Military leaders: We're still too fat to fight
One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military, a group of retired military leaders says.
September 25th, 2012
09:02 AM ET

Military leaders: We're still too fat to fight

Childhood obesity isn't just a health issue, according to a group of retired military leaders. It's also a national security issue.

One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military, a new report from the advocacy group Mission: Readiness says. And the U.S. Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion each year on medical care related to obesity issues for active duty members, their dependents and veterans.

"No other major country's military forces face the challenges of weight gain confronting America's armed forces," according to the report.

"At the end of the day, the reason America is safe and sound is not because of its tanks," adds retired Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, spokesman for Mission: Readiness. "It’s really the men and women who volunteer and so proudly serve."

Kids on average consume 130 "empty" calories a day from candy, cookies and chips, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mission: Readiness has been working to get rid of junk food in schools since 2010, when it supported the passing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The act requires the USDA to update nutrition standards in schools.

Mission: Readiness believes having healthier food in the cafeteria and in vending machines will help slow - or even reverse - rising childhood obesity rates. And healthy children are more likely to grow up to be healthy adults who can serve their country.

"We’re not picking on the schools," Seip says. "The schools are part of the solution. We like to think that this obesity problem... is one that’s going to require all of America to tackle."

soundoff (679 Responses)
  1. jj

    Heck...just make basic training longer for those who are heavy. Instead of 9 weeks....it's 16...or until a reasonable fitness goal is met.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BooseyBoo

      Aw, heck! Schools and parents should be feeding children better. I do not think it is government's job to feed the children while in school but since the program is there the food should be nutritous.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • Joe Pilot


      Why should the DOD have to spend additional money on a longer basic training program, when the solution should be tackled earlier on in life?

      September 25, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • OTIS

      Spoken like a true non-veteran.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
    • Heywood Jablome

      JJ, Great idea! And when the stupidity factor catches up obesity we can make high school six years long and college eight years. Of course we'll need to provide insulin pumps along with your combat boots but hey, no one wants to infringe on the free markets ability to sell soda and cheetohs on school grounds...I mean it's a free country right? Right up to the point we're too fat to protect it.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
    • armyvet

      The Army already makes basic training longer for soldiers who are overweight or out of shape. The soldiers who can not meet the basic fitness standards to begin basic training get sent to a specialized unit that gets them into shape before they go "down range" to start basic.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      We might begin by making 30 minutes of Physical Education mandatory daily in schools k-12. Maybe aerobics. most schools have eliminated it entirely

      September 25, 2012 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      The Government can blame itself. The food was changed in the USA, UK and Australia 30 years ago when dangerous food chemicals from the USA was allowed into Europe. The food today causes stubborn insulin If you have stubborn insulin you hold fat and have a hard time losing weight. You can eat very little and the weight still does not come off. Stubborn insulin will hold fat and diets won’t work. When researchers used a specialized diabetes diet on overweight people all lost weight even those who did not have diabetes.

      just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

      September 25, 2012 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
    • cja

      (1) The people are being paid while in training. making it longer means it cost more. Plus at the end you get that many less weeks of service. So your cost per monthof service goes up
      (2) they will simply gain back whatever they loose so it reallyis even worse then #1 above
      (3) All is not lost because the US military is double the size it needs to be

      September 25, 2012 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
    • trago

      Why don't you join?

      September 25, 2012 at 16:43 | Report abuse |
    • SYSSMouse

      How about conscription?

      September 25, 2012 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
    • hoss

      Why would anyone want to join this counries army?....USA fails its vets, it puts them in traumatizing situations, then when they snap due to the stress of war the traumatize them some more.....lets face it, if we was not trying to be the world's police we probably wouldn't even need an offensive or most likey a defnsive army....truth is the poor fill thier armies and then they get called "moochers" "baby killers" and many other thing both by the populous and by the government....this country claims it fights for freedom and equality when the very fabric of this socialist society is all about classes and inequality, the tax system and min wage system GUARANTEES the poor never get out of debt because the yearly taxes by far surpass the minimum wage increases...the rich get richer and the poor get poorer...maybe its better that we are to fat to fight..as all the things our forefathers fought for are now non-existent...Freedom of Speech?...only if it doesn't offend immigrants and sinners...ladies and gentlemen our country is failing because the rich are greedy and the poor see no reason to be patriotic...instead of raising an army, how about we raise our poor out of debt and give them a fair chance at the American dream...how about we do away with discriminatory hiring and and overtaxing the poor, you want an army put your own kids in it....

