Air Force Surveys Supplement Usage

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MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, KS — Twenty-six Air Force installations participated in a survey Feb. 13-27 regarding dietary supplement usage in the Air Force.

“The survey will help the Air Force keep track of what supplements people are taking, so the Air Force can educate Airmen on any dangers that may go along with taking supplements,” said Capt. Christle Peaden, an aerospace physiologist with the 22nd Aeromedical-Dental Operations Squadron.

The survey, originally developed by the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, was revised for Air Force use. The Army survey results found 40 percent of soldiers use one or more supplements; 30 percent reported significant side effects such as dizziness, alteration of consciousness, weakness and cardiac symptoms.

Captain Peaden said the survey was e-mailed base-wide, asking everyone to participate even if they were not taking dietary supplements. In the survey, dietary supplements refer to energy boosters, over-the-counter diet pills, bodybuilding drinks or mixes and daily vitamins.

“There is no magic pill,” said Staff Sgt. Sunny Siler, 22nd Aeromedical-Dental Operations Squadron. “We see all the celebrities on television endorsing the products and companies sending samples with their fitness DVD package but that doesn't mean you need to take it.”

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