DIET: National security threat
August 05, 2020 • 1 min read
-- Obesity torpedoes military recruiting
Forget about the Taliban – the real threat to US security is much closer to home, coming to you via Uber Eats.
US military leaders are fretting about the country’s pool of potential army recruits, with 71% people between the ages of 17 and 24 failing to qualify for military service – because they’re obese, mostly.
The situation is yet another symptom of the country’s love affair with processed and other junk foods, a nutritional pickle that kills more than half a million Americans each year, the Federal Nutrition Research Advisory Group says.
The group also claims that diet-related illnesses are harming the readiness of the US military and budgets of the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
About 46% of adults in the country have an overall poor-quality diet, a number that rises to 56% for children. Meanwhile, US healthcare spending has nearly tripled from 1979 to 2018 – from 6.9% to 17.7% of the gross domestic product.
This observer wondered if the military could relax its recruitment standards, arguing that a good dose of basic training and military discipline would bang new recruits into shape quick smart.
Apparently not. A new Defense Department study found that 22% of servicemen in the Navy now qualify as obese. The study also found striking rises in obesity rates in the other armed services, even though the Pentagon has rolled out one strategy after another in recent years to try to keep the troops trim.
On this front, the US Navy has eliminated fried food and sugary drinks on its ships and is keeping base gyms and fitness centres open all night.
But its sailors keep getting fatter.