      September 25, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse |
    • rk2380

      Also overweight Soldier tend to get injured faster and longer than heathier onces. So for these Soldier Basic training is longer, they have to stay until they either recover or are kicked out of the military. While they wait in Holding to recover they are being paid tax payer money to sit on there A$$ and get even fatter. ( I am talking about Over weight Soldier or are injured)

      September 25, 2012 at 18:24 | Report abuse |
  2. some guy

    If Only Moms went to the kitchen and cooked a meal for the kids rather than sitting in front of the TV ordering Pizza for every one. Olden days women used to talk less and provide for kids more, hence kids were better behaved and healthy.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BooseyBoo

      If men would get an education or a skill that provided for the family adequately maybe women wouldn't have to work. Better yet, become a Mr. Mom...many men are doing it and are fantastic.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • Some Gal

      Some Guy – Why on Earth are you trying to blame women/mothers for this one? You're ridiculous – "talk less and cook more". How about the entire family should go out and play football, baseball, bike ride, etc. together. That's a classier answer than blaming the all mothers out there for not being old fashioned and probably working for a living, providing for the family, just like the fathers. Come into this century will you...you sound like a barbarian. I hope you're not married...I pitty your wife who probably does everything with zero support and respect.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
    • baileybuster

      OMG...blame the moms...always to blame. Idiot.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
    • old man

      You sound just like me, a man of the 90's, unfortunately it is the 1890's

      September 25, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • mm1970

      Last time I looked, my stove doesn't have a knob that says "women only!"

      September 25, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • Balls McGhee

      my mom worked full time and didnt cook. i was taught to hustle and workout. i completed the ironman triathlon and am in great shape in my mid-30's. blame who you want based on your BS reasoning, but it all comes down to work ethic. Michelle Obama is doing a great thing right now with healthier meals and exercise. more of that is needed.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      iif only the middle class could survive on a single income Mom could stay home and cook....

      September 25, 2012 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • lol

      My mom worked full time, took us to practice, helped us with our homework and still managed to cook and clean the house. I still don't know how she did it. I call her super mom. Men need to stop being so lazy and help out! It won't hurt you to cook a meal or wash a dish. Stop putting it all on the women!

      September 25, 2012 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
    • Sama

      That sound like you. Why don't you stop ordering pizza and sitting in front of tv. You don't do anything else.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
    • Jon de voue

      I think this "some guy" is an Indian from Hyderabad. As only they would say such a thing

      September 25, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
  3. txtriathlete1967

    How about stop serving fast food crap in the Dining Facilities on our military post and bases? Soldiers are eating ridiculous amounts of calories in garrison and not doing anything to burn off those calories. Start serving only healthy foods and limit the fast foods will go a long way in helping battle this problem.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kevin

      The story is about kids, not soldiers. Try reading it.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
    • oldpatriot

      How about recognizing that the article is about kids and also recognizing that the military only cares about the fitness of your children to fight and die in their wars. Your children are seen as nothing but cannon fodder!

      September 25, 2012 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • A Soldier

      oldpatriot, just shut up with your anti military rants. Please. Not everyone is freaking cannon fodder. I'm an Air Traffic Controller and I joined for college money so when I get out in 2 months and begin college in January, my entire college education is free and also my housing (an $1800 apartment in San Diego) will also be free for 4 years. Don't tell me the military is a bad thing.
      As for triathlete1967, the issue is with civilians, not Soldiers. We are highly active so we can eat what we want. We burn the calories off.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
    • A dedicated Soldier

      Your right on that aspect, but they already do that. It is mandatory that calorie charts for each food be posted on the serving line, but it is up to each Soldier to pick what he or she wants to eat. As far as exercising goes, a Soldier may do PT all he wants on his or her own, until they fail the PT test, then it is up to the command to mandate remedial PT for that Soldier. If a Soldier fails to meet the required height and weight standard, then the are put on an overweight program, then they have no choice but to lose the weight. But being in the military as long as I have alot of the commands look the other way and that is why we have the problem we have today, because alot of commands aren't keeping with in the regulations and standards

