Date of Award

Spring 5-26-2018

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Kathy James, DNSc, APRN, FAAN


Background: Obesity in people diagnosed with mental disorders is at an epidemic level. Individuals with a mental illness who are prescribed medication for stability are at risk for obesity and metabolic syndrome. People with mental disorders have a 10 to 30-year decrease in life expectancy associated with chronic illnesses. Military personnel are separated from service when they are measured outside of body composition assessment standards.

Aims: To address the problem of obesity in military members by providing a weight loss program with structured and collaborative weight management education and telephonic coaching.

Methods: Stakeholders were informed about the purpose and goals for the intervention. The project timeline was 3 to 6 months. Participants attended an integrated nutrition and exercise class and were encouraged to maintain food intake and exercise journals. Participant weight, BMI, daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and exercise activity were monitored. Follow-up telephonic coaching was provided.

Results: Ten subjects participated in the program. One individual dropped in December 2017. Seven answered their telephone in February 2018. Twenty percent of the participants lost 5% of their baseline weight, 43% increased their daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and 57% increased their exercise activity. The group average for exercise time per week increased from 66 to 146 minutes.

Conclusions: A weight loss program can be safe, beneficial, and efficacious to assist individuals with a mental disorder to lose weight.

Keywords: mental disorder, military, weight loss program