DoDLive bloggers roundtable: Healthy Base Initiative

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by Meredith March, Defense Media Activity Air Force Production

Air Force Week kicks off in New York City

If we better understand how to make healthy lifestyle choices, will we be more likely to make them?

The Healthy Base Initiative, a recently announced demonstration project for the Defense Department’s Operation Live Well, aims to determine just that.

At a recent DoDLive bloggers roundtable, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and Charles E. Milam, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, revealed that the year-long demonstration project will evaluate 13 installations to design a cohesive program that empowers service members, their families and civilians to take charge of their health by making informed choices.

Many of the services’ and installations’ longstanding programs will be evaluated to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Best practices across participants will be shared with the services for further implementation throughout the force.

“The idea is to reach out into the communities [and] link projects that build health and environments where our men and women in the service and their families and civilians can make healthy choices,” Woodson said.

Because obesity-related health issues not only affect service members’ readiness, but also increase the risk of early military discharge or serious illness, the initiative will emphasize the importance of programs that encourage making informed nutritional food choices, weight management, tobacco cessation, and increased physical activity.

“We hope to … determine which programs really make a difference in bringing down obesity, promoting living healthy lifestyles, and increasing level of fitness,” Milam said.

Listen to the bloggers roundtable audio (MP3)

Learn more about the Healthy Base Initiative.