Obesity Threatens National Security
February 23, 2010
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Childhood obesity has become so serious in this country that military leaders are viewing the epidemic as a potential threat to our national security.
Obesity, it turns out, is the number 1 reason why applicants fail to qualify for military service, and it is posing serious health problems within the services.
Today, otherwise excellent recruit prospects, with generations of military service in their family history, are being turned away because they are just too heavy.
A recent report by Mission: Readiness, an organization made up of retired admirals and generals, found that an alarming 75 percent of all young people aged 17 to 24 are unable to join the military.
Many young adults do not qualify because they failed to finish high school or have criminal records, but the No. 1 reason, our report found, is obesity.
In the past 30 years, child obesity rates have more than tripled. One in three children, 10 to 17, is overweight or obese, and 27 percent of young adults, 17 to 24, are too heavy to join the military. Every month hundreds of potential recruits fail the physical entrance exam because they are too overweight.