      September 25, 2012 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • Scotchguard

      "And the U.S. Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion each year on medical care related to obesity issues for active duty members, their dependents and veterans" For those of you who can't read, the article IS ALSO about obesity within the military. And the suggestion to stop serving junk food on military bases is valid.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:31 | Report abuse |
  4. Paul

    Coke, Pepsi, Mnt Dew, super size, McDucks, Wendys, B King, fast food convenience, coco puffs & fruit loops and we wonder why we have an obesity problem. No Home Economics or nutrition classes in school. Duh? Unfortunately, America has allowed consumer freedom and the almighty corporate buck to take over out lives and no one in the food chain will fess up. It seems no one drinks water anymore. Instead it must be some fruity concoction, power aid, carbo delight or it's not good for you. Our demise is our own fault and like Rome of older days we will fall because we no longer want to accept responsibility for ourselves or demand better from corporate America or our Politicians. Not to worry though–we shall soon have a new Caesar ruling our country. He will be called Diabetes and he will be unmerciful.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      You are spot on. I dont see hardly anyone drinking water anymore. I always laugh when I hear coworkers complain of soreness, headaches, and fatigue at work. I jokingly ask the last time they drank water... its really sad and pathetic...

      September 25, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • BucketDrop

      Agreed. It seems nutrition is much more important than PT. I'm just guessing here, but I would bet it takes a full 5 to 10 mile jog just to equal the calories in one fast food meal. That would keep a civ busy for between 1 to 3 hours (or more) depending upon how good of shape they were in. PT isn't the answer. Smart eating is.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Adams

      Great comment Paul. However, I do believe it's more of the individual's fault for not educationing themselves and loved ones. There will always be the greedy corporations and politicians who do not care for their countrymen but how can we put all the blame on them. We, the American people, need to wake up and take care of ourselves.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:40 | Report abuse |
    • JoeSeattle

      Ah, fascism. Of course no one could figure out what foods are healthy or not without a state-funded school curriculum. But without it, parents might end up bearing the responsibility of teaching their kids how to live. The horror!

      September 25, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse |

      Nonsense! I drink something over 2L a day. Sometimes 3.

      September 26, 2012 at 05:59 | Report abuse |
  5. bobby2478

    The military leaders have a point, I never thought about how it would drop the pool of people who would even be eligible to serve in the military.

    It's easier to start kids off on the healthy path by establishing good eating habits from a young age, then trying to fix the problems later in life. Losing weight doesn't mean much if you go right back to where you started once you stop exercising.

    So I like their approach and mindset: it's a big problem that all of america needs to work together to solve. And what better place to start then by working to establish healthy options in schools.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jay8511

    Just send them to Marine Corps boot camp, 13 weeks of fun at Parris Island SC or San Deigo CA.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • seriously67

      Marine Boot Camp????? The article reads "Military Leaders...." Last time I checked that means Marines too!!!

      September 25, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Between the numbers for a drop

      Seriously67 seems to have completely missed the point.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • devildog85

      Oooo-Rah, dam straight!

      September 25, 2012 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  7. batteryinme

    Well, if the military says get rid of 100 oz. sodas, and junk food......now real red blooded Americans can get on the band wagon, and not just the socialists. DUH.....we are an overfed fast food gobbling nation who really thinks mowing the yard on a riding mower is a workout.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jay8511

    Place them on a MRE diet, they will loose weight regardless.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • seriously67

      Jay8511.....Have you ever looked it up on how many calories are in an MRE??????? Put them on MRE's and they will seriously gain weight. Oh....and your other comment about Marine boot camp.....Seems like the article is about the Military in general.....that includes the Marines!!!!!

      September 25, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • A Soldier

      The thing about MREs is you should live off of 1 per day. If you try eating 3 a day, then of course you will gain weight.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • someguy1234

      #seriously67, an MRE has roughly 2000-3000 calories. The intent from jay8511's post is that they suck and are designed to slow down intestinal movement. Article is about the depleting level of responsibility people are willing to to except in the health and well being of their children and not about the military. Regardless Marine Bootcamp is fairly difficult to pass physically, roughly 18% of kids drop or are recycled because they cant pass the physical rigors required to be Marines. Furthermore, each recruit has been screened physically prior to their arrival. We spend money on taking out cookies from vending machines, but nothing about teaching kids or parents healthy living or financing schools for a rigorous PE program.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:04 | Report abuse |
    • seriously67

      The problem is.....you give them just MRE's....they will eat more than one a day which will defeat the purpose! Now they are consuming enough calories for days in just one day! Just because they eat one MRE doesn't mean they won't feel hungry later.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:23 | Report abuse |
  9. oldpatriot

    This is great news, fewer citizens be called up for the wall street meat grinder is a great thing.

    Wars are started by kings and presidents but always fought by the poor man. Advice to all young men, get to fat, stay out of shape and never ever join the military! Let the drones fight the wars from now on!

    September 25, 2012 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply

      THAT, doesn't seem patriotic to me.

      September 26, 2012 at 06:02 | Report abuse |
  10. greg

    and yet it's conservatives that resist efforts to improve America's diet and it's red states that are by far the most over weight. i guess conservatives are all for the country as long as they don't have to take any personal responsibility-which explains how they can support tax cuts at a time when the country goes to war.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • slupdawg

      Absolutely true. the same loudmouths bloviating about socialism and the nanny state "tellin' 'em what to do," are those that have apparently zero self-control and can't help but pork out on sweet tea and deep-fried junk food more suited to carnival fare than any sensible diet. Just goes to show you can give people complete freedom but that doesn't save them from being idiots and making wrongheaded choices, all the while being smug and jingoistic about it all at the same time. Nothing like a brainwashed wingnut rightie kid that's too fat to even serve his own country. Pathetic.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:18 | Report abuse |
  11. derp

    They are too dumb to fight too.

    Welcome to tea party nation.

    "Don't tell us what to eat, education makes you an elitist, everything you need to know is in the bible"

    We are witnessing the unraveling of a once great nation.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. steve miller

    I was a 21 year guy in the Army and I was always fighting the Army Regulation 600-9, the weight control problem. If you are a big guy over the weight tables for a certain height; if you are under the Body Fat chart ie, 20, 22, 24 percent etc, then you can stay in the Military, as long as you are still under every 6 months when you weigh in at your semi annual weigh in when you take your semi annual physical fitness test. It used to be a statement from the Doctor, then it went to a Caliper Test, then the Tape Test, now I DO NOT know what they do, but I do notice a lot less over weight people who serve. The best solution for a over weight Military is a tour in a remote place and they have less to eat. Thanks For the opportunity to comment.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ben

    Make boot camp harder if you have to and leave the rest of us alone, gentlemen. Our armed forces are all-volunteer. Those of us who didn't volunteer don't need to be harassed about our perceived unsuitability for purposes to which we don't choose to be put in the first place.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A Soldier

      No one is being harassed. It is simply a statement that many of our youth are fat slobs that couldn't even choose to serve in the military if they wanted to. Personally, that is fine with me. Most of the country couldn't hack it anyway.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • zed

      spoken like a true fatty

      September 25, 2012 at 16:23 | Report abuse |
    • Zwei Stein

      You also take up an inordinate amount of the medical profession's time, thereby increasing the insurance rates which affects all of us.

      September 25, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Oh, that hoary old chestnut again. Would you like to trot out any other fake statistics while you're at it? Maybe the ones about how smokers aren't REALLY poisoning themselves and everyone downwind, or the ones about how not taxing rich people leads to more jobs for poor people.

      September 25, 2012 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • Zwei Stein

      I'd be ashamed to publicly state that everyone else can do the dirty/dangerous work for me. It should be shared by all who enjoy the benefits of being citizens of our great nation.

      September 25, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      The benefits and liabilities of being a United States citizen seem pretty evenly balanced right now WITHOUT adding a requirement that everyone spend some time getting shot at for a living, thanks very much.

