Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
In the military, excessive weight could put members at risk for training injuries, loss of potential career opportunities, and possible discharge from military service. This could increase cost to United States' national defense through increased injuries, decreased retention due to early discharge, cost of retraining, and lifelong chronic health conditions. The purpose of the study was to determine if there was a correlation or predictive value between active duty Navy members' perception of care provided for weight management and the active duty Navy member's motivation for weight management interventions. The social capital theory served as the theoretical framework for this cross-sectional survey design quantitative study. Data were collected from 241 active duty Navy members using a survey that included questions about clinical practice guidelines and motivation to change. Data were analyzed using Pearson chi-square and multiple linear regression to determine if individual demographics (body mass index [BMI], age, gender, ethnicity, military rank, and marital status) had a correlation or predictive value between reported care received and motivation to change. The results demonstrated a correlation between BMI, age, ethnicity, and care reported (p < 0.01); between BMI and motivation to change (p < 0.01) and between reported care and motivation to change (p <0.01). The potential positive social change implications from the findings of this study could lead to knowledge of individual factors and social factors that support a fit Navy force, lower cost to the nation for national defense through increased retention of highly trained members, decreased chronic health conditions, and lower cost of military health care.