Nutrition knowledge is associated with diet quality among US Army soldiers
Abstract: Objective: Examine the relationship between nutrition knowledge, diet quality, and eating behavior among active-duty US Army Soldiers. Methods: Cross-sectional study with data collection in February 2018 via paper surveys during the validation of the Military Eating Behavior Survey. Results: Among 440 US Army Soldiers, nutrition knowledge was positively and significantly associated with diet quality (b = 0.29, P < 0.001). For every 1-point increase in nutrition knowledge, the Healthy Eating Index-2015 score was expected to increase by 0.29 points. Nutrition knowledge was not significantly associated with skipping breakfast (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.98–1.04) or dining out (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.98–1.03). Conclusions and Implications: The outcomes of this study warrant further investigation to determine what interventions provide the strongest outcomes for improving nutrition knowledge and diet quality, as well as create and support an environment that enhances healthy behaviors regarding nutrition that lead to improved diet quality among active-duty Soldiers.
Abstract:Military families face many unique challenges, including frequent separations, demanding work hours, and relocations. The HealthySteps (HS) program may offset these challenges utilizing the expertise of a nonclinical child development specialist called a HS specialist who offers enhanced well-child visits (WCVs), support between visits, and connections to community resources. Our study sought to identify the impact of the military HS pilot program on the timeliness of WCVs, immunizations, routine behavioural and developmental screenings, and referrals to community resources within the first 15 months of life (MOL). We retrospectively reviewed charts of 26 HS-enrolled and 26 randomly selected age-matched non-HS–enrolled children from age 2 to 15 MOL. Demographic variables obtained include child’s gender, child’s birth order, mother’s age, active duty parent’s rank classification, and active duty parent’s gender. We examined five outcomes measures aligning with the American Academy of Pediatrics health supervision, immunization, and screening recommendations and National Committee for Quality Assurance Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set measures: (1) completed six or more WCVs in the first 15 MOL, (2) completed developmental screening at the 9-month WCV, (3) up to date on vaccinations at 15 MOL, (4) completed three or more postpartum depression (PPD) screens in the first 6 MOL, and (5) the total number of documented referrals to community resources within the first 15 MOL. Chi-square analysis and independent t-tests were used to compare the groups. There was no statistical significance (P > .05) between the HS-enrolled and control groups for all five demographic variables. A significantly higher percentage of children in the HS-enrolled group received PPD screening compared to the control group (96% vs. 73.1%, P = .021). The HS-enrolled group had a higher mean number of community resource referrals at 15 MOL of 2.46 (SD = 1.14) vs. the control group with a mean of 0.19 (SD = 0.49). None of the other outcomes showed a statistically significant difference between groups. The results of this study indicate the positive impacts of the military HS program on referrals to community resources and PPD screening, reflecting the HS specialist focus on the family unit. Limitations of this study include the small population size and limited demographic information resulting from the retrospective nature of the study and pilot status of the HS program. Larger prospective studies are needed to clarify the true impact of the HS program in the military health system.