VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Vancouver police officers and Clark County sheriff's deputies are working with doctors at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland to improve their health.
The officers replaced doughnuts with fruit and veggies in their diets, increased their physical activity and were working on stress reduction, The Columbian reported in Sunday's newspaper.
The changes are part of a $3 million four-year health study led by Dr. Kerry Kuehl, who has enlisted 130 deputies from the Clark County Sheriff's Office and 80 officers from the Vancouver Police Department, along with two law enforcement agencies in Oregon.
Over the next few years, Kuehl hopes to expand the program to police departments across the country.
The first step was stress and fitness tests of all the officers in the study.
About 21 to 25 percent of people in the general population have metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, diabetes, excess body fat and abnormal cholesterol levels. In law enforcement, 35 percent have metabolic syndrome, Kuehl said.
Disrupted sleep patterns and hyper vigilance from always being on guard contribute to these conditions.
Some of the goals set for officers in the study included minimum requirements for daily fruit and vegetable servings and physical activity, hours of sleep, quitting tobacco use and reducing alcohol intake.