Another blow to the nation’s obese as a recent report compiled by former Pentagon military chiefs calls the nation’s obesity epidemic a “threat to national security.”
This report comes just weeks after New York City passed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large sized sodas in certain establishments throughout the city in order to help reduce obesity rates. A follow up to a report in 2010 entitled “Too Fat to Fight,” this latest report, named “Still Too Fat to Fight,” claims that the nation’s obese youth still weigh too much to join the military, and it’s not getting much better. Obesity rates among boys between ages 12 to 19 are still rising.
According to the report, which was compiled by more than 300 retired generals and admirals, more than 25 percent of Americans ages 17 to 24—about 26 million Americans—are overweight or obese, and would not be accepted by any of the country’s armed forces. The report states: “While there has been a near doubling of obesity rates worldwide since 1980, no other major country’s military forces face the challenges of weight gain confronting America’s armed forces.”
The report claims that 40 percent of students who purchase junk food from vending machines in schools or low-quality cafeteria food are consuming as much as 10 percent of their calories from “junk” food, which is a large contributor to the nation’s obesity epidemic.
Being overweight or obese puts youth at risk for other serious health problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
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