Americans Are Becoming Too Fat to Serve in the Army

Redheart

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Who'd have guessed that the biggest threat to America's security might not be nukes?

U.S. Army Says Obesity Could Become National Security Issue : People.com

The biggest threat to America's national security may not be nuclear weapons or terrorist organizations, but its citizens' unhealthy diets.

"Just under three in 10 young people [ages] 17 to 24 can join the Army today – and the other armed services for that matter – and the single biggest disqualifier is obesity," Major General Allen Batschelet of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command told CNN. "Ten percent of them are obese and unfit to the point that they can't join the service. It's really very worrisome."

Currently, more than one third of adults in the U.S. are obese, according to the Journal of American Medicine, and studies show that obesity rates are increasing.

"The obesity issue is one of the most troubling because the trend is going in the wrong direction," says Batschelet. "Ten percent are disqualified today, and we think by 2020 it could be as high as 50 percent, which would mean only two in 10 would qualify to join the Army."

According to the major general, this could pose a real risk to the country's ability to defend itself.

"I don't know that it's fair to call it a crisis just yet, but I think it's quickly approaching one," he says. "It really becomes a nation security issue."
 

starshine

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To be fair though, the standards for Class 1 Obesity are a bit... less fat than I would have at first expected. I mean, check this out, people: International Journal of Obesity - Figure 2 for article: BMI-based body size guides for women and men: development and validation of a novel pictorial method to assess weight-related concepts

That said, yup, unhealthy and fat would not be false when it comes to describing a lot of the US population (though not just US). It'd be... interesting if army and war would be the reason people would get back into fitness.
 

kana_marie

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The idea of what counts as "obese" has always been messed up. I was 13 lbs over my ideal weight for my height. At that time I looked like I was sickly and dying. If I had lost that 13 lbs I don't even wanna know how bad I would've looked.

That being said, I'm not surprised a lot Americans are too out of shape to join. Our entire society caters to laziness. Not just technology that keeps us from having to get from the couch to do anything, but you're barely allowed to even let your kids run outside and play. If your kids scrapes their knee child services is being called in to "evaluate".
 

vegito12

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I think it could be due to unhealthy food is more cheaper to buy than the fresh vegies and the things we really need to eat in the body and also we have more stress as well in these days. I reckon that, some people go for what is easy to get and usually it is the food which is not that good for us and hope it changes. I think changes in diet need to happen otherwisse we will have very few people in the army and this will cause problems.
 

pcgamer

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Americans don't like to eat healthy foods. They are taught to live on pizzas and burgers since they are born. It's no wonder that Americans are second most obese people on the earth.
 

kana_marie

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I think it could be due to unhealthy food is more cheaper to buy than the fresh vegies and the things we really need to eat in the body and also we have more stress as well in these days. I reckon that, some people go for what is easy to get and usually it is the food which is not that good for us and hope it changes. I think changes in diet need to happen otherwisse we will have very few people in the army and this will cause problems.
Absolutely! When I go grocery shopping the only fresh vegetables I can afford are tomatoes, potatoes,'and lettuce. Other than that splurge, I can't afford anything else that's fresh. Definitely not any fruit. I don't think a lot of people take this into consideration when trying to solve the obesity issue. I get fresh fruits and such at the farmers market when they're in season. That's it for me.
 

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Majority of our foods have genetically modified properties in them. Most are from corn. These unnatural foods are creating havoc to the human body and creating obesity and other health ailments. That is the reason for the obesity problem in America.
 
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The way I see it: if you are not fit enough to pass the very low physical standards of the US army, then you probably wouldn't be any use for them either. At least not to any of the combat units where passing the minimum is simply far from being good enough.

The ones who want in will figure out a way to get themselves into shape. It's as simple as that.
 

missbishi

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So basically, the percentage of the population who would be eligible to join the Army is decreasing, due to obesity. It stands to reason that there will be fewer applicants in the future, as this pool decreases.

This does present some problems with regards to numbers but what's the solution? Whilst it's true that there will always be those who decide to get fit in order to enlist but I'm sure the majority will think "I'm too fat, why bother?". Efforts to re-educate the public seem to have little effect considering that obesity rates are rising.
 

kana_marie

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So basically, the percentage of the population who would be eligible to join the Army is decreasing, due to obesity. It stands to reason that there will be fewer applicants in the future, as this pool decreases.

This does present some problems with regards to numbers but what's the solution? Whilst it's true that there will always be those who decide to get fit in order to enlist but I'm sure the majority will think "I'm too fat, why bother?". Efforts to re-educate the public seem to have little effect considering that obesity rates are rising.
Educating them isn't the issue over here. It's making them care that's the issue. One more hour playing the x-box won't hurt anything, or I'll do something tomorrow when candy crush isn't calling my name.
 

joshposh

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Educating them isn't the issue over here. It's making them care that's the issue. One more hour playing the x-box won't hurt anything, or I'll do something tomorrow when candy crush isn't calling my name.
Yup, too many distractions and the absence of any care in the world. The information is out there, but society is reactive and not proactive. They'd rather wait around and wait form something cataclysmic to happen and then jump out of the couches and bitch about it.
 

kana_marie

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Yup, too many distractions and the absence of any care in the world. The information is out there, but society is reactive and not proactive. They'd rather wait around and wait form something cataclysmic to happen and then jump out of the couches and bitch about it.
Yup, the warning signs could be smacking them in the face. They could be watching it happen right before their eyes, and in the end they pretend they didnt know what was coming, just to turn around and blame Obama.
 

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This is not to degrade overweight people but for health considerations, it's best to reduce your weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle. All the more reason to reduce weight if you're joining or serving the military. The job of a soldier requires an agile body. If you put on weight, it'll be difficult to perform physically demanding tasks.
 

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