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 (670 Responses)
  1. Chris

    The food served in the chow halls in U.S military bases is totally unhealthy crap, not to mention there are fast food joints everywhere around a base. No kidding so many soldiers are fat and weak, nobody knows how to eat right anymore. Eating is the most important part of physical conditioning, you can work out, run, hump "military term for hiking" all you want but if you don't have the correct fuel to repair and nourish your cells, you are wasting effort. There are many soldiers who can barely do a pull up and most cannot do a correct pushup, that is sad and pathetic. Americans are physically weak and it's simply a fact. Go to another country like Nepal and watch their soldiers do muscles ups, pull ups with ease. 1 of their boys could easily beat up and kill a typical U.S soldier without a weapon. The U.S is not defended by a fighting elite, we are mostly pudgy or skinny weak sacks of crap.

    September 25, 2012 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hax

      I don't know about this. What do you regard as a 'typical soldier'? Let's be more specific. Let's pit a 'typical Marine' against these Nepalese soldiers, and see how they do. I think my money would be on the Marine, to be honest.

      September 25, 2012 at 19:58 | Report abuse |
    • JimfromBham

      What world do you come from? Soldiers are fit and mean, pass a PT test 2 to 3 times a year. Most work out for one of their hobbies. What about you, Chris?

      September 25, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Not disagreeing with you, but gotta say, most Nepalese are anorexic due to malnutrition... not really a valid comparison there.

      September 25, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      He's right, the army has fast food joints everywhere, but chow hall has some ridiculous hours of operation. I say have chow halls open all day and improve food quality. Kitchen Nightmares the chow hall.

      September 25, 2012 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
    • guest

      You're right about chow hall food, but the food they served was usually ok, and pretty good during holidays like thanksgiving. It was way better than eating MRE's. No matter what type of meal you get, chicken with salsa, chili mac, spaghetti w/ meat sauce, ham slice, they all have the MRE taste. The only good thing they had was cut strawberry pieces, but once they found out that we liked eating them, they took it away from us.

      September 25, 2012 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
    • Dye Diet

      On my website DyeDiet dot com I review popular brands and explain how to EAT FOOD, NOT FOOD ADDITIVES.
      Also you will NOT need ENERGY drinks when you eat right. Good luck, people!

      September 25, 2012 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
    • Sheena4uk

      USS Harry S. Truman had some excellent choices of healthy food back in 2001-2004. Food service department made sure we had all sorts of healthy choices. Loved the food and the people. Can't say that for Ike '98-2001. Thanks HST Food Service Dept. Ya'll did a great job.

      September 25, 2012 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
    • cody

      Chow halls in deployed enviornments are garbage. There is no real food here.

      September 25, 2012 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • Michael McCarthy

      I ate all kinds of food growing up.....I was active so I worked this off. Kids today are indoors on computer screens. Drove around the old neighborhood and did not see one person playing basketball, street hockey, football or frisbee. There was no activities outside whatsoever. Very sad.....

      September 25, 2012 at 22:01 | Report abuse |
    • wendykh

      Jim I think you've got some outdated information. Soldiers may have a test but they can also get out of it or get a waiver for a whole lot of reasons. They are not fit by and large. (No pun intended). Sadly more of them have World of Warcraft as a hobby these days than working out.

      September 25, 2012 at 23:53 | Report abuse |
    • humbermk4

      Chris, you are refering to Ghurkas. They have been apart of the British Army since the early 1800s. Wirery wee men who have a reputation for toughness. Growing up in a country that is effectively all vertical has more to do with it than diet. Also they have a different mindset. Ask any British soldier about Ghurkas.
      Did you see the recent news storyabout the Ghurka who did in some 30 Talaban by himself. Sergeant Dipprasad Pun. At the end he was using a machine gun tripod mount to smash the Taliban tryign to climb into his position. (Machine gun was already out of ammo)

      September 25, 2012 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
    • Tom


      September 26, 2012 at 00:25 | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      Mark, malnutrition is a sympton of Anorexia nervosa, not the other way around. And Chris is correct when referring to deployed Nepalese soldiers. They're regularly among the elite of the British special forces and regularly impress deployed US Marines with their will to fight and continued stamina. I'm on my fourth deployment and agree with limited food sources, but most DFACs do the best they can with what they have to work. I see countless uniformed personnel complaining about the food while loading up on tasty fried chicken, fries, and ice cream when other healthier choices are available. Additionally, endless containers of bulking supplements are ingested without regard to healthy body mass. Not too bad when you're working out twice a day, but too many soldiers quit the workouts when they get home (even when the pledge not to) and turn into SGT or Petty Officer Fatty Fat (Officers, too). And finally, read the article again – it's focus is more on the health of the future recruit – not so much on the currently serving. Those of you currently deployed or whom are deploying soon, keep up the good fight, pass on the peanut butter cookies and snacks sent from home (you all know what I mean), lay off the supplements and maintain the kinds of workouts you perform at home – and most of all, get in a few miles of running each week. Be safe!! Navy Chief...

      September 26, 2012 at 00:33 | Report abuse |
  2. schoolsub

    Instead of saying "one out of four" is not fit to fight, say "three out of four" are fit to serve and fight as a service member. Be more positive in these articles.

    September 25, 2012 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • luke

      not sure if you realized, but this isnt supposed to be a positive article.

      September 25, 2012 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Good news! Millions of people are not killed by drunk drivers everyday! I guess we can stop worrying about that one.

      And on the incredibly wonderful news front. Statistically speaking practically everyone survived cancer today!

      September 25, 2012 at 20:43 | Report abuse |
    • BGer

      MarkinFL: WELL PLAYED!! Fun-NEEEEE!!!! 🙂

      September 25, 2012 at 22:15 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Except that 3 out of 4 aren't fit for duty. There is only 3 out of 4 to even begin to choose from. This is really old news but after accounting for other disqualifying medical conditions, disqualifying criminal conduct and lack of education, less that 1 out of 4 is even qualified for military service (and we aren't even talking about how many are even interested in serving...)

      September 25, 2012 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
  3. time

    We're still too Fat to Fight heheheeehehee!

    September 25, 2012 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. time

    So was George Foreman and he did ok heheheeeehe!

    September 25, 2012 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. DonDraper69

    Like the Roman Empire before its downfall, we are being fattened up for slaughter.

    September 25, 2012 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Judywire

      Who's gonna buy our fatty meat anyway?

      September 25, 2012 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
  6. Taylor G

    What I don't understand is why some people believe our military needs to be even larger than it already is. We are already quite capable of winning any traditional war we commit ourselves to. Even if the rest of the world decided to attack us for some reason, the outcome would still be in our favor.

    September 25, 2012 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Umm, soldiers leave the military every day so new ones need to be recruited on a continuing basis. And since we have an all volunteer military, the larger the potential pool of applicants the easier it is to fill the ranks as necessary.
      Even shrinking military needs fresh recruits.

      September 25, 2012 at 20:47 | Report abuse |
    • Taylor G

      I'm talking about equipment mostly. Like the fact that we have 12 aircraft carriers and the rest of the world combined has 11, most of which are half the size of ours.

      September 25, 2012 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
    • Edgar

      Taylor, one of the US Navy's main objectives is to protect the seas to allow for free trade across the ocean. Thanks to it, the entire world benefits from protection against dangers such as maritime piracy. If we waited for the other countries of the world to figure out a strategy to work together and do it for themselves, merchant ships would be in serious trouble.

      The military is more than about blowing things up.

      September 25, 2012 at 23:25 | Report abuse |
    • wendykh

      because republicans need a way to get on welfare

      September 25, 2012 at 23:51 | Report abuse |
  7. dzerres

    And yet in the same breath these military leaders who tend to follow the Republican line and Rush Limbaugh, criticize Michelle Obama for trying to instill health eating in our kids. Doesn't the right ever get tired of being hypocrites?

    September 25, 2012 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pat

      Why would they support Dem, they're always downsizing the military. They'd rather have no military. We'll just apologize to win wars.