      September 25, 2012 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
  14. Captain

    No need to be fighiting any wars - they have been bogus, based on lies, for buddies profits.
    Check out youtube - CIA Asset Susan Lindauer Can Now Speak 10 years after 9-11.
    Yeah, the Bush WH gang did it. Israel connected through Silverstein. Most of Congress knew.
    Grrrrrrrrr! Time for their arrest to begin

    September 25, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • old man

      I can see your spit bubbles on my HD screen, well done

      September 25, 2012 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
    • Thejmack

      Your an idiot.. She was never with the CIA she is a registered idiot and mentally unstable

      September 25, 2012 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
  15. joeshmoe

    the funny thing is that the economy sucks so bad that the only food people can afford is the cheap food that is not good for you. Went to the local grocery store today and a 1lb salad costs 11 dollars when you can get a microwave pizza for a dollar that is where this is stemming from

    September 25, 2012 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MomOf3

      Sounds like you're shopping at the salad bar instead of the produce section. Try a bag of Dole salad mix, most of them cost under $3.00...

      September 25, 2012 at 16:57 | Report abuse |
    • Zwei Stein

      A 1 lb salad for $11? Where the hell do you shop?

      September 25, 2012 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
  16. zandhcats

    Same are the police. Half of them is fat, their big belly is stuck in between the car seat and the steering wheel.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      I'll help you with your English. "Same WITH the police" Half of them ARE fat

      September 25, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
  17. Randy

    I remember when they use to kick guys out for being overweight. Why aren't they continuing with that policy?

    September 25, 2012 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Always remember

      The military is pretty much a jobs program for the otherwise unemployable. That's why you joined in the first place, wasn't it?

      September 25, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
    • A Soldier

      I'm puzzled by your post. I honestly don't think you read the article with that sort of post you just made. It isn't saying the military is overweight. It's saying the country is overwight. Most people who are overwight have already been kicked out at this point. The military is downsizing so the enlistment/retention standards have skyrocketed and the undesirables can be let go more easily. The article is criticizing the civilian American population because the youth in this country are fat slobs.

      September 25, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
  18. Texas Crazyman

    Same standards should be used for American Law Enforcement Officials. I have never seen so many Fat Boys in all my life in Law Enforcement. Police and Sheriff Officials need to cut some slack on the Donut Factories. I would love to see one of these Fat Boys have to run after a criminal during an offense in order to subdue him, I bet its heart attack city. I don't know I guess their bullets can do the running for them at 1500fps fast!!!!!! Works here in Texas.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Jim

    Heh, oh man kids consume on average 130 empty calories a day? Really? That's like 1 and a half Oreos

    September 25, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • stevec

      What!!! 1.5 Oreos is only 130 cals. "Houston, we have a problem!"

      September 25, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • Jmacq1

      That number does sound low, but it's also misleading. That's 130 empty calories on average, but God knows how many calories overall. Bottom line is if you take in more calories than you burn, you get fat, and Americans have become absolutely horrible at portion control.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
  20. Always remember

    This happened on Obama's watch. Always remember that.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jmacq1

      You're trolling right? Nobody can be that stupid otherwise.

      But just in case you are, in fact, that stupid (or maybe just ignorant) obesity rates have been going up for decades, not just "on Obama's watch."

      It's really quite irrelevant, because even if 1 in 4 young people are overweight, far, far LESS than 1 in 4 young people join the military. The military WISHES 1 in 4 were joining, but in reality it's not even close.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • Sama

      No this happened on your watch gal. Now you go exercise and stop eating

      September 25, 2012 at 16:46 | Report abuse |
  21. stevec

    Those BDUs don't make you look any slimmer either.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RodRoderick

    I don't know what the big deal is, the Government is already going out of it's way to disarm the American people and make us ripe for a UN takeover. I'd think they'd be giving out free double-meat burgers, fries, and shakes with that free government cheese, just to make sure we don't resist.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zwei Stein

      "...a UN takeover."

      You are seriously disturbed!

      September 25, 2012 at 15:54 | Report abuse |
    • Tex71

      Yes, the UN has taken over so many countries. The evil empire UN, with its Children's Bill of Rights, World Health Organization, and all those other evil, evil socialist programs. They must be trying to take over the world by being nice to people.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:35 | Report abuse |
    • Jmacq1

      Not to mention the UN that has no standing military force to accomplish said takeover with.

