Nutrition in the Swiss Armed Forces

Friday, 20 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Stefano DE ROSA, Swiss Military Academy, Switzerland
A satisfying supply of food and an adequate nutrition of the soldiers are fundamental for every armed force. Thus, the Swiss Military Academy starts a research project about “nutrition in the armed forces”. The scope of this study is to gain more precise insights and more profound knowledge about the particularities of military food and nutrition.

In particular, this sociological study aims to show how the Swiss Armed Forces deal with the considerable variety of food preferences and alimentation habits of their conscripts. Contrasting the wide range of food available in our modern society with the restricted choice of meals during military service, it becomes evident that some adjustments are needed to bring these two worlds together. The presentation will therefore display the implemented measures of the Swiss Armed Forces to meet day-to-day the different expectations of the soldiers. What are the key organizational aspects of an adequate food supply for the troops? Is it possible to satisfy a broad range of necessities or do we face restrictions in the food offer?

To answer these questions, the first task is to describe the current diversity of food necessities and preferences among young Swiss adults. Multiple reasons are brought forward for very different alimentation habits: religious views, ethical claims, environmental concerns, food allergies, health beliefs, etc. The second task is to assess – through the analysis of regulations and guidelines as well as through interviews with responsible personnel – whether the Swiss Armed Forces take into consideration these different food habits. Finally, it will be shown towards what alimentation necessities the Swiss Armed Forces are geared and where the limitations of diversity management of food preferences are.