Military Getting Healthy Makeover


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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  • by Jessica on Feb 11, 2012 at 05:50 AM
    YAY! it's about time!!!
  • by SM Location: CS on Feb 10, 2012 at 09:40 AM
    Awesome! Travis has been doing this for years, and I was wondering when it would hit the Springs bases. They even contract with healthier food chains, which helps the variety factor. Can we get ANY food options other than chow/roach coach on Schriever??
  • by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2012 at 08:49 AM
    Now, that's the taste of freedom!
  • by Mr. Guy Location: CS on Feb 10, 2012 at 07:49 AM
    Time for some critical thinking. Weight issues aren't JUST because of food intake, but also physical exertion. PT is very different when you're deployed vs in garrison. Regular PT must be part of the weight solution. "Fast food" is only part of the problem, and taking cheap shots at that industry is intellectually lazy.
    • reply
      by Jenn on Feb 10, 2012 at 01:19 PM in reply to Mr. Guy
      I agree with you there, but have you heard the 80/20 rule? Weight loss is 80% diet and 20% fitness. Eat well and get your physical activity. I will say, I know people that exercise and still eat junk (in their minds, b/c they exercise, they can eat whatever they want) and their cholesterol levels are still high, etc. Diet does play a big part and it's a good start to offer healthy choices. But awareness should be offered too, not just to PT failures, but everyone.
  • by Solider Location: FCCO on Feb 10, 2012 at 06:55 AM
    No matter what they do in the Dining Hall, all this will do is force the Soldier to NOT eat at Chow Hall and go to PX for a BURGER or TACO's. A lot of the problem with overweight people in the military is because they RELAXED ALL Standards in the military. KCCO
    • reply
      by Jenn on Feb 10, 2012 at 07:39 AM in reply to Solider
      Agreed!! I'd be more for putting a Subway or Robin Hood (AAFES version of Subway, I call it) on base than all these unhealthy places. There's a McDonald's right across the street from me on Pete and the majority of the guys in my squadron go there for lunch b/c it's convenient. And some of these people wonder why they're failing their PT tests. Start packing your lunches...get 400 calories of healthy instead of 1200 calories of Mickey D's!
  • by Bil Location: Krauss on Feb 10, 2012 at 06:52 AM
    It's about time!!!! And yes, lets supplement all the fast food outlets on post with more healthy options!!!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2012 at 06:42 AM
    Lets start by taking McNasty's off of Peterson AFB!!
    • reply
      by Jeff on Feb 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM in reply to
      Agreed. Google "pink slime" to see what McD's was putting in its hamburgers.
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