• Aspen Streetman Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA
  • Filip Kukić Police Sports Education Center, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Kaite Heinrich Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA
  • Nenad Koropanovski University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia
Keywords: police education; dietary habits; nutrition; Serbia


A career in law enforcement is physically and mentally demanding, contributing to increased health risks and occupational stress. Physical activity and healthy eating are beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing many chronic health conditions (e.g., heart disease, cancer). While most police students must pass a fitness exam to enter training and again before becoming sworn police officers, it is unclear if academy training prepares officers to develop healthy dietary habits for their careers. This study aimed to investigate typical dietary habits of police students at the University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia, and determine ways to improve officer education in healthy eating.
A sample of police students (n = 137, 36.5% female) of average age 20.2 years participated in a survey to evaluate their typical dietary habits. Descriptive statistics were used to describe their nutritional behaviors.
Overall, the results suggest that most students make good nutrition decisions. The majority (78.1%) of students reported using alcohol responsibly, and 74.45% drank water between meals, though only 6.6% of students ate enough fruit every day. Almost all (98.5%) understood the importance of diet, but only 11.7% received nutrition-related information from a school source.
Results suggest that police student training should include nutritional education and physical preparation for holistic police officer development. This approach could help prevent poor health outcomes for police officers.
Keywords: police education; dietary habits; nutrition; Serbia


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