A low-intensity intervention to prevent annual weight gain in active duty Air Force members

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine | Health Psychology | Health Services Administration | Integrative Medicine | Military and Veterans Studies | Psychiatry and Psychology


Elevated body weight among active duty Air Force (ADAF) members is a substantial and growing problem, and typically results from gaining small amounts of weight each year over many years. We designed a strategy to prevent annual weight gain in ADAF members using self-directed behavior change booklets followed by weekly e-mails about diet and physical activity for a year. The intervention was universally offered to ADAF members meeting selection criteria at five U.S. Air Force bases (n = 3,502); members at 60 other U.S. Air Force bases served as controls (n = 65,089). The intervention was completely effective at preventing weight gain in a subgroup of men (those above the lowest three ranks, with baseline weight above maximum allowable) and in women, while controls continued to gain weight. Since the intervention did not require personalized contact, this approach has promise for large-scale population-based efforts aimed at preventing weight gain in working adults.

DOI of Published Version



Mil Med. 2006 Jun;171(6):556-61.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Military medicine


At the time of publication, Christine Runyan was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID