Greta Connelly1, Quincy R. Johnson1, Cody L. Diehl1, Charles L. Kornhauser2, Robert G. Lockie3, Robin M. Orr4, J. Jay Dawes1 1OklahomaState University, Stillwater, OK, USA2Colorado State Patrol Training Academy, Golden, CO, USA 3California State University Fullerton, CA, USA 4 Bond University-Tactical Research Unit, Robina, QLD, ASU

Body mass index (BMI) is a method frequently utilized for assessing an individual’s health status, and for predicting morbidity and mortality risk. Although BMI has been criticized as being inaccurate for individuals with larger body frames and greater muscle mass, it does provide an easy and cost-effective health risk assessment that can be used to broadly determine if more invasive measures of body composition are warranted. PURPOSE: To assess the general health status of police cadets attending three separate training academies from one US based law enforcement agency. METHODS: Archived data for 127(M=111,F =16age = 31.3±7.3; Ht=178.4± 8.9cm;Wt = 87.5±16.7kg; BMI = 27.4±4.6)police cadets was utilized for this analysis. Prior to academy training, cadets had their height and weight measured via a doctor’s beam scale in order to track changes in body mass during academy training and to assess general health status. BMI was calculated by dividing body mass in kilograms (kg) by height in meters squared (m2). Based on their BMI score, individuals were classified into one of four major categories: underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2), normal weight (BMI = 18.5 -24.9kg/m2), overweight (BMI = 25-29.9kg/m2) obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2). RESULTS: Based on their BMI score2% of all cadets were classified as underweight, 33% as normal weight, 44% as overweight, and 22 % as obese. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these findings, it appears that the majority of police cadets attending training academy would be classified as overweight or obese. These findings are concerning based on the known health risk associated with failure to attain and maintain an ideal body mass level. BMI may provide a simple measurement of preliminary health status for cadets participating in academy training that can later be used for providing physical activity and nutritional recommendations.

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