Authors: Doroteja KUHAR, Nataša FIDLER MIS, Verena KOCH
Corresponding author: Doroteja KUHAR
Type of paper: Original scientific paper
Issue: Volume 3 | number 1 – 2009
Abstract: Healthy nutrition is one of the most important conditions to maintain physical abilities of professional soldiers. We aimed to evaluate dietary behaviours, nutritional knowledge and body mass index of Slovenian professional soldiers with regard to selected biological and socioeconomic determinants.
This cross-sectional study included one contingent (n=84) of Slovenian professional soldiers who were sent on a peacekeeping mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina from July 2004 to January 2005. Their mean age was 27.3 years, 92 % of them were males, 61 % of them were single. A self-report questionnaire (n = 45 items) was used to obtain information on their biological and socioeconomic determinants and dietary behaviours. They completed the questionnaire after starting the peacekeeping mission in July 2004.
Statistical analyses revealed fruits were consumed by 40 % of the soldiers each day; vegetables were consumed by 38 % of each day. Single soldiers consumed fruit on a daily basis at a higher level than married soldiers, 53 % versus 22.2 %. Similar results were identified with vegetable consumption, 49 % daily consumption for single soldiers versus 22.2 % for married soldiers. Fried foods were consumed by 2 % of soldiers daily and soft drinks by 56 %.
There is a need for further nutritional assessment studies, initiation of nutritional educational programs into military trainings, and new organizational policies to support healthy eating.