and maintain good health and good performance in all aspects of life—both at home and on the job—is important for all of us throughout our lives. For military personnel, however, this presents a special challenge. Although soldiers typically have a number of options for eating when stationed on a base, in the field during missions their meals come in the form of operational rations. Unfortunately, military personnel in training and field operations often do not eat their rations in the amounts needed to ensure that they meet their energy and nutrient requirements and consequently lose weight and potentially risk loss of effectiveness both in physical and cognitive performance. This book contains 20 chapters by military and nonmilitary scientists from such fields as food science, food marketing and engineering, nutrition, physiology, psychology, and various medical specialties. Although described within a context of military tasks, the committee's conclusions and recommendations have wide-reaching implications for people who find that job-related stress changes their eating habits.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!