      September 25, 2012 at 20:43 | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      @Pat – this right here is the problem. Politics today has become completely one of ideology. Why cant a right winger appreciate the policies of a Dem when it is exactly what he wants? Michelle Obama has nothing to do with shrinking the military, just healthy eating. The same goes for Dems opposing sane GOP policies mindlessly.

      September 25, 2012 at 22:06 | Report abuse |
    • BGer

      OK – typical Democrat – citing a non-existent "fact" to bash and discredit Republicans. Can you point me in the direction of any instance where any military leader (or Republican) criticized Mrs. Obama for her "Let's Move" campaign or her other efforts to combat childhood obesity? No? Didn't think so.... And you'd be surprised...there's more of a party balance in the military than you realize.

      September 25, 2012 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
  8. Dan

    Also take into account that most of the "fatties" are not combat arms so that completely skews the view on who is fat and who isnt. An infantryman who does 90 mins of PT a day minimum or and office "shop" person who barely does any.

    September 25, 2012 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott

      Yeah but they've all got to make it through Basic and the Army expects every soldier to be able to be able to fight...

      September 25, 2012 at 22:48 | Report abuse |
    • Red legs win wars

      Dans right, working in field artillery has an entirely different set of ideals and sense of personal discipline. the only thing that matters is military bearing, ive found workin in other mos's that its not the same. the people who do the majority of the fighting are in good shape, and usually their basic training experience is more difficult and challenging. so using the logic that we arent effective as a fighting force because a buncha cookies, and paper pushers dont PT is unfair to the rest of us

      September 25, 2012 at 23:39 | Report abuse |
  9. Alpha10701stLeadSeries

    Ever been to Parris Island? I was there in 2004. What do they serve? Food brought to by delicious SodexHo. That's right, amazing Sodexho, the same company that caters foods to prisons throughout this country. It is absolutely disgusting. Hell, in the middle of 1st phase you can get either a hots dogs or hamburgers on Saturdays. You want schools to do better, then do it at PI. Or else those new recruits will learn the very common "Rct. NFG wishes to make a head call sir! in 100 humidity.

    September 25, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. TheMayor

    Instead of spending a billion on medical care, they should be spending it at local farms and communities, purchasing good food for our troops and educating them on healthy eating....OH WAIT! That's right, they don't really care....good job powers that be

    September 25, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. DonDraper69

    Like the Roman Empire before its downfall, we are being fattened up for slaughter..

    September 25, 2012 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Paul

    Seems like 95 out of 100 could be too fat and we would still have enough soldiers and personnel to fight a war. Unless, of course, we go into some kind of World War situation.

    September 25, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      In case you hadn't noticed, we do not have a draft. We need the largest possible pool of recruits in order to have enough volunteers.

      September 25, 2012 at 20:50 | Report abuse |
  13. sirhuxley

    This ain't about food! This is about CARS and our fat-ass car culture.

    American kids don't get enough exercise, because their parents don't get enough exercise. Also kids almost don't play outside anymore because they are playing video games and doing "facebook"

    Their parents probably wouldn't even let em play outside because "they'll get kidnapped" or some such nonsense.

    Look, America is messed up because of Cars and Christianity.

    September 25, 2012 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      Not too sure about the car bit. I'd say more due to electronics and social networks mixed with fear of allowing hours of unsupervised outdoor play.

      September 25, 2012 at 20:51 | Report abuse |
    • giles12345

      I love how people try to attack things they don't agree with, cars are necessary because our nation is so huge and spread out population wise, and Christianity plays a huge role in our society but not to the extent that it influences our eating habits or political decision making, you sir are an angry liberal atheist who should not be aloud to vote.

      September 25, 2012 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
  14. Chris

    Oh, you mean most guys couldn't give a crap about there "military readiness"??? You mean most young people recognize that all of America's wars since WW II were fought for special interests and sent thousands of young men to their deaths for no good reason while America continues to conduct business as usual at home??? Frankly, while I might be "fit to fight" the government has another thing coming if they think I'm ever going to lay down my life because some corporate lap dog calling himself a leader says its a good idea. America doesn't fight just wars anymore, so you know what, they can take their "military readiness" and sit on it.

