Graduation Date

Spring 5-4-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Health Administration (MHA)

First Advisor

Michelle Strong

Second Advisor

Gwenn Porter

Third Advisor

Rachel Lookadoo


In recent decades, obesity rates have increased in the United States, raising significant health and societal concerns, especially in terms of military readiness. The ever-rising rates of weight-related health obstacles present a critical national security issue as it impacts the effectiveness of recruitment. This literature review aims to analyze how obesity impacts military recruitment and readiness to serve while utilizing the socio-ecological model to help determine gaps in evidence. Data was drawn from Embase, PubMed, and PsychInfo. Inclusion criteria consisted of academic journals and reports from government and non-profit organizations written in English. They focused only on the United States and its military population, specifically military recruits. Results from this literature review showed the steady rise of obesity throughout the United States and its military recruits, the subsequent decline in recruitment numbers for the military, and discovered programs implemented by specific branches to help military recruits reach the requisite standards.


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