Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Greek Army Recruits


  • George Michas
  • Asterios Kampouras Medical Service of the Hellenic Army, XXIV Armored Brigade, Litochoro, Greece
  • Miltiadis Kokolios
  • Ioannis Alexandros Drosatos
  • Maria Schoina
  • Andreas Asimakos
  • Renata Micha



body mass index, obesity, overweight, male adults, educational level, residence


OBJECTIVE Obesity poses a major public health issue whose prevalence is reaching epidemic proportions, especially among younger ages. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Greek men recruited in the army, and to evaluate potential associations with place of residence and educational level.

SUBJECTS & METHODS Height and weight were measured in 3,684 men, aged 23.2±2.8 (mean ± standard deviation) years. Body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) was used as measure of adiposity. Associations between BMI categories and level of education (≤9 school years, >9 years) and between BMI categories and place of residence (urban, rural) were evaluated using chi-square test.

RESULTS Average BMI was 25.2±4 kg/m2. The prevalence of overweight (25<BMI<30) was 33.7% and associated positively with a higher educational level (p<0.001), whereas the prevalence of obesity (BMI>30) was 10.0% and was not associated with educational level. Obesity was associated with place of residence; individuals from rural areas were more obese than those from urban areas (p=0.04). Our results, when compared to those of similar studies conducted in 1969, 1990, and 2006 showed a significant increase in mean BMI.

CONCLUSION Overall, we documented a high and increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity (43.7%) among younger Greek men.