HAWC teaches nutrition basics for healthier living Published March 28, 2014 By Holly Logan-Arrington Robins Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- When it comes to nutrition, the Health and Wellness Center is always whipping up a heaping serving of information to satisfy Team Robins' appetite for healthier living tips. The HAWC is conducting the Military Nutritional Environmental Assessment. "This assessment is a Department of Defense tool that looks at how the installation supports a healthy eating environment by grading whether or not our base food vendors provide healthy choices for those that desire them," Stuart Bapties, HAWC flight commander, said. "The assessment will be completed in March and briefed to local commanders before being forwarded to Headquarters, Air Force." Bapties said the latest Air Force data shows unhealthy habits are costing Airmen and Defense Department civilians' in terms of health and wealth. "The latest statistics from the Air Force Corporate Health Information Processing Service show that we have a high prevalence of overweight and obesity," he said. "Only 41 percent of Airmen are classified as being in a healthy weight range Air Force wide and that rate falls to 36 percent for Robins Air Force Base; additionally, data gathered through our Air Force Materiel Command Wellness site shows that 50 percent of our civilian workforce fall into the overweight category. "The latest DOD Health Behavior Survey among Military Personnel reveals the economic impact on DOD is $1.1 billion annually for medical care of active duty military members with obesity/overweight health problems," Bapties added. "Finally, concern for 'Physical Health' was identified as an issue for both Airmen and civilians in the Robins results from the 2013 Air Force Community Assessment." The HAWC helps Airmen and DOD civilians start with nutritional basics to build a firm foundation for a healthy lifestyle. "A key part of all Health and Wellness Center nutrition initiatives is to educate our population on the basics of nutrition before advancing any further," Bapties said. "We ensure that our participants have a firm grasp of how to read nutrition labels and understand how to decipher them as they are often very confusing and can be overwhelming. "We also teach appropriate portion control and how to track caloric intake and expenditure to assist with whatever nutrition goals our clients have." For more information, contact the HAWC at 497-8480 or visit the center in Bldg. 827.