Want To Lose Weight? Go to war!
There are probably easier ways to diet, but women who have seen combat in Iraq or Afghanistan are more than twice as likely to lose 10% or more of their body weight than those who were deployed but didn't see combat. Unfortunately, those who saw combat were almost twice as likely to develop an eating disorder.
The Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) in San Diego recently published these findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology based on data collected as part of a fascinating long term study called the Millennium Cohort Study.
Going overseas didn't seem to stimulate eating disorders in either women or men, but combat did.
Another interesting finding from the data is that low mental or physical health status before combat exposure significantly increases the risk of symptoms or diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after deployment.
Now that we know that, thanks to the Navy's research, more vulnerable service members can be identified and provided training and treatment (interventions) in advance to prevent PTSD.