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Keywords:

  • body mass index;
  • military veterans;
  • obesity;
  • overweight;
  • posttraumatic stress disorder

Objective:  Obesity is a significant public health problem in the United States, particularly among military veterans with multiple risk factors. Heretofore, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has not clearly been identified as a risk factor for this condition.

Method:  We accessed both a national and local database of PTSD veterans.

Results:  Body mass index (BMI) was greater (< 0.0001) among male military veterans (= 1819) with PTSD (29.28 ± 6.09 kg/m2) than those veterans (= 44 959) without PTSD (27.61 ± 5.99 kg/m2) in a sample of randomly selected veterans from the national database. In the local database of male military veterans with PTSD, mean BMI was in the obese range (30.00 ± 5.65) and did not vary by decade of life (= 0.242).

Conclusion:  Posttraumatic stress disorder may be a risk factor for overweight and obesity among male military veterans.