Military Wages War On Obesity


America's expanding waistlines might pose a threat to national security, the Pentagon says.

More than a quarter of Americans ages 17-24 are too overweight to serve, depleting the eligible pool of potential soldiers. The number of men deemed ineligible to serve based on weight has doubled in the last 50 years; among women, the number has tripled.

Those currently serving aren't immune to weight issues, with 1 in 20 members of the armed service suffering from weight problems, up from 1 in 50 just seven years ago. Weight issues can lead to multiple health issues that can literally leave servicemen and women unfit for battle.

"It's not just a major health issue for our nation; it's also become a national security issue," retired Rear Adm. James Barnett said.

Besides shrinking the number of qualified candidates for military service, weight issues are requiring the Pentagon to spend more than $1 billion a year on medical care related to weight and obesity--a steep price tag as the government faces a mounting national debt.

In February, first lady Michelle Obama teamed up with the military to promote sweeping changes being made the nutrition standards for troops, as well as what military dining facilities serve.

Nutrition education will also become part of basic training for the Army.

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  • by It's a good way... on Mar 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM
    to cut the number of soldiers. They will need to cut what? 100,000 troops here soon due to Obama's budget. Cut the fat and dead-wood first.
  • by RICO Location: Springs on Mar 8, 2012 at 02:09 PM
    Sorry for the rant. I am soooo tired of the civilian equivalent of "white guilt", when it comes to the all-volunteer force. You get what you pay for, and we're about to conduct our "every-20-year decimation" of our armed save money. The Americans think in quarters and fiscal years, while the Chinese think in 50-year chunks, asking themselves, "Where do we want to be in 50 years?" And they (as a nation) all head in that direction, toward that goal. Americans have lost their nationalistic identity, with all of us working toward a common goal. Oh yeah: just for fun, now that women are "authorized" for combat (congratulations, ladies) the US Congress will likely add all women between the ages of 18-25 to the Selective Services roles - enjoy!
    • reply
      by M r X on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:51 PM in reply to RICO
      Geeeeeeeeeeeee Shut up X 2......LMAO
  • by RICO Location: Springs on Mar 8, 2012 at 02:01 PM
    Oh by the way, the little "entitlement mentality lovefest" going on right now with the US Military is a sad state of affairs. A guy down the street from me was selling his house, and showed it to several prospective buyers. One was a (somewhat heavy)GI with his 5-member family in tow (yes, his spouse was somewhat heavy as well). After they looked at the house, the GI asked, "Do you give a military discount?" My neighbor (never been in the military) was stunned! My neighbor says, "Hey! This isn't a deli sandwich or a DVD player, it's a HOUSE!" Before that day, he was fawning all over "our brave Soldiers"; he knew I was retired career Army, and disliked that "entitlement mentality". Now, he knows what I was talking about. If you and your 5 dependants think the Army doesn't give you enough for your troubles, either go get a job selling lids in the mall, or do something else. You don't have to be in the military...and, as a sidebar, the "leaders" in our military have a responsibility to shake the fat off of the Soldiers. When I hear all of our elected officials talk about the US having the "greatest military in the world", I have to laugh. I am somewhat confident that a couple of divisions of Republic of Korea (ROK) Soldiers or Chinese Infantry would hand or **ses to us. Does this sound harsh? So sorry. The truth is painful.
    • reply
      by Mr x on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:50 PM in reply to RICO
      Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, Shut Up
  • by Person on Mar 8, 2012 at 01:14 PM
    Now they're keeping gays and expelling fatties. I think they should boot the gay wads too.
    • reply
      by Where would... on Mar 8, 2012 at 03:44 PM in reply to Person
      you fins a "gay wad"? Heehee
    • reply
      by m R x on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:52 PM in reply to Person
      shut up. u don't know what Gay is!
  • by Mr x Location: se spgs on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:41 PM
    my my has times changed.when i was n we ran n combat boots and gas masks. and there was no women with a**'s like they have now. i mean some are so big it takes a few seconds to walk around a corner. usa ret 63-83.....just telling it like it is!
    • reply
      by M r X on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:53 PM in reply to Mr x
      DaRN I WAS tinking bout someting,,o well..
  • by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM
    We are no longer into winning wars anyway. No big deal. When martial law is declared leave a burger and fries on the front porch and maybe you will be left alone.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:07 PM
    Simple solution. If you stop meeting the eligibility requirements, you have 90 days to get back in shape, if not, dishonorable discharge.
    • reply
      by jazzcat on Mar 8, 2012 at 02:48 PM in reply to
      It's obvious you don't know what a dishonorable discharge is or how it's used...
      • reply
        by Well, you can be.. on Mar 8, 2012 at 03:45 PM in reply to jazzcat
        dishonorably discharged for not meeting standards (but it doesn't happen often) wtf are you talking about jazzcat?
  • by RICO Location: Springs on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:02 PM
    Back in the mid-90s in the Army (during the drawdown) all of the troops knew of an Army program for early release they came to refer to as "eating your way to freedom". > Pt Test, you're overweight > counseled by Cdr to lose the extra weight within 6 months or be removed from the Army > begin eating everything in sight > at 6 months, you weigh more than you did the first time > removed from the Army...with separation pay! Some Soldiers may be dumb, but they're not stupid. The Army was/is for enacting policies that encourage this type of behavior. Hopefully, the Army will be smarter when they begin the current personnel drawdown, and simply get rid of the "excess baggage", without paying for the privilege.
    • reply
      by Ed on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM in reply to RICO
      Eating your way to freedom? Wow! They use that freedom word for everything don't they?
    • reply
      by Randy on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:11 PM in reply to RICO
      Your right Rico and I'll bet that this is the beginning of the draw-down to get rid of the excess weight in the service. They should be the first to go since we are interested in a healthy fit military. 1SG retired!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2012 at 09:38 AM
    Gotta agree. I admit I eat out at our local fast food places a lot. BUT, I don't wear a uniform nor am I expected to be in top physical shape for the demands of military requirements. I see a lot of hefty military folks IN UNIFORM in the fast food joints at lunch time around here. Not hatin' Jusy sayin'.
  • by Bill Location: Colorado Springs on Mar 8, 2012 at 09:36 AM
    Obesity is not socially acceptable & fat people continue to face stigma at home, in the workplace, & in medical institutions. That being said, there are way too many fat people in the military. The Army doesn't help with the sort of food options available to the troops.. Try finding a healthy, low-fat meal during your lunch break at Carson.. easier said than done!
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