      September 25, 2012 at 17:15 | Report abuse |
  23. costofhealthcare

    Problem is that hardly anybody wants this. It has been tried and what happens is that kids just don't eat the good food and it gets thrown away. They bring bad stuff from home. The problem is our country is too rich and free. We eat and do whatever we want to do. People do not naturally do what is good for them. We have gone too far in that direction and I don't think it can be fixed. You might be able to fix it by crushing the food industry but nobody is going to do that. A democratic society fall apart just like all other at some point. We are at the point now where our leaders refuse to do anything that helps the country because they will lose votes. We will self destruct as long as we are free to do whatever we want and the morons run the country. Most people are morons even a lot of smart people including myself do things that are against our own good because we feel good for the moment. Our leaders will not do what is best for us as long as they are worried about getting reelected.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Darwin

      I say, let the fat turds eat all they want. Just refuse them assistance and give them a good old shunning from society.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
  24. Roger that

    I believe the child nutrition act of (1946?) was enacted in response tp problems of diseases found in potential recruits related to malnutrition. So many kids couldn't serve that congrees has to take action. All along the school lunch program has been part of the solution. My healthy kids eat school lunch every day, that makes about 180 lunches in a year. Compared to the 700+ dinners and breakfasts, as well as snacks, it's small potatoes. Better to watch what they're eating at home and leave the lunch ladies alone.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • seesaw

      Right. I hear the debate about GI's but the brass is telling us it's the recruits that are too overweight to serve. So the problem, while affecting the ranks as well, is related to childhood obesity. My kids eat lunch at school too, sometimes two lunches, but stay active. Sports in every season and put limits (one hour per day) on the computer and only watch TV when everything else is done.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
  25. Bill

    This article sounds interesting, but hang on a minute, my tacos are ready.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sama

      No Carol Anne, go jogging, you not eat no more.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
  26. Been there, done that

    "One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military..." That wasn't an issue when 'Nam was in the picture. Eight weeks of Basic Combat Training does wonders for a bulging waistline.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gawd Bless 'Mare-ca

      It wasn't an issue because Mare-cans weren't perpetually stuffing their gaping maws with huge portions of processed crap back then.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
  27. Woody

    It might help if we were not such a car based society as we have to drive to everything if you live in the suburbs . In the old days most things were within walking distance when I was a kid . Thanks to our great planners today most neighborhoods don't even come with sidewalks . In America everything at fast food places are seasoned to taste good and people pay little attention to what they are eating . Its not like we are mammals or anything . We are taught we are super beings and don't have to worry about anything . Because Jesus will fix it all ! The reality is the American has been lied to about reality way too long . But no one really cares as long as the money is flowing .

    September 25, 2012 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

    It was not that long ago when I was taught (by MY mother) to plan menus for a week (sometimes two) at a time and shop accordingly for a family of at least five people (mom, dad with three children). This had to include protein, veggies and fruit! Few to any processed foods were allowed and this was all BEFORE I GOT MARRIED! I had to include the use of leftovers at least three to four nights and had to manage this on a budget. That is also what was taught in home ec (back in the day). So I don't know when the ball was dropped but this way of thinking is GONE! Do you know anyone who plans family menus anymore? My kids took a 'family life' course which did teach cooking basics and now I understand the local high school has a class (mandatory for all kids) called 'personal finance'. Well, that's a start!

    September 25, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Deb Ed

    I have a friend who has an overweight 9 year old son. Says she can't figure out why he is obese. I told her I can. Her kitchen is full of chips, dips, cookies, candy, ice cream, and sodas. And rather than fix him a good breakfast/lunch/dinner, she goes to buy fast food, hence too lazy to cook. She lets him decide what he wants to eat and none of it is good for him. No exercise. It's either video games, computer or TV.

    September 25, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. puppypumper

    Basic training or boot camp... bring it back to getting these recruits in shape NOT a place to coddle them. Joining the military for most today is nothing more than a paid 4 year trip to see the world after high school. Sensitivity training at it's finest. Screw that! Join the ARMY and meet new people then kill them!

