The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday it is modernizing its body composition standards for its active duty and reserve service members.
The pilot program offers multiple opportunities for service members to demonstrate compliance, including a new abdominal circumference, fitness test, and also better connects medical professionals to the health assessment. Recent studies show abdominal circumference is a more accurate measurement of overall health risk than the standard taping methods.
The program will help Coast Guard men and women meet the service's operational needs and challenges while also maintaining healthy weights and body fat percentages.
Historically, 17 percent of all active and reserve personnel weigh-ins require the use of body measuring, or taping.
A one-year pilot program using additional opportunities for compliance will begin Oct. 1, 2019.
"The Coast Guard's greatest strength resides in our people, and it is incumbent that our leadership ensures alignment of policy to recruiting, training, and retaining the modern military workforce required to perform today's challenging missions," said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz. "The Body Composition Pilot Program is the result of proactively listening to our service members, addressing potential inequities, and seeking solutions to ensure the health and wellness of our workforce."
The RAND Women's Retention Study and Holistic Analysis identified an existing policy that resulted in inequitable outcomes based on gender, disproportionately impacting women at a rate three times higher than men.
To find out more about the updated Weight and Body Fat Standards Program, click here.