Military mess halls across the country are in for a healthy makeover.
Troops will soon see more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat entrees in military dining halls, vending machines and snack bars. It's all part of a new obesity and nutrition awareness campaign from the Department of Defense.
Obesity has become a growing problem in the United States, and the military has not been immune: surveys found 1 in 20 members of the armed services had weight problems in 2005, up from 1 in 50 just a decade earlier.
"The Department of Defense considers obesity not only a national problem, but a national security issue," Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said. "About a quarter of entry-level candidates are too overweight to actually enter the military or sustain themselves through the first enlistment."
The Pentagon spends more than $1 million each year on medical care related to weight problems.
Michelle Obama, who has made combating childhood obesity the focus of her time as first lady, praised the effort, saying it would likely set a positive example for the rest of the country.
"When our service members make healthy eating a priority in their lives, the rest of us are more likely to make it a priority in our lives. Simply put, this is America's entire military once again stepping forward to lead by example.
Obama and Pentagon officials announced the new initiative Thursday at Little Rock Air Force Base.
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