    September 25, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Steve

    I think the food industry are proud eugenics. Not ALL of us are fat. Just the simple minded fools who cant control themselves or take care of themselves. Let the fatties kill themselves willingly...

    September 25, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gawd Bless 'Mare-ca

      Isn't that what they're trying to do by joining the military?

      September 25, 2012 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Only some join the military. It only culls so many. Junk food on the other hand is consumed by a very large percentage of the population across all demographics... It seems to be very effective.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • Jmacq1

      It's effective because it's cheap. Eating healthy is far more expensive and inconvenient than eating junk, even if you manage to practice good portion control, and plenty of overweight folks are just as hard-working as anyone else when it comes to their jobs or taking care of their families. After 8-12 hours of work, the last thing most people want to do is sweat for an hour.

      It's a self-defeating circle: Most sit-down restaurants serve meals that give you enough calories for an entire day if not a few days, because if you give the patrons sensibly-sized portions, the Americans feel like they're getting "ripped off." Who do you blame in this situation, the restaurant or the customers?

      But I guess since being a paragon of physical fitness and healthy eating comes so naturally to you, you just wouldn't understand such things.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
  32. Steve

    Anyone remember eugenics? Seems to be a long forgotten word...

    September 25, 2012 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jmacq1

      Long forgotten for very good reasons. It was junk science on its' best days, and used to justify atrocities on its' worst.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
  33. Sodomite

    Too damn fat to even be any use as cannon fodder. Priceless.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sama

      You can't even pick up a tv remote, so you not say nothing.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:54 | Report abuse |
  34. Joe

    Fat?? Really?? What a shock ! Being lazy is a part of life now, more than ever!. I did serve and the newer generation entering is exactly as I described and shouldn't be completely blamed.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Ben Franklin

    It would seem the choice would be stay chunky and stay home, or be thin and get killed, either way the portly fellow gets the girl

    September 25, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Respect

    Fat people are to be used as a means to profit. Sell the fat ones diet pills, and then after they lose self control, which they always do, fatten them back up with a greasy meal.

    If you have no self control with your body, you do not deserve to keep your money. I'll sell you the cause, and sell you the cure.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Jmacq1

    Far less than 1 in 4 "young Americans" join the military anyway. I fail to see the problem from a military perspective.

    From a national health perspective, it's quite serious, however. Of course, whenever the President or First Lady gets out there and mentions it, their opposition immediately decries them as trying to poke government's nose into what people eat, and then when the reports come out that people are fat and getting fatter, they blast the President for "not doing anything."

    Gotta love the double standard.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. its me

    If the military wants to complain about their own troops being fat why dont they start addressing the issue at their chow halls- look at the food they serve. everything is fried/ dripping in butter/ GROSS! Ever try to grab something healthy at a VA hospital cafe? on a post? good luck. sometimes there are no healthy options even available! how hard is it to offer veggies and grilled chicken an an option?

    September 25, 2012 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Steve

    Federal government for a decade and half recommended 8-11 servings of grains a day. Talk about fattening up the population.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jmacq1

      That recommendation was probably made based on people doing a lot more physical activity during the day. Kids used to play outside because video games weren't really an option. Even adults' jobs often required more movement and physical exertion.

      Now we're in the computer age, and many jobs have become basically sedentary, and parents are afraid to let their kids play outside when they can't directly supervise them themselves. The rat race has made the number of stay-at-home parents shrink because a lot of families require dual incomes just to survive. Schools have even dumped physical education requirements in droves (after all, they don't help you pass those state-mandated tests!)

      September 25, 2012 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
  40. Laerrus

    They could start by not feeding them corn syrup to start with...

