Obesity Augurs Risk to National Security
Fully, 31% of our youth in the United States are disqualified from military service due to obesity, and the epidemic is now “posing a threat to our nation’s security as well,” says the law enforcement nonprofit Council for Strong America’s “Mission: Readiness” project.
“Obesity has long threatened our nation’s health,” a report by the council reads. “As the epidemic grows, obesity is posing a threat to our nation’s security as well. These ineligibility rates are a major reason why the Army was not on track to meet its annual recruitment goals as of September 2018.”
Obesity is one of the largest medical disqualifiers in the military, and the report found 71% of youth between the ages of 17 and 24 would not meet the military’s core eligibility requirements.
One Key reason: people who are overweight are more susceptible to injuries, per a study conducted by The Citadel, says the report. Also, obesity and related issues incur considerable financial costs.
“Each year, the Department of Defense spends $1.5-B on healthcare related to obesity for active duty and former service members and their families,” per the report.
“Musculoskeletal injuries among Army soldiers cause half of all disabilities, resulting in $125-M in compensation each year. Additionally, active duty service members miss over 650,000 work days annually due to obesity-related issues, placing added strain on a force that is already stretched thin.”
Commentary: We need solutions, and there is no federal laws or pills that can change this. It is going to take everything from more recess and gym classes in schools to enabling a culture of cooking real, healthful food at home, better food consumer education and many other changes to modern life.
Americans must recognize how truly unwell the 40%of adults and 20% of children ages 6 to 19 who are obese are. And then they must understand that countless political, economic and sociocultural factors like the interests of big-food corporations and our dependence on processed and junk food will need to be upended in order to restore a bare minimum of health to vast numbers of Americans.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively