Secular Trends in BMI and Waist Circumference and the Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Austrian Candidates for Conscription from 2007 To 2016

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Abstract

The increase of prevalence of overweight and obesity progressed worldwide and is associated with lifetime diseases. Operational readiness of armed forces is depending on anthropometric data and physical fitness of soldiers. The aim of the study was the investigation of temporal and regional trends of BMI and waist circumference of Austrian conscripts.Data came from the Ministry of Defence of Austria. Mean of body mass (BM, kg), body mass index (BMI, kg/m2,) and waist circumference (WC, cm) across age, urbanity and regions were analysed, effect size was checked by Cohen’s d and f eta. Significance was selected at p values <0.05.Mean of BM, BMI and WC showed significant differences, effect sizes were trivial. A significant high correlation was ascertained by BM (r = 0.78 – 0.82) and BMI (r = 0.77 – 0.81) to WC in all age cohorts. Regional differences were detected in BM, BMI and WC. The results show a significant increase of BM, BMI and WC in the years 2007 to 2010 and a stabilisation during the rest of investigation period. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in young men has reached a worrying level for public health in Austrian society.

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