Free Weight Loss Tools Aimed at Helping Veterans Get Healthier

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2018

Recent studies estimate that around 33% of all Americans are considered obese or overweight. Unfortunately, veterans seem to be at an even higher risk of struggling with their weight, with more than three-quarters of veterans falling into the obese/overweight category, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).Free Weight Loss Tools Aimed at Helping Veterans Get Healthier

In an effort to combat this statistic, the VA teamed up with the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP) to create the MOVE! Program, a free collection of guidelines, tips, tools and worksheets designed to help veterans manage their weights and live healthier lives. According to the VA, "MOVE!" is an “evidence-based self-management program” that focuses on behavior change, healthy eating and physical activity. The program leverages its core ideas – encouraging healthy eating behavior, increasing physical activity and promoting even small weight losses – in an easy-to-follow plan, based on the latest in nutrition science.

All VA Medical Center locations (and many community-based outpatient clinics) have a dedicated MOVE! Coordinator who is available to assist veterans, but the program also offers numerous free resources online that anyone can download. While you must be receiving care from the VA to be officially enrolled in the MOVE! Program, anyone can download several free resources to get started, including the MOVE! questionnaire that generates a report that can be used as a guideline or given to a health care provider.

Veterans and non-veterans alike can also browse hundreds of success stories from MOVE! participants, download free handouts outlining helpful exercise and nutrition information and watch more than 50 videos focusing on fitness, nutrition and weight management.

Additionally, anyone can download the mobile app for iPad/iPhone called MOVE! Coach, which encompasses the main principles of the MOVE! program in a 19-week guided program. The MOVE! Coach app also offers educational videos, a food journal, personalized tracking graphs, reports and more to help anyone wanting to lose a few pounds. Also included with the app are a frequently asked questions page, slideshow and Quick Start Guide.

The VA hopes to annually screen every veteran who receives care at VA facilities for obesity and help improve their lives by making different treatment options available, promoting the use of the VA MOVE! tools and referring weight management services.

By living healthier, more active lives, veterans can reduce the likelihood of many more serious health problems related to being overweight.

Written by Megan Hammons

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