Justification of the need to introduce an additional criterion to the assessment of the nutrition status of military personnel


Currently, in accordance with the regulations of the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the main indicator for assessing nutritional status is the body mass index, which does not take into account the component composition of the body. At the same time, it is necessary to assess in more detail the composition of the body of military personnel, that is, the ratio of its muscle and fat components.

The purpose of the study is the scientific and methodological substantiation of the need to introduce an additional criterion for assessing the nutritional status of military personnel, that characterize body composition – the body fat percentage.

Material and methods. The study involved 1.373 male military personnel aged 18 to 53 who underwent a medical examination. The following methods were used: anthropometry, bioimpedancemetry, caliperometry.

Results. Various methods for determining the fat component of the body have been studied. The analysis of the data obtained showed that all methods for determining the body fat percentage have highly significant correlations among themselves and with bioimpedancemetry data. All coefficients had high reliability p<0.001 at r>0.7. When the values of the body mass index deviate from the normative ones, it is proposed to use the indicator of the body fat percentage to clarify the assessment of the nutritional status of male military personnel. Based on the data obtained, modern algorithms for assessing the nutritional status of military personnel have been developed for use in the practice of military health care at various levels of medical support for military personnel.

Conclusion. As a result of a prospective study, the need to introduce an additional criterion for assessing the nutritional status of male military personnel was substantiated and proved, and calculation methods for assessing the fat component of the body, comparable with bioimpedancemetry data, were determined. Algorithms for determining the nutritional status of servicemen for different levels of medical support have been developed. In conditions where special devices for determining the fat component of the body are not included in the supply standards of the medical service, it is recommended to calculate the body fat percentage by girth methods using a centimeter tape.

Keywords:military personnel; military medical examination; body mass index; body fat percentage; nutrition status

Funding. The study had no sponsorship.

Conflict of interest. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Contribution. The concept and design of the study – Smirnova G.A.; data collection and processing, text writing, editing, approval of the final version of the article, responsibility for the integrity of all parts of the article – all authors.

For citation: Smirnova G.A., Kravchenko E.V. Justification of the need to introduce an additional criterion to the assessment of the nutrition status of military personnel. Voprosy pitaniia [Problems of Nutrition]. 2023; 92 (4): 59–65. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33029/0042-8833-2023-92-4-59-65 (in Russian)


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Viktor A. Tutelyan
Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Scientific Director of the Federal Research Centre of Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety (Moscow, Russia)

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