An online "cafe" shares low- or no-fat, low-sodium and cholesterol-free recipes.

Barry said Social Security workers also have access to behavioral resources, including a smoking cessation program, stress management resources and referrals for counseling.

The Defense Department's efforts are centered on a directive from the president, the National Prevention Strategy, launched in 2011. The military aspires to be a national leader in building a "prevention-oriented society," said Laura Mitvalsky, portfolio director for health promotion and wellness at the Army Public Health Command.

The command serves Army soldiers, their families, military retirees and Army Department civilians. Councils at Army bases chaired by senior commanders coordinate tools for healthy living initiatives, Mitvalsky said.

The Defense Department launched the Healthy Base Initiative as a pilot program at 11 military installations and two other defense sites earlier this year. None are in Maryland, but Mitvalsky said Aberdeen Proving Ground helped develop some of the elements.

The Healthy Base Initiative is intended to help individuals make informed dietary decisions, increase physical activities, learn and practice weight management and quit smoking.

"Our Army leadership is really engaged at all levels to assist and create these [healthier] environments," Mitvalsky said.

Treatment and loss of productivity related to obesity and tobacco use cost the Defense Department $3 billion a year. Failure to meet weight standards is a leading cause of involuntary separation from the military, and obesity in America may be limiting the Defense Department's recruitment efforts.

"The business of changing lifestyles takes a community-wide approach," said Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. "We need to make sure you have the tools available to succeed. Organizations that look the other way fail their people."

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