Army Garrison Bavaria kicks off program to fight negative health trends
By MARTIN EGNASH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 24, 2018
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The Army ran a health assessment test for soldiers and family members on base earlier this year and discovered several negative trends among the community, including childhood obesity, high alcohol use and poor mental health.
In an effort to combat these trends, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria on Friday launched the Bavarian Health Initiative to reward soldiers and families who take their health into their own hands.
“When I saw the evidence that unhealthy trends are becoming more prevalent, I wanted to do something about it,” said base commander Col. Lance Varney. “The (Bavarian Health Initiative) is a way to give more momentum to the programs we already have available and get people a little more excited about making healthier decisions.”
Community members sign up for the program with a stated goal, like losing weight, and can earn prizes for achieving those goals.
“I’m 100% on board with the program,” said Staff Sgt. Dewayne Hawk, who works in preventive medicine at Medical Department Activity Bavaria and signed up for the program. “I think this is a great way to get people outside, and moving, and generally making better decisions.”
The initiative kicked off with a run Friday afternoon and will continue for several months. During that period, certain healthy foods will be marked at the post commissary and mental health programs will be showcased around the base.