    September 25, 2012 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Taylor G

      In the grand scheme of things and looking back in hindsight, Korea and the Persian Gulf were pretty successful. The other wars not so much.

      September 25, 2012 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Yeah boyeeeeeeee! Got that one right!

      September 25, 2012 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
    • BGer

      Who says you're "fit to fight?" They're also talking about holistic fitness (mental, moral, spiritual, etc). You may be able to do a couple of pull ups, but it's clear you can't grasp being part of something bigger than yourself or having enough love for one's country that you would lay down your life in its defense. No worries – please stay home and keep criticizing the government. The military doesn't need (or want) you.

      September 25, 2012 at 22:19 | Report abuse |
  15. eg


    September 25, 2012 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Dye Diet

    We have over 7000 (!!) food additives in the US food supply. Many of them are NOT human-friendly. But one have to be EDUCATED to see what I, as a professional CHEMIST, can see. We NEED to avoid most of those chemicals in our food to be healthy and strong. On Dye Diet dot come website I review popular foods and drinks and explain how to avoid most of the CHEMICAL RISKS: Eat Food, Not Food Additives!

    September 25, 2012 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Farrok

    I would not be concerned with this issue as when they hit the beaches in Iran and a cloud of nerve gas envelopes them they will lose weight very quickly…………………… They will be wearing gas masks and protective clothing in 120 degree heat it will be like a sauna for them, if they happen to live. This whole artical is dusgusting; what happend to America? Just a bunch of fat slobs I guess.

    September 25, 2012 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Michael

    Being fat is a national security issue.......hmmmm.....lets see.....a health care industry that caters to the rich and insurance companies is not a national security issue......shipping jobs overseas for several decades is not a national security issue.....rising food prices is not a national security issue....the over abundance of foreclosures and bankruptcies is not a national security issue....the sagging economy and high jobless rate is not a national security issue.....the over population of the American west desert areas putting a strain on water resources is not a nationalsecurity issue...a open and pourous border is not a national security issue....but a teen ager eating twinkees and guzzling soda pop while playing xbox is....sounds like some general has really been smoking the crack lately

    September 25, 2012 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BGer

      Dummy – this non-profit is focused on the future of America's youth as it relates to national security. These general and flag officers are part of it for just that reason. The general's not saying that it's the most important issue threatening national security or that the other things you had to look up to list in your response aren't a threat to national security. Read the article and do some research before you spout off.......

      September 25, 2012 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
  19. jay

    I am very fit and healthy, but I am considered to be unqualified because i am hiv positive. I am more qualified than most of the new recruits. I have two degrees, engineering and biochemistry. Unfit for duty.

    September 25, 2012 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brandyn

      And you don't agree with this? Having been in the Marine Corps for 7 years now I can tell you that in combat field hospitals and the like aren't always exactly organized. These places have intense demands and have to make on the spot decisions. if you or one of your platoon members, or really anyone on your base got hit there would be a chance for you to contaminate people around you. And this seems ridiculous because you are fit and have a couple of degrees? I'm very sorry that you face this challenge in your life, but please, use some common sense.

      September 25, 2012 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Common sense...why would a biochemist/aerospace engineer ever be put into a combat situation? And with an undetectable viral load there's not really a chance for me to "contaminate" everyone around me. Just saying...I'd happily serve in an office laboratory setting like all the other chemist/engineers. I am certainly qualified to do so, am I not?

      September 26, 2012 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
  20. no nothing

    It's cool to be PHAT, right? It really is a national tragedy, what this country needs is a good food shortage.

    September 25, 2012 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rvastag

    Why are there vending machines in the school in the first place?

    Regardless, the main problem is .... fat parents raise fat children. The bad eating habits and choices are passed from mom and dad to the kids.

    September 25, 2012 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. C

    We carried some weight in the early 80s, but our drill sergeants and plutoon leaders took care of that real quick. The physical standards are also much lower in testing, and they should have been increased. They treat them like children now instead of fit men.

    September 25, 2012 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. a slozomby

    remember all those funding cuts for school athletics?

