Assessment of Ration Scales of the Armed Forces Personnel in Meeting theNutritional Needs at Plains and High Altitudes–I
Adequate nutrition is very essential, especially for the Armed Forces, to buildup their nutritional reserveswhile deriving maximum benefits of training/peak performances in operational situations by keeping theirmorale high. The present study reviews/examines the adequacy of the existing ration scales of the ArmedForces personnel stationed under different terrain conditions of the country/recruits at various training centres.Food samples were collected from different strategic locations during different seasons of the year and analysedfor their nutrient composition like proximal constituents, vitamins A, E, B1, B2, C, and dietary fibre. Basedon the data generated, the daily nutrients/energy consumption by the soldiers/recruits, were calculated separatelyboth for personnel in plains and at high altitudes. Soldiers in plains, on an average consumed protein 124.2+ 13.0 g, fat 98.8 + 29.6 g and energy 3632+317 kcal/person/day, while their counterparts at high altitudesconsumed protein 120.4 + 11.2 g, fat 120.1 + 31.1 g, and energy 3906 + 423 kcal/person/day. The study clearlyindicate that the present ration scales for the Service personnel, both in plains and at high altitudes (9000 ftto 15000 ft) is adequate wrt their nutrient density. It is however suggested to ensure adequate supply of goodquality fresh vegetables, fruits, and meat, which inturn would not only help to keep the morale of the soldiers,high and cheerful, especially at high altitudes, but will also enable adequate micronutrient availability. Thefibre levels in the diets of these soldiers have also been found to be well within the limits (20 -35 g/ person/day) recommended for optimal health.
Defence Science Journal, 2008, 58(6), pp.734-744, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.14429/dsj.58.1701
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