SEOUL, May 30 (Korea Bizwire) – More than half of South Korea’s senior Army officers are either obese or overweight, many of them gaining weight with age and because of their career-related lifestyle, a study showed Monday.
Based on body mass index (BMI), 34.9 percent were found to be obese while 25.9 percent were assessed as overweight, according to the study conducted jointly by Prof. Park Jung-sook of Keimyung University’s Nursing College and a team led by Prof. Chang Soon-yang of Daegu University’s Nursing Department. The study randomly picked officers of different ranks in nine types of Army units. BMI is derived by dividing the weight by the square of the height. A value above 25 is regarded as obese, and between 23 and 25 is viewed as overweight.
The link between the years in service and weight gain was highly visible. The chances of obesity for those in service for over 20 years were 3.41 times higher than those who had been in the Army for less than a year.
Officers in front line units were 3.65 times more likely to become fat than their counterparts posted in special warfare units. The number is even higher for officers at rear units, at 4.48 times.
Authors of the study said that the frequent relocation that often results in having to live apart from family exposes the officers to eating out, irregular eating habits and an unbalanced diet compounded by work-related stress and sleeping disorders that raise the risk of obesity.
“We need weight control programs for officers who have been in service for lengthy periods and for those who are bound to desks in their jobs,” Park said. “We also need to educate the officers on the dangers of obesity so that they can be more aware about managing their weight.”