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JOURNAL ARTICLE

A systematic review of the nutritional implications of military rations

Indira Sotelo-Díaz, Carla María Blanco-Lizarazo
Nutrition and Health 2019 January 9, : 260106018820980
30623731

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to assess military rations. Military rations must provide military personnel with suitable nutrition, as high-quality nutrition is crucial for promoting health.

AIM: This systematic review provides information regarding the nutritional design of military rations according to energy and protein intake and supplements.

METHODS: A systematic search was conducted for articles published to date regarding the nutritional needs involved in a military diet for an active population of either gender, ranging from 18 to 60 years old, without excluding material by year, type of document, location, or author. The pertinent articles found were published from 1994 to 2017.

RESULTS: Physical activity and environmental factors directly affect calculating energy needs and carbohydrate intake when designing military rations. However, the results showed no influence on protein, fat and/or sodium intake. Furthermore, the search revealed that military populations have a high intake of dietary supplements; it is thus worth considering their incorporation into campaign rations.

CONCLUSION: Military personnel macro- and micro-nutrient needs depend on physical activity and nutrient intake measurement methodologies. The data regarding military personnel dietary supplement consumption indicated that this is a niche worth considering when designing military rations. Research on nutritional needs for military rations could concentrate on optimizing the amount of macro- and micro-nutrients and their biological value, according to physical activity, as well as maintaining their sensory quality, safety and shelf life using different processing technologies.

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