    America is ripe for the picking, be thankful you are so far away from all the nations you have bullied the last few decades.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • slupdawg

      We have remote weapons now, Laerrus, and fat fingers that are very adept with joysticks from years of idle video game playing. We'll just be fat bullies and let the skinny part of the population be the boots on the ground.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
  41. bob

    Sounds like a strategy... drink Coke, eat doughnuts, and stay off of the battlefield.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Scott

    The reason the military is complaining about this is their own fault. Im a Afghanistan vet and they let ppl in that shouldnt of qualified. The only branch is the Marines that has strict weight standards of 18%. The rest of the military is 20%ish, i have heard the army is 24% correct me if im wrong. Honestly ppl get your faces out of the cheeseburgers and workout and eat right its not difficult. Show some self discipline and eat right, i feel no sympathy for a obese person (unless medical reason). Americans need to stop feeling bad for themselves and blowing money on this crap. Parents force your kids to do something instead of playing video games and eating like crap. Kids get off your fat &^* and be active, this country is falling apart haha both in education and physical fitness and the economy

    September 25, 2012 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jmacq1

      Actually "eating right" is both expensive and difficult without some pretty significant help (either self-research or consulting a nutritionist) and working out is extremely difficult if you're significantly overweight, not to mention quite capable of causing significant injury to your joints if you're not careful. I doubt anyone's going to be getting much exercise if they tore the ligaments in their knees or garnered a bunch of stress fractures in their feet or shins trying to take up jogging out of the blue.

      Being one of those lucky folks that never had to struggle with their weight sure must be nice, but it isn't most of America, where the average sit-down restaurant meal contains enough calories to fuel you for two or three days.

      September 25, 2012 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
    • feistygirl

      Actually Jmacq1,it is neither difficult nor expensive to eat healthy, don't give me that excuse. Fruits and vegetables are cheap. Shop around the perimeter of a grocery store, avoid the processed stuff in the aisles. You don't need a nutritionist to tell you that processed or fried food is bad for you, use some common sense.

      No one is asking a significantly overweight person to run a marathon, just make better choices of what they put in their mouths and start to move more, a little bit at a time. And just because a restaurant portion is large doesn't mean you have to eat the whole thing. Restaurants offer to-go boxes. Or better yet, cook at home.

      There's always excuses people make up to justify why America is fat. Stop eating crap and start moving. Don't blame the government or the HFCS or the cell phones or computers. People make choices everyday. The government isn't forcing you to sit in front of your computer or video game console and drink a soda rather than taking a walk! Parents need to get their kids moving and move with them!

      September 25, 2012 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
  43. vet

    So the military is now officially too fat & stupid. not a good combo

    September 25, 2012 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RBurns

    These fat folks should not be allowed in the military at all....they should be required to meet the recomended height and weight requirements before starting basic training......Our Police officers should be held to the same requirements......if they gain over a certain limit......they should be placed on restricted duty, and take a pay cut!!!

    September 25, 2012 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Mr.

    It's all about personal choice for parents and what they allow their kids to eat. Parents set the standard. Apparently a lot of parents hold themselves to low standards. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Lobelia

    Of all the many people I know who are in the military, only a very few have seen front-line action. There are literally armies of people doing mundane but important tasks behind desks and elsewhere. A fat person can fly a drone. A fat person can serve in Intelligence. I am thankful that there are still fit young people capable of fighting at close range, but just because they are few in number compared to their rotund peers does not mean that the U.S. military will have any problem meeting personnel goals.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Lawless4U

    When I got to the part about this really being said by RETIRED military leaders I skipped to the comment section.

    IOWs this article means absolutely nothing. In fact it is an outright lie.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. BiggerThomas

    Stop the circle firing squad...It' not about bad individuals. It's in the food supply. The industry of food production and delivery. That includes farm subsidies (wheat and corn instead of green leafy things and fruits), food development (seeds to processed food products and "hormoned up" meats), and food delivery (restaurants serving larger portions than necessary to transporting food far distances).

    Stop being so quick to blame the victims and your fellow citizen trying to make it like you and instead look at the corporate and industrial system. The problem is in the Food Supply!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 25, 2012 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. al

    food industry and corporate america also have much fault in this. everything we eat is contaminated with chemicals that enhance flavors, growth, weight, any thing that will increase profits. you know how i can tell because even pets which are being fed store bought food are obese, and that is very unnatural.

    September 25, 2012 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. al

    too many computer games, cellphones with to many entertaining apps these addict people to sedentary lifestyles, too many reallity shows for couch potatos

    September 25, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
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