    September 25, 2012 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jerry

    Yep C. Went in in '66 weighing 217 and in 8 weeks weight 182. Spent 20 years in and stayed about the same weight with normal Army 5 day a week PT. And I hated mess hall chow so I lived on PX snack bar burgers, fries, and fried chicken. So don't give me this crap about kids being too fat to serve. Put the PT standards back to work. Physical training and standards went to crap with the large influx of women and then again during the last 2 prolonged wars that required calling up NG and Reserve units with older soldiers who, in normal times, would not be able to stay on active duty.

    September 25, 2012 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NN

      You called that one right! The reason for this obesity is a physically inactive lifestyle. The fact is, if you're burning the calories, the body will adapt its metabolism to lose the fat, no matter what you eat, the body adapts, it will burn the fat for energy. I don't see that this Mission: Readiness s c a m of a non-profit is bragging much about its formal combat conditioning and nutrition expertise. If these i d i o t s have their way, all you would end up with is skinny out-of-shape people replacing fat out-of-shape people. This is all so typical of a military mindset: almost always wrong about almost everything.

      September 26, 2012 at 00:15 | Report abuse |
  25. Dakota

    To fat to fight because the military is getting all the leftovers. The kids they want are out on the football, basketball, soccer and baseball fields playing sports. That's where they should be promoting team work and having fun not making enemies in other countries. The military is a last resort for most people and sports have become a priority. Just look at the money. The best of the best are sticking to what they know best and it's clear that sports are the way to go. A no brainer if you ask me.

    September 25, 2012 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. glcp

    Every US NAS that I've been to has a McD's. That's gotta be bad.

    September 25, 2012 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Rayco

    From CNN – " Mission: Readiness' report, "Too Fat to Fight," said that 75 percent of young Americans between the ages of 17 to 24 do not qualify for the military because of failure to graduate [from high school], criminal records or physical (weight related) problems. The study cited Department of Defense and health data. "


    The future of protecting America will fall to mercenaries ,,,er, I mean "private contractors".

    September 25, 2012 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. SGT

    poverty breeds fat people and future soldiers.

    September 25, 2012 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Brandon

    This is a load of garbage. The military has been downsizing for years and has been using arbitrary weight standards via arcane body composition measuring standards as a method of pushing people out of the service before they hit retirement. There is absolutely no lack of able volunteers for our military.

    The US does have an obesity problem, but this article is rubbish.

    September 25, 2012 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. ricardo1968

    This sounds like a problem that the armed forces can solve relatively quickly with training if they put their minds to it.

    September 25, 2012 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. The Flyer

    Sure there are too many overweight troops.
    The real reason that we are "safe" are the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It's
    too difficult to invade this country with 100,000 enemy ground forces.

    September 25, 2012 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Ray

    Hax, you really haven't met a Nepalese soldier have you?

    September 25, 2012 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Seyedibar

    Hysteria. The bodymass indexing used for federal employee standards are outdated and don't take into account recent nutritional findings. Measuring health by caloric intake is also outdated. True cardiovascular health is calculated by insulin tolerance which governs how the body stores it's nutrients.
    Tweak the mess hall menu, put fresh fruit around the base, and they can still eat all the candy bars and doritos they want.

    September 25, 2012 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Bushney

    Sounds like they want to be ready for the Draft if Romney is elected.......

    September 25, 2012 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. u see it coming and yet you don't duck

    they will outsource it to the UN and other countries.

    September 25, 2012 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. revolting peasant

    I would think with modern weaponry, the best training one can get it to sit inside and play video games and simulations. I'm guessing a fat kid can push the smart bomb button just as well as a conditioned soldier.

    September 25, 2012 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Joe

    My chubby fingers could press the button just fine!

    September 25, 2012 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. biff

    The good news from this that it will be more difficult for our criminal government to impose a draft for a future unnecessary war if a large part of the draft pool is overweight. Keep eating those burgers and drinking Coke Americans. It might save you from dying in a foreign land.

