Q. What is MOVE!?
A. MOVE! is VA's national weight management program developed for Veterans by the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP). MOVE! is an evidence-based self-management program that focuses on health and wellness through healthy eating, physical activity, and behavior change. MOVE! can help you lose weight, keep it off, and improve your health. Every VA Medical Center has a dedicated MOVE! Coordinator who is available to assist you. If you are interested in losing weight and want to participate in MOVE!, talk to your local MOVE! Coordinator or VA provider who can help you get started.
Q. Why does VA offer weight management services?
A. In 2015, more than three quarters of Veterans receiving care in VHA facilities were considered to be overweight or obese. Our goals are to annually screen every Veteran who receives care at VA facilities for obesity, refer individuals to weight management services, and make available different treatment options that fit the needs and preferences of our Veterans.
Q. Does my VA have a MOVE! Program?
A. All VA Medical Centers and many VA Community-based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) offer MOVE!. Contact the nearest VA facility to inquire about program availability.
Q. I live far from a VA facility and cannot participate in group classes. Is there another way that I can participate in MOVE!?
A. There are many ways to participate in MOVE!. Please ask your local MOVE! Coordinator or VA provider about options available at your local VA medical facility.
Participation and Program Cost
Q. I am a Veteran but I don't go to the VA for my health care. Can I participate in MOVE!?
A. Only Veterans receiving care in the VA can enroll in the MOVE! Program. However the MOVE!11 questionnaire, found on the MOVE! website, can be taken by anyone. It produces a report that is individualized and includes a list of recommended handouts. The questionnaire also produces a report for health care providers. You can take this report to your provider for further advice on weight management. In 2015, a mobile app, MOVE! Coach, was launched for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad). The app can be downloaded and used by Veterans and non-Veterans, and encompasses the main principles of the MOVE! program in a 19-week guided program. To learn more about the MOVE! resources (handouts and videos), please check out our MOVE! Website at www.move.va.gov.
Q.I am not a Veteran. Can I participate in MOVE!?
A. Only Veterans receiving care in the VA can enroll in MOVE!. You are welcome to use any materials available on the MOVE! website. There you will find the MOVE!11 questionnaire which produces an individualized report and includes a list of recommended handouts. The questionnaire also creates a report that you can take to your health care provider for further advice on weight management. In 2015, a mobile app, MOVE! Coach, was launched for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad). The app can be downloaded and used by Veterans and non-Veterans, and encompasses the main principles of the MOVE! program in a 19-week guided program. To learn more about the MOVE! resources (handouts and videos), please check out our MOVE! Website at www.move.va.gov.
Q. I am a Veteran and considering participating in MOVE!. Can my spouse/partner participate with me?
A. For many, support from family members or friends is an important part of achieving weight management goals. Talk with your local MOVE! Coordinator about how your family member may be able to help!
Q. Is there a separate MOVE! Program for women?
A. MOVE! is designed for both men and women. Talk to your local MOVE! Coordinator to find out if MOVE! groups for women only are available at your VA facility.
Q. Is there a charge to participate in MOVE!?
A. No, the MOVE! Program is free of charge for Veterans.
Q. What is the MOVE!11?
A.The MOVE!11 is a 11-item questionnaire that asks basic questions about your weight, health and prior attempts at weight loss. The questionnaire generates an individualized report that includes a list of recommended MOVE! handouts for you.
Q. I am looking for a calorie counter. Can you recommend a resource?
A. There are many calorie counters on the internet and available on mobile devices. One website that provides a calorie counter is the USDA SuperTracker Tool. It can be found here: https://supertracker.usda.gov. This internet tool allows one to look up individual food items in the "Food-A-Pedia" and/or to record food and beverages, then calculate calories using the "Food Tracker." The MOVE! Coach mobile app, available for iOS devices [iPad, iPhone], uses the SuperTracker database and can be used as a calorie counter as well. You can find information about the MOVE! Coach mobile app on the MOVE! website here: MOVE! Coach
Q. I cannot afford a gym membership or a fitness trainer. How can I be physically active without one?
A. Exercising doesn’t have to be expensive! In fact, the cheapest, easiest, and most accessible form of physical activity is walking (or rolling). It’s free, fun, and you can do it almost anywhere! Consider looking at Handout P15 Walk for some tips. There are also great online resources such as photos, books, and videos that are free to use and easy to follow. You’ll learn about some of these tools in MOVE! which can help you progress in your physical activity program.
Q. How can MOVE! participants obtain pedometers?
A. Some MOVE! Programs provide pedometers to MOVE! participants. You can ask your facility MOVE! team if pedometers are available at your facility or for help determining the best pedometer for purchase at a local sporting goods store. Check out Handout S03 A Guide to Using Your Pedometer for pedometer tips. Also look at Handout P34 Step Conversions for Physical Activity, if you do not have access to a pedometer. This handout shows a list of steps conversions for a variety of activities.
Q. Do I have to have my doctor's permission before I begin exercising?
A. It is not always necessary to receive permission from a doctor to begin an exercise program. In fact, exercising is one of the best things you can do to promote good health. If you have concerns about becoming active, or symptoms that are associated with elevated heart rate that you may have experienced in the past, please contact your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen.
Q. What is waist circumference or abdominal girth, and why is it important?
A. Fat stored around the middle of the body (the waist or abdomen) can put you at risk for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This risk goes up with a waist size that is greater than 35 inches (88cm) for women or greater than 40 inches (102cm) for men. Studies have shown that extra weight around the waistline is more dangerous to the heart than extra weight that is on the hips and thighs. Measuring your waist, known as taking a waist circumference or abdominal girth measurement, is a great way to keep track of weight loss. This measurement will also show if you are/are not at risk for developing health problems. If your waist circumference is approaching the cutoffs (within 3 inches or 8cm), your risk is starting to increase. It's important to do something about your risk now. Keep in mind that a modest weight reduction of as little as 5%-10% of your body weight can reduce high blood pressure and total blood cholesterol.
Weight Loss Medications
Q. Are weight loss medications used with the MOVE! Program?
A. Some Veterans participating in MOVE! may benefit from the use of weight loss medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. To learn more, talk to your VA provider or local MOVE! Coordinator.
Q.Is weight loss surgery available?
A. Weight loss surgery may be offered to some Veterans who have tried other ways to lose weight but continue to struggle with being overweight or other weight-related issues. To learn more, talk to your VA provider or local MOVE! Coordinator.