75%!?

I’m skimming through a recently released report titled ‘Too Fat to Fight‘ from an organization called Mission Readiness which is calling for revamping our school lunch programs to provide more healthy foods designed to increase child health instead of the current system which is designed to act as a huge government subsidy to the processed food industry.  The argument is that our current food trough system is making so many obese young adults that we can actually foresee a day when the problem will have real national security implications.

This was a pretty shocking paragraph:

When weight problems are combined with educational deficits, criminal records, and other disqualifiers such as asthma or drug abuse, 75 percent of Americans 17 to 24 years old are unable to join the military for one or more reasons.17 The military will need to have more fit young men and women if it is going to find enough recruits with the excellent qualifications needed for a modern military.

Perhaps an important reason by Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is doomed.

And how about this?

Every year, the military discharges over 1,200 first-term enlistees before their contracts are up because of weight problems;

That’s not crusty old chairborne rangers who’ve gotten chubby from too many years in hand to hand combat with the jelly donuts.  That first enlistment soldiers which means they’re primarily in the 18-24 age cohort and when they should be in great physical shape.  What’s it saying that after a couple of months of basic training these enlistees can so easily fall back to being so overweight they have to be discharged?  Insufficiently rigorous physical training?  Unhealthy meals in the mess halls?  Years of bad habits?

Absolutely shocking.

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