    September 25, 2012 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply

    You can thank the kinder gentler PC military that can't "push" it's people anymore. All those training timeouts when a member doesn't feel like doing what they need to. They'd rather sit on their duffs playing on their phones and throwing BBQ's and the upper eschelon let's them do it. They've got nobody to thank but themselves, today's military is a joke.

    September 25, 2012 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Tom

    Um, to the guy calling everyone fat slobs, just for the record, playing COD does not = being in the military. And being a tough guy on the Internet is just pathetic. Lol

    September 25, 2012 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Jayme

    Yeah... not like congress passed a law that categorizes pizza and french fries as a vegetable or anything...

    September 25, 2012 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. jamdfh

    Too fat to pull a trigger? Too fat to fly a drone? Really? We have contractor wars now, and they can be some heavy folks! But they get the job done! The reason u don't want to be fat, is u become target practice!

    September 25, 2012 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. GKK

    According to the article, Defense spends an estimated $1 billion each year on medical care related to obesity issues for active duty members, their dependents and veterans." To focus on the active duty members and their children, isn't anybody being taught anything about nutrition? Everybody complaints about the weight gain and nobody does anything about it. The powers to be in the military, schools, and homes (parents) sit back and watch the kids, teens, and adults grow fat. Most of the nation's population (60% is over weight and obese) continues to eat pure junk by the ton and claim it to be their birth right, School and hospitals cafeterias sell junk food openly. If nutrition conscious individuals make strong proposals for limiting junk food, idiot politician jump in and do their best to stall any steps towards nutrition. I have not been to a military base, i wonder if the leader have banned junk food dispensers and make sure all chow meets high nutrition guidelines. If not, then the article above is a window dressing. My thought on the subject, "The nation has gone stupid on nutrition."

    September 26, 2012 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Rose

    All but 2 of the 15 men I've met from my boyfriends unit is way overweight. They never exercise during their allotted time and get away with walking during PT and because they're part of the union they can't get fired. Basically a bunch of loop holes allows them to be fat & lazy.

    September 26, 2012 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Josh

      Rose the only way people in your boyfriend's unit are allowed to walk during PT is if they're injured. One of the things this article ignores is that people with injuries in the line of duty are being kept in as long as they can perform their duties, which often don't include any real need for physical activity. This wasn't the case in the past, they would just throw people to the wolves.

      September 26, 2012 at 00:47 | Report abuse |
  45. Joe

    When I was in the Marine Corps stationed on Okinawa at Camp Schwab, the chow hall fed us pretty meager portions. The food was actually pretty good. There were no fat-bodies because we PT'd four times a week, running anywhere from 4 to 7 miles a day at an 8 minute per mile pace. It was also rather hot and humid there. So lets see: meager but adequate portions of food, lots of exercise, and high heat and humidity are a good combination to prevent obesity.

    September 26, 2012 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. kanaric

    We seem to be doing just fine in our state with out insane kill to death ratios and everything.

    September 26, 2012 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. cheezitschrist

    So in other words the military is upset that people are dying from their own eating habits, instead of being able to be sent off to die in pointless wars started by our government.

    Good, keep eating everybody. Sure, you might die at 50 but its better than getting bombed into some Middle Eastern hellhole for no reason.

    September 26, 2012 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Shimi

    FACT: There is a McDonalds or Burger King on most if not all U.S. bases
    FACT: They are opening Starbucks onboard U.S. Navy ships
    FACT: Military personnel have to obtain permission to speak to a nutritionist as there may only be one for the ...entire base
    FACT: Junk food is served in bootcamp
    FACT: Military doctors routinely prescribe drugs without ever considering the life altering affects of healthy eating or exercise(ask me about this)
    FACT: The military does not test for food allergies unless someone is showing the severest of severe symptoms (ask me about this)

    September 26, 2012 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. czar33

    Make the women join the military, men by law have to regestir at age 18, if they have to; make the women sign up at age 18, they want to vote, they want equal pay(they get equal pay in union jobs) Why should they get a break?

    September 26, 2012 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Eriq

    Who gives a crap? The McRib is back and I have a reason to live again!

    September 26, 2012 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Leave a Reply to Jerry


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.