Nearly 80 percent of Veterans who receive care in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities are overweight or obese. Being obese or overweight is associated with many chronic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. These conditions are common in Veterans and the nation in general.
“Preventing further increases in the rates and impacts of obesity among Veterans is our greatest public health challenge,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, executive-in-charge at VHA.
To help manage this epidemic, VA offers Veterans the comprehensive and integrated MOVE! Weight Management Program.
MOVE! is VHA’s evidence-based, population-focused weight management program available to Veterans at every VA medical facility across the country. Since national implementation in 2006, the MOVE! Program has helped close to 800,000 Veterans better manage their weight, improve their health, and reduce their risk of chronic disease.
Veterans who have participated in MOVE! speak to the program’s effectiveness and impact on their health and well-being. Before he lost 90 pounds with MOVE!, “I was struggling to perform daily activities,” said Veteran Ricardo Colón of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Colón credits his success to information, support and motivation from his San Juan VA MOVE! team, noting that walking and eating wisely help him keep the weight off.
Veterans interested in managing their weight are encouraged to speak with their VA health care provider to learn about MOVE!
For more information on MOVE! and to read more MOVE! Success Stories like Ricardo Colón’s, visit https://www.move.va.gov/ and https://www.move.va.gov/MOVE/SuccessStories/index.asp.
Jay Shiffler is a communications specialist with the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.